Coaching vs. Therapy

What is the difference between Therapy and Coaching?

Why would you pick Coaching over Therapy or in conjunction with each other?

Let’s start with why people look beyond themselves for help with trauma, grief and other mental health related struggles.

Generally when we are faced with challenges as adults, we tend to default to our training or conditioning from childhood and past relationships. Throughout our lifetime we create patterns, develop coping skills (both adaptive and maladaptive) and behaviors or characteristics are created in service to survival or thriving. 

When we find ourselves in places and spaces in life where these things hinder, block and no longer serve us, it can be hard to get out of our own headspace to make progress and growth happen. 

The way our brain’s neurological pathways are created and perfected so to speak, can feel like our thought patterns are trapped in cycles of toxicity and furthering damage to our relationships and life. Often this is when it is wise and helpful to seek support from outside of ourselves. 

Commonalities of therapy and coaching:
Both therapists and coaches listen to the individual (or couple), provide support, and support the individual (or couple) in their growth.

Therapists (psychiatrists, psychologists and licensed professional counselors) can use (but are not limited to) modalities like hypnotherapy, EMDR (Eye, Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) ketamine and other more intensive medicinal approaches as well as talk therapy and the like. 

Coaches can use (but are not limited to) modalities like, talk therapy, parts work, shadow work, somatic embodiment exercises, breathe work, art therapy, trauma responsive yoga and more. 

Many of these services overlap between the different fields. 

Our coaches are trauma recovery trained, as well as somatic embodiment and resiliency trained. 

Not all therapists are trauma informed. Not all coaches can offer the level of mental health support a therapist can. 

Here at The Inside Out Experience, we make every effort to work with therapists already helping clients. We are all about building safe community support for our clients and their families.

Here is one of the most key pieces that set coaches apart from therapists. 

We are peer to peer guidance and support for our clients. We mentor as wise friends versus the therapist being a leader and client a follower. Sometimes people desire that in their healing journey, sometimes a peer support approach is more appropriate and often, having both is invaluable. 

We coaches understand that safety is the cure of trauma. This means we do not set goals for you, you do that. We go as far as you’re willing and we pause and sit with you when you need and desire to slow down. We do not require you to do anything you feel unsafe to consent too. Your journey is uniquely yours and we honor it every step of the way. 

Coaches help you take ownership of your life, often they are the first healthy relationship survivors experience post trauma. We do not take this lightly.

In general:

  • Coaches do not treat, nor diagnose mental health illnesses. It is not uncommon for clients to be involved in both coaching and psychotherapy at the same time if warranted. Consultation is very possible and encouraged. 
  • Coaches do not prescribe medication or give advice about medications.
  • 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.