Coaching - Is It Therapy?

Peaceful image of daisy - is coaching therapy?

This is an interesting question that does not have an absolute answer. It can depend on the type of coaching offered and on the perspective on the individual. Our perspective is that our coaching is quite different from many of the talking therapies that exist, yet it does draw upon many of the most effective features of certain talking therapies.

We've found that the processes we use are the most effective kit of humanistic psychological tools and techniques that we've come across. And we continue to update that kit by working with the latest innovators in the field. We then test them on ourselves and add in those that we find the most effective and appropriate. Many of these tools are so versatile that if necessary they could be used for coaching, training, therapy, and a wide range of other uses.

In our coaching we tend to focus more on the present and future (being more results and action-focused) whilst therapy often spends more time in the past. Of course this is a generalisation, and every individual's need is unique, and so our approach is tailored to fit the individual rather than the individual fit a particular box called 'coaching'.

In our coaching we are also more likely to focus on a small number of specific issues rather than more generalised problems that may be covered in a therapeutic session. Therapy also will focus on problems and issues, whereas our coaching is equally useful for those who feel stuck or have a particular problem as well as being useful for those who simply want to increase their already high levels of performance.

Although clients quite understandably often 'let off steam' about things that are concerning them, the amount of time spent doing this is usually much less than would be done in a therapy session, as the emphasis is on how can we improve the current situation rather than focussing on the emotion about the current situation.

In both therapy and our coaching the integrity of the relationship and trust between the practitioner and the client is critical. Both need to be conducted by skilled practitioners and require similar core skills such as deep listening and questions which raise awareness. The relationship we establish with our coaching clients is of parmount importance to us. All our coaches are chosen with this aspect being crucial in their personalities, in addition to their skillful abilities to facilitate change. So they are very sensitive, empathatic and compassionate individuals who are also required to have undergone and are continuing to undergo diverse personal and professional development of their own. Yet, be assured, that when necesary they can still ask you difficult questions and be quite to the point, but it's always done respectfully and with skill and integrity, and possibly with some gentle good humour.

Overall our approach is client centred and focusses on you discovering your own unique solutions and new and creative ways of thinking. When you have that 'aha' moment for yourself rather than being 'told' it, it is a much deeper and pervasive change that stays with you. For us it is the main way of change that we advocate and sponsor.