Do I need a Coach or Therapist?
When you are looking for support in your professional or home life, how do you know if a coach or a therapist would be more beneficial?
One of the first steps to establishing whether you would benefit from working with either a coach or a therapist is to understand the differences between them so that you can engage the right kind of expertise.
Some people may feel more comfortable working with a coach if they have a negative perception of therapy however it’s not really a question of coaching or therapy but whether one or the other – or both together – may suit better at a particular time.
The overarching difference between coaches and therapists may be best described by an analogy (and to paraphrase Tony Robbins)
“A really great coach can help you reach peak performance, but if you have some injuries that haven’t healed properly, no amount of great coaching is going to get you beyond those.”
Are you confused or overwhelmed with the options and unsure if coaching or therapy is right for you?
Below is some guidance to help when you are thinking about coaching or therapy – it’s not exhaustive as this is a broad and varied topic – but it provides a good starting point.
What is Coaching?
Coaching focuses on the future, taking the current situation as the starting point and taking an action-based approach from that point onward. This enables the coachee to take control of their life and take empowered action to steer it towards their goals.
It is a guided conversation to clarify goals or ambitions and work out what patterns, beliefs or relationship dynamics that may be holding you from reaching your full potential.
Life Coaching is sometimes portrayed as an inferior version of therapy; however, it is a dynamic discipline designed to help inspire people to achieve more than they believe is possible, often grounded in positive psychology. Coaching explores the interplay between all aspects of life and the systems in which we go about our everyday lives.
The coaching process is typically a shorter intervention although can be a longer-term commitment depending on your requirements.
Ultimately, coaching is about self-empowerment through self-awareness, self-management and increased self-efficiency.
“It is always a collaborative process with client and coach as equals. Explicitly drawing on innate strengths and resources.”
What is Therapy?
Therapy has its focus on the past, on introspection and analysis with the hope of resolving past issues or patterns of behaviour and creating a happier and more stable future.
Also known as counselling or psychotherapy, therapy is typically a long-term process with a client and healthcare professional working together to resolve problematic beliefs, behaviours, feelings, and relationship issues. The process works through past trauma or issues to change self-destructive habits, repair, and improve relationships and work through strong or painful feelings.
It’s worth noting that therapists are trained mental health professionals who are in the regulated field of healthcare. Coaches will often work in a trauma-informed way with some also trained as Mental Health First Aiders in overall Wellness or even Mental health care however are not generally equipped to diagnose or treat mental health conditions.
The popularity of alternative holistic therapies such as Rapid Transformational Therapy and Hypnotherapy are still on the rise.
Is RTT the same as Hypnotherapy?
In my practice, Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) sits within my coaching and therapy services as a separate service and approach. However, I often combine RTT within my coaching programmes should we discover something deeper that is preventing a coachee in moving forward.
What’s the difference between RTT and Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a solution-focused approach: people come with a specific issue that they want to resolve as quickly as possible. It is a powerful intervention, and it can be used for a variety of issues. It helps us to access parts of the mind that usually remain hidden throughout our waking life, and by tapping into this it can often speed the healing process up significantly.
Rapid Transformational Therapy is a contemporary hybrid therapy which uses hypnotherapy together with a powerful combination of gestalt Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and the latest developments in Neuroscience.
Hypnotherapy alone can work very quickly and good results can be achieved rapidly within just a few sessions. RTT can be even swifter, with results after just a single session in some cases.
In practical terms, you may wish to see a therapist or mental health team if:
- You experience mental health symptoms that cause distress in your life for example, anxiety, depression, trauma or disordered eating
- You want to heal from past hurts or process trauma
- You need support navigating emotions
- You struggle with interpersonal relationships and want to learn strategies to feel less impacted by others
- You are experiencing relationship issues and could benefit from couples counselling
Learn more about MIND’s free support and services.
You may wish to enlist the support of a life coach if:
- You want to find ways to get ‘unstuck’ and set goals you with a realistic plan to achieve them
- You want to accelerate to the next step in your career
- You want to set healthier boundaries and adopt a positive work-life balance
- You feel like your life is on autopilot and want to challenge yourself or break out of your comfort zone
- You know that your inner critic keeps you from living your best life and you want to learn how to quiet that voice
- You desire a life with purpose and meaning but do not know where to start
- You feel confused about the next chapter in your life (i.e. struggling with difficult life transitions, career decisions, major life choices) and would like guidance on what would best serve you
- You know that you have a lot to feel grateful for but something is missing, and you need that extra inspiration to piece your puzzle together
- You want to tap your inner motivation for a major event, such as running a marathon
- You want to hold yourself more accountable, whether in your personal or professional life
Explore more reasons to hire a life coach.
You may wish to consider Rapid Transformational Therapy if:
- You want to heal from past hurts or process
- You need support navigating strong persistent emotions
- You’re struggling with interpersonal relationships and want to learn strategies to feel less impacted by others
- You want to improve self-belief, self-esteem and confidence
- You’re struggling to sleep, feeling anxious or overwhelmed
- You want to stop unhelpful habits and replace them with healthy alternatives
Discover more about hypnotherapy and how it works
In short, consider therapy if you want to heal from your past or get help with a mental health concern and try life and career coaching if you need help getting unstuck to unearth your full potential