Coaching vs therapy what's the difference?
Many coaches have had therapy or been therapists so have an understanding of what's what when it comes to this frequently asked question. And it has been posed that therapy is for unhealthy people and coaching is for healthy people by many celebrity coaches.
So to set some context, coaching is predominantly future focused on goals, possibilities, resources. And therapy deals mainly with the past including traumatic events and clinical issues that caused harm to the persons mental health.
Yes, things from the past have to be spoken about in coaching to understand the content of a person's history, their challenges or problems within coaching too that's for sure. And if you think about it, then this understanding may really help with appreciating where a person is right now which is their "present state position".
It is important to identify where a person wants to be which is their "desired state position" but move away from the content of the story quickly and towards their desired state. Therapy more often than not stays within the contents and the past.
When you think about this I'm sure you will agree that history can't be changed and we could drown or suffocate in the contents of the story all day long if we stay there. So that's why we move towards the desired state position as quickly as possible and shift into context and out of content.
So once we decide on the direction you want to go and focus on what you truly want we can start to discuss the context of what's going on and that's the key thing here for change and motivation in the present and future.
Coaching focuses on context far more rapidly than therapy does. So if a person can get a perspective shift on their thinking often a challenge can seem very different, irrelevant or even a gift because of the mind shift from its original context.
So by identifying what you actually want in the future, setting a goal you want, changing contexts to create a future outcome by getting out of the past rapidly, this can not be confused with the process of therapy and time frames involved.
So why you may be asking right?
When a person comes to coaching they should be under no illusion that they will be expected to get busy thinking, creating, brainstorming and collaborating with their coach quickly. So from the starting gun, the coach works from a healthy optimistic space of creativity where their coach is not their saviour but their collaborative guide or companion on an amazing journey together. so much can be achieved.
If this creative, safe and enjoyable container can be created quickly so much can be achieved together.
Coaching is a motivating experience where your potential can be achieved by directing your focus and attention squarely on the future, your vision and goals from the first session with your coach because life is too short to be unnecessarily stuck!
What would you really prefer for your life?
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About Mark Pettigrew
Mark is an executive coach and life coach who has worked as a counsellor and therapist as well.
He has used meta-coaching, NLP and mindfulness with great effect for many years to help people create clarity in their lives.
He is based near Glasgow in Scotland and works in person, using Skype or phones so can work with anyone wherever they live.