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Coaching vs. Therapy

A few distinctions about coaching

to help you understand what it is

and what it is not:


Coaching vs. Therapy:

Therapy arose from Freudian psychotherapy. Originally, therapists conducted therapy by listening to the patient/client talk about their experiences and thoughts. They just listened. Sometimes they listened for years (at high prices) because, "It takes a long time, and you have to have patience to let the process work."


There's a joke about it. Goes like this: The client says, "I've been in therapy for 7 years to cure bed wetting." The friend asks, "So how's it going?" The client says, "I still wet the bed, but now I know why."


Therapy, like diets, often didn't work. The client knew a lot about the supposed whys but change didn't happen. Part of the reason it didn't happen was that the theory behind the therapy was that insight causes change. But, insight doesn't necessarily do that.


Coaching is solution-based and solves problems of the present -- it enriches your life! Coaching uses powerful techniques (tools, support, and structure) to clarify your goals, values, purpose, and vision and to keep you focused on your priorities.  It will create prosperity, balance, and fulfillment in your life. Through coaching, you can achieve your goals and dreams by breaking them down into smaller more manageable pieces. Each week, you move closer to what you really want.


Coaching works best for already successful people who have resolved past issues and are ready to go to the next level in their career, life or with a project.. A coach is very action oriented and asks you WHAT you are willing to do, WHEN will you do it and HOW will you get it done. A coach will hold you accountable. And, while deep, empathetic listening are central to both, coaching and therapy are quite different.


Therapy focuses on analysis and interpretation; in Coaching, the emphasis is on experiencing, and the shifting of perspective and position. Rather than focusing on what has happened, the emphasis is on what is possible.

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Therapy is about resolving the past   Coaching is about creating something new
Therapy is about healing    Coaching is about achievement
Therapy is about understanding   Coaching is about changing
Therapy is about safety    Coaching is about momentum
Therapy is about protecting    Coaching is about attracting
Therapy is about resolving    Coaching is about creating
Therapy is about getting closure    Coaching is about opening possibilities for the future


Coaching vs. Consulting:


ALL coaches are consultants but not all consultants are coaches. As a coach, I will sometimes advise a client but the focus is on challenging you to develop as a person and draw out your own INTERNAL WISDOM. I believe the answers lie within you and will not "tell you what to do" but will offer guidance and opinions if you want.



Coaching vs. Motivational seminars, tapes, etc.:


Seminars, tapes, classes, workshops and books tend to give an initial burst of enthusiasm for the changes they promise, but often after the class is over it is difficult to sustain these changes by yourself. A coach will guide you through the change you want at a pace that will give continual results. Coaches tend to be very motivated and inspired people and coaching will develop you into a naturally passionate and motivated person who is pulled forward by your own exciting and deeply fulfilling life.  A coach will cheer you on like no one else can and simply working with one is MOTIVATING to most clients. Remember, we’ve done this before, and our own lives are visible evidence of our effectiveness. While seminars are a great way to jump start, coaching is a more permanent and tailored way to build sustainable energy that comes from within.



Coaching vs. Your best Friend, Spouse or Boss:


Talking with a friend may be helpful, but coaching offers undistracted listening that is non-judgmental, trusting, honest, and exceptionally objective. The questions posed challenge the spoken words and delve into the real meaning of what is being heard. Your Coach is your resource person with a large tool kit to assist you in developing and pursuing your vision so that you achieve positive, permanent results.

Coaches are IMPARTIAL and are willing to risk the relationship to tell you the truth. While a trusted friend or boss may be a good advisor or listener, oftentimes they are not totally honest with us if they feel the relationship may be jeopardized in any way. A Coach is trained to listen for what's not being said and is totally focused on you while other relationships tend to be less focused. And a coach is not your boss. We don't want or need to be impressed. Just be honest with your coach and inspire us with the truth of what you are feeling, who you really are, and what you are actually doing. You will not be judged in any way and will never be made to feel wrong so use your coach as a SAFE person to air out ideas or get honest, supportive feedback.



Coaching vs. the "do it yourself" plan:


No one NEEDS a coach but almost anyone can benefit from having one. Partnering with another person is a great way to increase the energy around you and build momentum. For example, many highly intelligent, creative and spiritual people tend to be "lone rangers" and want to do everything for themselves but are oftentimes overwhelmed with all of their ideas. Coaching provides this person a way to get perspective and gain focus and a coach will work with a client to put each idea into action through its successful completion. And, a coach will always keep an eye on maintaining balance in life. Ever tried to buff up at the gym by yourself? It gets boring and the effort tends to go in starts and stops. Hiring a personal trainer who knows the most direct route to a better body and who will develop a plan you'll want stay with consistently is leaps and bounds more effective for most people. Plus they can see when you are getting bored or losing steam and will change your routine to keep you moving forward. It's the same concept here and isn't it just way more fun to have a partner with you, your vision and goals as their total focus?

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"Lorna’s coaching is simple and eloquent, with the ring of truth."