Psychology life coaching seeks to merge, to some degree, the fields of life coaching and psychology. Though there has always been a clear distinction between a coach and a psychologist, there is a new trend in coaching to put some psychology into life coaching.
The Difference Between a Coach and a Psychologist
The coach is dedicated to the belief that the client possesses their own answers. The role of the coach is to help clients see clearly and distinctly the correct action and right direction for themselves. A psychologist views a client as someone who is broken and needs fixing. Psychologists are prepared to offer a diagnosis, and find ways to ameliorate the problems. A coach does not see clients as broken, but merely helps them find pathways to reach their dreams and passions.
Similarities Between a Coach and a Psychologist
Psychology life coaching finds the similarity between the two professions and uses this common ground to help clients. Both therapists and coaches are trained listeners. They are adept at active listening, a type of listening that takes in all forms of communication – words, tone, inflection, body language, and even silence.
Life coaches and psychologists both communicate with their clients on a highly personal level. Confidentiality is crucial in the development of trust for both professions. Clients will often tell some of the deepest, darkest secrets. Psychology life coaching is not only about listening, it is also about communication, both linear (one-way), and interactive.
Putting Psychology into Psychology Life Coaching
What has truly put psychology into the realm of a psychology life coach is the relatively new field of positive psychology. Positive psychology is the scientific exploration of the processes, behaviors, and conditions that lead to optimal health, personal well being, and performance. It is an applied science with a developed body of theory, research, and practical tools.
Dr. Martin Seligman, a psychologist with the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 is credited with being the first to introduce the concept, though its beginnings probably predate this time, and it developed in bits and pieces through the years. Both positive psychology and coaching concentrate on what makes clients thrive, achieve, and live happily. Positive psychology life coaching emphasizes strengths, talents, and other positive aspects of a client’s life. Though negative issues are certainly discussed and dissected, they are usually seen as part of the big picture. Coaches take these negative items and help clients find ways to turn the negative in to a positive.
Positive psychology uses assessments, which work well in the coach’s realm. These assessments help both coaches and therapists when working with clients. They can use client assessments to develop strategies that help their clients achieve personal and professional goals. Combining the science of positive psychology assessments with the art of life coaching gives the client an extra advantage in their quest to reach their dreams. Psychology life coaching takes the best from both fields and makes it even better.
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