This is one of the questions that I get asked most. As someone who works both as a clinician and a coach, it’s important for me that people really understand the distinction between the two.
So what is the difference between coaching and therapy? When is therapy really helpful and when does the idea of a therapeutic model get in the way of real growth?
Imagine a boat. This boat has holes in the bottom and is taking in water fast. The crew of this boat knows that unless they fix these the boat is going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. It takes someone with a particular skill set and understanding to fix the holes and so they come in and help to fix the boat and bail the water out of it.
Now the boat is floating perfectly well, but it needs direction. It needs a navigator and captain that know where they want to go and the best way to get there. They need someone to make sure that they don’t get caught in any troubled waters along the journey and someone to help them stay on course when they get lost.
A therapist helps a client “fix” the challenges stopping them from moving forward in their lives. These could be anything from unhelpful ways of thinking and feeling in social situations to even deep depression and anxiety. Once these issues have been addressed and the person is balanced, focussed and connected to their values, they are in the best place to really make goals that will support them in future.
Some people realise the need to make these changes that so that they can move forward quickly, getting back to their goals and desires for themselves. The problem with the normal therapy model is that people think they have to spend years talking to someone about their problems and don’t expect that powerful changes can happen in a brief period of time.
A good Solution-Focussed hypnotherapist can help people do that effectively and in a way that is sustainable, using the power of deep Focus and the resources of the mind in ways other therapists cannot simply because they don’t have the skills of hypnosis. As one well-known Psychologist said “attempting psychotherapy without knowing how the mind creates and maintains problems and how to use hypnosis to lift them is like mining coal in the dark”.
When the moment comes people find themselves balanced and ready to move forward, then they benefit from people with a different skill set. An understanding of not only therapeutic modalities, but also Generative changes. Someone who can help them grow themselves in ways that go above and beyond fixing problems and also deepen their experience of life in ways they never could have imagined. That’s the coach’s territory.
In my experience, people do themselves a disservice to go for coaching when they need therapeutic change and therapy when what they really need is someone to help them connect with their deepest purpose in life. Most people need a combination at different times in their development and that is why I do both with my clients.
Powerful shifts can happen at anytime. Shifts in perception change your life and allow you to think feel and do differently. That is why having a therapist and a coach that is a skilled hypnotist is better.