What is a Psychology life coach? Is there even such a thing? To arrive at an answer we need to define a life coach and distinguish it from a psychologist. While the life coaching world is a bit like the wild west – anyone can set themselves up to be a life coach and make their own rules – there are some factors that define a life coach.
A life coach is a trained professional who, through active listening and inquiry, helps clients define, create, and achieve specific goals. A life coach differs from a therapist or a psychologist in certain ways. Therapists help solve problems while life coaches help their clients achieve dreams and goals. Therapists often deal with problems and issues that have a genesis in the past while life coaching deals with the present and the future. Therapists often deal with clients who have a diagnosable dysfunction or mental illness while life coaches work with mentally healthy people who want to become successful or reach a goal or a dream. However, can there be some overlap? Can these two separate professions merge to form a new type of life coach – a psychology life coach?
Become a Psychology Life Coach
Most life coaches are not trained to be psychologists, but there are many successfully functioning people who may need a little psychological help in achieving their goals and dreams. The 21st century is an age of rapid information accumulation, changing methods of human interaction, and extraordinary pressures created by the changing shape of our economy, job market, and global environment. Just keeping up with the almost instantaneous and continuous changes that occur in our world is enough to create a little psychosis in all of us. It will be in the interest of any life coach who wants to expand their practice to put a little psychology in their work with clients and become a psychology life coach.
Psychologists often need to extract information from clients of which they may not even be aware they possess. This is often some trauma or dysfunction. Psychologists do this to diagnose some mental illness, but a life coach can do it to discover a long-repressed block or memory that may be preventing someone from achieving their goals. Psychologists often attempt to discover blocked circumstances, events, or traumas that may still be affecting a patient’s life. A life coach can find these same events and circumstances to help a client get over a fear that may be preventing them from achieving success or pushing themselves to a higher level of achievement.
A little psychology can go a long way in life coaching. Because life coaches are mostly dealing with successfully functioning people who want to be more successful, there is no need to diagnose mental illness or specific emotional problems. However, most clients have specific fears, past traumas, or unfortunate memories that hold them back. Active listening and specific inquiry can still be used to work with a client’s past and the basic tenets of life coaching will still apply, but by adding some of the basics of psychology, you can achieve better results and eventually have more clients beating down your door or calling your office. Will psychology life coaches be the next big thing in coaching? It is doubtful the lines between psychologist and life coach will become completely blurred, but overlap is inevitable. The psychology life coach may eventually need some training in both fields, but it is a niche worth exploring. By dealing with a little of the past, a life coach, or a psychology life coach, can help create an even brighter and better future for their clients.
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