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“I Don’t Need a Therapist”: Differences Between Coaching and Therapy

Fri,Sep 04,2015 @ 11:33 AM

Therapy-002

There’s a certain stigma surrounding the field of therapy, negative connotations arise when someone mentions the word, and begins to wonder the mental stability of the person in question. However, while it still maintains this stigma, the results of therapy have produced wondrous outcomes for the people who have taken advantage of it. The same can be said for a business that takes advantage of a coach. If you, like myself, have trouble distinguishing between the two, here’s a couple of key differences between coaching and therapy.


Put Your Past Behind You:

Therapy often looks at those key childhood moments that have defined your behavior. The standard image that comes to mind is the patient on the sofa, spilling their most inner, dark secrets to the therapist, hoping to unravel whatever it is that is hindering them. While this is clearly successful at mitigating an individual’s landscape, the coach is responsible for focusing on the future, and what that holds for the employees within a company. By focusing on the future, the employee can see a path in which they can take to become successful.  


Why Are We Talking About My Problems?:

While the path to success is instilled by the coach, coaches, like therapists, do have to acknowledge the hurdles standing in the way of the employee’s path to success. Is there something at home that causes stress that is carried into the workplace? Is there a coworker that just doesn’t click and creates a hostile environment? While these seem like obvious setbacks, it is important for both therapists and coaches to acknowledge these setbacks in order to overcome them and move forward.


I Don’t Need Help:

This is a line that many people use before talking to someone about their problems. Usually, people say this because our culture still promotes self-success and motivation. Sometimes, however, we just need that little extra boost to get us from where we are to where we need to be. While coaching and therapy have their differences, that is what coaching and therapy have in common. They both are that extra pat on the back or shove in the right direction that takes someone from their standard to their exemplary selves.


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Katie Allbee

Written by Katie Allbee

Katie began working at Progress Coaching as an administrative assistant, developing the the role of Coaching Strategist. Thinking she'd leave after she graduated from her graduate program in counseling, she began to see the parallels between counseling and coaching and couldn't leave. Katie holds a bachelor's degree in Education and Psychology, and has a Masters in Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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