As you’re reading this, you may be sitting there in a slight state of confusion and doubt – asking yourself ‘is it coaching I need? Or is it counselling, or psychiatry or psychology or therapy, if anything? And what’s the difference between them all anyway?’
If so, that’s ok. I for one appreciate the fact that you are on this very page on my site and exploring a coaching option, and the questions you have are perfectly natural. There’s a multitude of pieces out there that explore the answers to these questions, including this article, which looks at the classic faceoff of coaching vs therapy.
What should be denoted is that while there are differences between the practices, there is a couple of key areas that overlap per this Venn diagram on the right – namely, the need to build trust and rapport between ourselves and the need to have strong communication skills. Bob Hoskins was right: it IS good to talk.
The distinction between the two is laid out in a great analogy:
Imagine yourself getting ready to climb a mountain. You could either hire an expert sherpa and guide for your expedition or a doctor. Which will you choose? Which one will be most helpful during your specific journey?
Well, if you are physically unwell or would be in danger if you even attempted the climb, a sherpa and guide wouldn’t do you any good. You need to be at a baseline level of good health before you can make the climb at all – if you’re not, you might need to see the doctor before trying something that challenging. However, if you’re healthy and just need someone to help you with a climbing strategy, carrying the load of supplies and finding the best path, the sherpa and guide is the best bet.
If we allocate the roles of therapist and coach here, the therapist is the doctor. They get you well enough to take on major challenges in your life by exploring your mental and emotional well-being. The coach is the sherpa and guide. They have an expert knowledge of your climb and can help you reach the summit. With me, you'll get both the perspective of the doctor and sherpa. 2 for the price of 1 - can't say fairer than that.
So ok then, what is coaching, what’s it all about? There’s a few good pointers in the article:
And there are more, depending on who you ask.
The trick here is to realise that the only way to find out if coaching is what you need is to make that leap of faith and begin building your path (with me, ideally 😊). The terms and titles are important: there are instances where a therapist or counsellor are more appropriate. But the differences can be overstated, as this article shows.
It ends with the great point: What matters is that people get help in their efforts to grow, master their problems, and become more effective in their lives. Both approaches of coaching and therapy aim to do this. Who cares (licensing boards notwithstanding) what you call them? If it’s about money (namely how much is this going to cost you), then yes, coaching could cost you hundreds, even thousands of your cash. But so could any of the other options. Or maybe it’s about the fact that sometimes these people aren’t qualified or licenced, so you may think am I just getting conned by a fly-by-night merchant who’s winging it?
Again, a perfectly valid question and it’s one I had when I first started my path. My coach came up with a great response – this was a guy who had no formal coaching qualifications yet had established a thriving coaching practice. And he simply asked me:
‘What drew you to taking up coaching with me?’
The answer was his background story which resonated with mine in many ways, and gave fuel to the feeling that if someone with a similar story to mine is now in a place I feel I want to be in, is the fact that he is qualified or not going to make a difference or not? And I found myself saying
‘Nah, not really’.
It also depends on what’s important to you – if looking for an accredited, qualified, licenced person is important (and should be when you consider options like therapy and counselling), then bear that in mind.
If you still really want to twine yourself up in knots over what coaching is or if it’s right for you, consider this: think of coaching as the being your first port of call to work on yourself, and consider how would it feel to get the direction and forging the path that you want? Wouldn’t it be great to work on that with someone neutral who won’t just act as a cheerleader and actually respond to you instead of ghosting you or flaking out?
The focus of most traditional life coaches is to help people get to a specific goal/goals and do all the things we said before – focus on the present and future, set actions plans and all that.
And that’s fine for some people.
However, the work I do is always intended to go much deeper than that by discovering why you want to achieve a goal/goals in the first place, otherwise you often end up achieving it and realising it still doesn’t fulfil you or instead fulfils you for a little while, before you revert back to old habits and ways.
We lay this out in full detail using my Construct-Deconstruct-Reconstruct model. In a nutshell:
For those of you that like their content in video form, here's a video below, outlining the
Construct-Deconstruct-Reconstruct process using the analogy of the Batman:
The entire aim is to break the cycle that perpetuates the notion of "I'm not good enough" by accepting all parts of us and avoiding the inner battle. The effect of all this is we slowly become the human we want to be, letting go of the human we’ve been built as, which, in turn, helps us to feel good enough and therefore apply this approach to whatever you deem to be your inner peace.
If someone chooses to tread the path I offer and ultimately gets to a place where your self-worth is repaired and you're doing things for yourself rather than as a result of all the programming you've been carrying previously, we can then focus on specific goals if you want to, all the time checking back to question why it is you say you want whatever it is you’re aiming for – which, guess what, does mean going back into your past at some point to root for answers.
What then happens is that often when people have fully done the deeper work, the going for goals work isn’t needed as much anyway because they’re just more relaxed about the world and slowly moving towards whatever they think they want, leaving open the possibility of changing their mind as they go, which is a marked difference from the world of goal working and setting that many coaches primarily assist with.
If this sounds like it's for you, or to give yourself an opportunity to find out more, book in your free Soundboard Session
If you prefer a group setting with other people that are in a similar space to you, then there is also the group coaching package available. In this, we will go through a seminal text in my coaching journey, with exercises to practice and consolidate principles, as well as give you the opportunity to go through any questions you may have along the way.
For more information on how the sessions will be structured, please visit the Packages page.
The Mindset Transformation Coaching Band
The Mindset Transformation Coaching Band is a Facebook group/community which allows people to connect with each other on all things mindset - whether it's to share practices, advice or just to talk to others who are also building and walking their path to their inner peace. It's free to join, and there are regular live interactive sessions led by me, which will be about a range of topics centered around mindset and delving into the root causes of your obstacles. I am open to suggestions about what content people would like to see, so if you want to see a particular topic/area covered, I welcome you to post and make your suggestions. The group (or Band as I like to call it) also gives you access to other bits of content I create, which are crafted to slot alongside the coaching you receive from me and helping provide that momentum or impetus towards building and walking your path to your inner peace.
Click on the image/link to join the Band today: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindsettransformationcoachingband
One thing is true, though: whilst we can build the path together, only you can tread it. Or to use another analogy, remember the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? If you don’t, check it out (dudes). I am Rufus with the phone booth. For I merely open the booth’s door. You have to step into it, dial the numbers and see where it takes us. You get to choose where we go and how long we stay somewhere for: