A psychology life coach is like a switch hitter, but does their flexibility translate into a higher batting average? Here are some advantages and disadvantages to following this challenging approach to coaching – or is it a challenging approach to psychotherapy? Hard to say, and that is the root of the problem.
Coach Versus Therapist
There are two key differences between a psychologist and a coach, and here is a good way to think about them. First a psychologist generally works with people who are having problems dealing with life and need help “to get well.” Coaches, on the other hand, deal with people who are starting on the positive side and are looking to “maximize their… achievements, happiness, etc.” See the difference? Here is the second difference. Because psychologists are trying to diagnose what went wrong to get clients to this point, they are inherently “past-focused” while coaches are looking to help their clients get from star to superstar, so they are inherently “future focused.”So a typical life coach might say “Gee I am sorry you had to go through that, but let’s talk about how you are going to move to the next level.”
Is a Psychology Life Coach a Real Know-it-all?
If a psychology live coach knows both psychology and coaching, don’t they just know more? Sort of, but I think if a coach can get you past your past and on to your future, that is the critical skill and time spent dwelling on the past is time not spent working on the future. Of course, all of this assumes that your client isn’t so overwhelmed by their past that they are, literally, unable to function in the reality of the present moment. If that is your client, they don’t need you as a coach, they need you as a therapist.
Speaking of Psychology, Do You Want to Be Schizophrenic
This is actually a fair question for a psychology life coach. Face it, drawing from two bodies of knowledge does offer a path to greater insight, but it also can result in defocusing, that would result in a lower levels of treatment. Think about it.
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach