It is common to think that people who are suffering from depression need the services of a psychiatrist, but mental health coaching might offer an alternate solution for individuals suffering through periods of depression. An important tool in recovering from depression is having a recovery partner, someone who acts like a sponsor in AA or similar programs. The perfect recovery partner is someone skilled in coaching and mental health – a mental health coach!
What is Mental Health Coaching?
A mental health coach is not a psychiatrist or a doctor – they are merely a coaching expert who is trained in aspects of mental health. Coaching involves an initial engagement with the client during which trust and rapport is built. Many coaches then use motivational interviewing to delve into the issues. Motivational interviewing is built around the expression of sympathy, the development of discrepancy between a client’s life and how they wish they life to be, the ability to allow client resistance, and the goal of client self-efficacy. The coach/client then moves on to a creating a vision of good mental health and the setting of goals.
Mental health coaching is not like traditional counseling – it helps clients envision a life without depression while also helping them stay on track with their life goals and providing support by acting as a recovery partner.
What is Depression?
Though many people feel sad or depressed at times, this does not mean they are suffering from depression or need the services of a coach, counselor, or psychiatrist. But, when these feelings last for longer periods of time or interfere with the achievement of life’s goals, this may be a sign of clinical depression. Some of the symptoms of depression to look for include:
- A depressed mood during the majority of the day
- Impaired concentration and indecisiveness
- Frequent feelings of worthlessness
- Frequent feelings of guilt
- Increased disinterest in activities or pleasure
- Insomnia and extreme restlessness
- Fatigue and loss of energy on most days
- Thoughts of suicide or self-injury
If thoughts of suicide are prevalent, then it is probably best to see a psychiatrist because they can work with severe mental disorders and prescribe medication. However, for people suffering from less severe bouts of depression, a mental health coach may be a good choice.
Mental health coaching experts act as guides for their clients. They help their clients by guiding through the recovery process. Clients can use a coach to check in with, as a sounding board for ideas, to share their weekly experiences, to talk about issues or problems, and to describe a goal or a potential achievement in the path to good mental health. Mental health coaching can never claim to be a cure for depression because coaches are not medical professionals. However, they can provide support, motivation, encouragement, inspiration, and guidance for clients who want to rid themselves of depression and achieve their life goals and dreams.
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Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community