What’s the Difference Between Coaching and Therapy (or Counseling)?

Often when people think about coaching, they think about being supported to move into the future to meet specific life goals and aspirations. When people think about therapy or counseling, they tend to think that it’s about healing the past. This can be a helpful way to think about it as a generalization but it’s actually not so simple! In coaching, lots from the past can be healed.  And, in therapy, people can move past their past and fully into the future thriving well.  So… it really depends on what the training is of the therapist or coach AND what the chosen focus is.

 
 

The reality is that there are many different kinds of coaches and many different kinds of therapists with innumerable amount of various training backgrounds, so it’s important to inquire about the specifics of each person and what they offer and what their training is.  There are a some incredible coaches out there who have been trained to work with trauma far better than many therapists have.  And, there are many therapists who have been trained to coach people into confident, integrated, embodied and sustainable futures far better than many coaches have.  In my opinion, working with a coach or a therapist is fairly irrelevant - it's more about who you feel safe with, who you feel can challenge you and who has training in the areas you're wanting to heal and grow through.

So, I’ll break it down for you - here are the differences between coaching and therapy in what I specifically offer… 

Therapy

In therapy with me, there is a lot more space to work with trauma and a very dysregulated nervous system.  For some people, they need to learn and integrate inner tools to stay emotionally balanced so that they can welcome any experience without letting past wounds completely hijack their present moment. In therapy, we meet in person in the office and create a very safe space to process turbulent and overwhelming emotions.  You learn skills and techniques to bring yourself more in balance so you can feel more steady and able to be with yourself with deep kindness, acceptance and compassion.  

Therapy is also a beautiful venue for working with attachment wounds.  By seeing clients regularly and typically over a longer period of time (typically anywhere from 6-months to a couple/few years), a client can heal a lifetime of experiencing a lot of insecurity, avoidance and/or reactivity they experience within relationships through working on that within the therapeutic relationship.  In real time a client can experience what comes up for them in relationship outside of sessions in the sessions and we can meet everything that arises with curiosity and safety and care and find new ways to form more secure and easeful ways of being in connection.

I ask for a weekly commitment, especially in the first three to six months, to get a solid foundation under you where your whole body and mind feel like they have a place to rest, be seen and truly supported.  The intention is to have a very healing experience where you begin to embody the care, compassion, attention and safety that you may have not received at certain points in the past.  It provides a learning environment for you to create this for yourself from the inside-out through various avenues like talking, movement, body-awareness, breath-awareness, creativity, mindfulness & self-compassion practices.

Ideally, therapy brings you to a place where you feel ready and able to step into life feeling like you’re more than enough, feeling inner and outer support, feeling steady emotionally and even having access to compassion, gratitude and appreciation for life’s challenges (instead of getting lost in those old stories of feeling like a victim) AND having gratitude and appreciation for life’s joys too.

Coaching

Coaching with me is around a very specific topic around Sex, Love, and/or Relationship and happen via Online Video Calls or Phone.  We dive in together to discover your desires fully and work with any limiting beliefs, emotions, and somatic inner experiences that get in the way.  We create an weekly action plans with at home practices that feels supportive and inspiring for you to move more fully into your life in a way you love.  Our sessions include uncovering and moving through limiting beliefs; learning and practicing deep compassion for the stuck places; encouragement and inspiration and collaborative brainstorming around ways to fulfill what it is that you’d like to have happen; and accountability through brief phone check-ins and/or email.  Sessions are very body based, creative and include making space for mindfulness practices and listening deeply to your body and heart around what your deepest desires and truths are.

Whether it’s:

  • deepening into connection in an intimate relationship and trusting yourself there
  • falling in LOVE with yourself and owning being single
  • experiencing pleasure, sensuality and embodied sexuality with yourself and/or your partner
  • creating a sustainable connection with your desires through spirituality or meditation practice 

When in coaching with me, an added bonus is that I have a depth of training and practice in Somatic Psychotherapy and can help hold space for what arises and am comfortable with the fiercest of emotions and experiences.  I am skilled at helping you uncover what’s in the way of you moving into the future and allowing yourself to fully thrive.  With that said… in coaching, it’s important that there’s a level of emotional self-regulation and resiliency available for each client so that we can keep walking forward together towards your goals without the past completely hijacking the session.  What this means is that it’s welcome, invited and important to have and experience emotions as they arise in session.  However if there are past wounds and traumas that take you so far into the past that you’re unable to stay connected to the present moment, this needs to be addressed with therapy, it’s very important to do that first so that your whole system can feel stable and ready and able to tolerate these big next steps.

Coaching is typically a minimum of a 3-month commitment with weekly 1-hour sessions, email and phone check-in support, personalized recommendations for books, videos, podcasts and other resources, & loving yet firm accountability.