One of the questions that I often get when speaking with people and clients that I have is, “What's the difference between therapy and coaching, specifically divorce coaching”. I'm going to attempt to break it down for you, to be able to make the right decision for your situation.
The definition of therapy is the practice of mental health counseling that includes counseling, behavior modification, client centered advocacy, crisis intervention, and the provision of needed information and education to clients.
When using the methods of a psychological nature to evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat and prevent emotional and mental disorders and dysfunctions, whether cognitive affective or behavioral disorders, sexual dysfunction, alcoholism or substance abuse.
The definition of coaching according to the International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative processes that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
To explain this in more simple terms, the difference between therapy and coaching, in a nutshell, is to look at therapy as uncovering and, recovering mental and emotional issues from your past.
Looking into your past, into your childhood, at the different traumas that have happened, what has happened to you. When you were a child and then a teenager and then a young adult and uncovering and recovering your emotional tendencies and then growing and developing from that place.
As for coaching, in a nutshell, it is about discovery. It's a future focused, goal planning, value. Looking at your reality now, where you are now and looking into your future. Taking action, taking massive action to step into a future that you dream and you create. That's the power of coaching in a nutshell.
I'll remind you here that a therapist is the expert in crisis intervention. They will evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat, emotional and mental disorders and dysfunctions. A therapist is the expert. A coach is the partner. It is future focused, focused on being your best selves, managing the process together. There's an accountability shining a light on your best selves.
You alone are the best judge to discern what's optimal for your situation. Only you possess the understanding of what truly serves your life and your family's journey. Trust this insight to steer your decisions. Your personal philosophy guides you as the ultimate authority on your path, crafting a compelling future. Life's diverse experiences have honed your perspective, enabling you to navigate its complexities. Embrace your inner wisdom, and you'll curate a purposeful and prosperous life story for yourself and your family, in alignment with your principles and aspirations. A coach is a guide, helping a person to see things from a different perspective and in a new light. Helping to create action plans, helping to create goals and take actions to meet those goals, helping to understand what your values are and are you living into your values specifically Divorce Coaching.
Divorce coaching focuses on the business side of divorce and the emotional side of divorce. When you're transitioning through divorce, there's a lot of business that needs to be handled. Anything from creating a parenting plan to a financial plan. Knowing your numbers so a divorce coach can help you to get prepared and organized, organize for meetings with your lawyer, staying organized for meetings with the children's guidance counselors and teachers, how to have conversations with the kids.
There's a whole lot of business when it comes to divorce. It's often so overwhelming, it's helpful to have somebody like a divorce coach to walk down that path with you and help you to stay on track.
For any goal or dream that you have, there's an emotional side of divorce and the emotional side of divorce is where all the healing happens.
Taking a look at who you were being during your marriage, who you're being now, taking a 100% responsibility for your life as it is right now. Again, creating the plan, taking action and moving forward. And there's a lot involved in that.
In my experience personally, I have worked with both therapists and I have worked with coaches. I've worked with several coaches. With therapy, I didn't get any answers, the answers that I was looking for. That was just my experience with therapy. I have worked with two therapists previously, for a total of about 15 months. I was disappointed in that there was no plan created.
There were no action steps that I could take. There was a lot of conversation. And for me, that wasn't exactly what I needed at that time. I was looking more for a plan and a process to move forward so that I could heal and get on with my life and create the best life possible for me.
I hope that this helps you to understand the difference between coaching and therapy. I have developed a list of questions that I will include on the bottom of this you can use these questions to interview coaches and therapists and then use your gut to decide whether you have a rapport with them. Hire someone to help you out, someone who can be in your corner to guide you. Walk the path with you and get you from here to there feeling better about yourself, and help you get to the happier side of this divorce journey faster and with much less frustration.
When you review these questions that you can use when interviewing coaches and therapists, I just recommend listening to your Wise Her, your intuition, your gut. If you have put in the work, you will be able to find someone with whom you have a good rapport with, and get the peace of mind knowing you have hooked on to a thinking partner who has a track record as an expert to help you throughout this process.
It may also be necessary for you to work with a therapist, especially if you find yourself unable to function in a healthy way or are having thoughts of harming yourself or your loved ones.
During your interviews ‘Who do you feel most compatible with?’ ‘How do each of the professionals that you interview approach their relationship with you?’
Here are some possible questions to ask a therapist or a coach:
1. How long have you been practicing?
2. What is the difference between coaching and therapy?
3. Why are you doing this work? What do you enjoy most about it?
4. Who is your typical client? What are the biggest challenges your clients face?
5. Can you walk me through your process? What should I expect from our first meeting together? How will things progress from there?
6. What is the average length of time that you see clients?
7. Do we meet in person, online, or on the phone?
8. How do you think your clients would describe you?
9. Who is your ideal client?
10. What do clients do, or don’t do, that drives you crazy?
11. What helps you identify whether a client will be a good fit or not?
And remember, it’s perfectly acceptable to follow up on your initial conversation with one or two additional questions by email. We all forget to ask things in the moment. Be respectful of the coach’s time, but also be sure that your most important questions get answered.
If you would like more information or assistance during your divorce journey, I look forward to hearing from you!
And until next time here's to youfirst!