Many of us will feel down from time to time. This is a normal part of life and is a part of the human experience. For some, feeling down can turn into something more. It can lead to an ongoing feeling of hopelessness or inadequacy. This in turn can lead to depression.
Depression is a condition that requires professional help and/or medication to treat. On this page we will look at how depression coaching can help to address some of the issues the illness causes. We will also look at the differences between coaching and counselling, and how depression coaching could complement your treatment.
On this page
If you live with depression, you will already know how debilitating the symptoms can be. Left untreated, it can become very serious. It is important to seek help from a medical professional if you think you are suffering from depression.
If your doctor diagnoses you with depression, there are a number of treatment options you can try, including psychotherapy and antidepressant medication.
So, where does life coaching fit into this?
For many, depression coaching serves as a useful addition to their existing treatment programme. Coaching can play an important role in recovery, offering encouragement and support to those struggling to engage in day-to-day activities.
Coaching is not designed to be an alternative to talk therapy or other medical treatments; it is designed to be a valuable addition to your treatment plan to help manage symptoms.
If you haven't been diagnosed with depression, but recognise that you experience some of the symptoms, you may be prone to developing the condition. In these cases, coaching may help you to resist the pull into deeper depression, helping you to move towards happiness.
Looking ahead - how a coach can help
A big part of depression coaching is establishing what area of your life you want to work on and setting goals to move forward. Having a tendency towards the negative can make it difficult to motivate yourself. If you have depressive symptoms, you may find yourself feeling lethargic and uninterested. Meeting regularly with a coach can offer a regular dose of optimism and energy.
Every coaching session allows you the opportunity to focus on the 'new you' - on the 'you' you want to become. Together with your coach you can work on removing negative and unhelpful ways of thinking. This helps to make way for more positive and productive ways of thinking.
Understanding what's missing in your life in terms of joy is also important. A life coach can help you identify areas that may be lacking while helping you to find ways to fill these areas with more joy. This may include nurturing your relationships, finding ways to de-stress or even starting a new hobby.
Going through any mental health condition requires a support network. This is typically formed of friends, family and professionals. A coach can be a valuable part of this network. A coach adds another voice for you to turn to when things get on top of you.
Coaches will have different approaches, so it can be helpful to find out more about them before organising an appointment. Learn more about them and their experience to see if the way they work resonates with you.
Use our advanced search tool to learn more about our coaches and to find a coach in your area.
When it comes to depression coaching, many coaches will work with your current support network. This means they will look to complement your existing treatment and may even ask to speak to your counsellor/doctor to ensure their approaches are aligned.
Online coaching is becoming an increasingly popular option. This involves speaking to a coach via email or on Skype. For those with depression and anxiety, this offers an opportunity to access support from anywhere and to engage at their own pace.
If you feel anxious or worried about going to see a coach in person, online coaching is another option you can try. Often coaches will provide self-help activities and offer feedback to help you stay on track with your treatment.
What will happen in a depression coaching session?
Before you begin your coaching sessions, you will be invited to meet your coach for an initial consultation. Here you get the chance to talk to your coach about what you hope to gain from the experience. At this point it is important to tell your coach if you have been diagnosed with depression or another mental health condition. You should tell them of any treatment you are undergoing and any medication you are taking. This is just to ensure the work you do with your coach works with existing treatment.
You will then decide with your coach how your sessions will progress. It is likely that you'll meet weekly. Many coaches will encourage you to carry out tasks at home to continue your progress. The nature of this work and the work within your sessions will be tailored to your specific needs.
Should I see a coach or a counsellor?
It is important to note that there is a difference between coaching and psychotherapy, and therefore a difference between coaches and counsellors.
Mental health conditions like clinical depression, anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder require treatment from a mental health professional. Coaching can be helpful for those with conditions like this, but it should always be in addition to (not in place of) treatment with a psychotherapist.
Coaches are not able to diagnose or provide treatment. Coaching is a process that can help people cope with symptoms and encourage them during their recovery. For example, a coach may motivate you to take up exercise and improve sleep habits.
In some cases a counsellor may refer a patient to a coach to help them follow through with therapeutic goals. This combined approach from counsellor and coach ensures all the needs of the patient get addressed.
Many people find it useful to seek help from both a counsellor and a coach as they can help in different ways. If you are unsure which approach to take, speak to your doctor for further guidance and perhaps contact some coaches to learn more about what support they can offer.
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