Therapy Vs. Coaching

Every trauma-survivor has their own recovery journey. There may be different times during a survivor's journey that they choose to work with a therapist and a coach either separately or in conjunction with each other.  Think of therapists as the first line of defense. They're the surgeons/doctors to help a survivor work through the physical ailments their trauma may have caused. Coaches work in a more collaborative approach. We're here to help trauma survivors reach their personal goals for their recovery. 

A coach comes alongside their client to brainstorm, provide information, and examine potential decisions. A therapist can do all of these things, but they often also need to intervene at a deeper level to direct care, prescribe behavior and make choices on behalf of their client. A coach never takes that much control over a client’s life. Guide and encourage, yes. Command direction, never. 

People can, and sometimes need to, move between therapy and coaching. Individuals who have gotten their mental health illnesses under control or in remission can benefit tremendously from individual and group coaching. Individuals who are being coached need to transfer to a therapist if they experience a mental health crisis. A good coach will help a client make this transfer when decompensation occurs, rather than continuing to try to tend to themselves.

Some things to remember:

  • Coaches do not treat, nor diagnose mental health illnesses. It is not uncommon for clients to be involved in both coaching and psychotherapy if warranted. Consultation is very possible and encouraged. 

  • Coaching tends to be more collaborative, working with clients as peers. Often goal setting is client directed. 

  • Coaches do not operate from a traditional medical model. 

  • Coaches may assign homework or have contact outside of the scheduled appointment.