When psychologists start the job, they are considered life coaches because they make a lot of “professional” decisions that affect what you have to say and what you think, as well as what life experiences or past life traumas or things you have been through could have effected them negatively. Some psychologists believe that their job is merely to provide information and counseling, but that’s not really the way it works. It’s more that their job is to help people feel better in their lives. Life coaches think more like counselors, and their job is to keep everyone comfortable in their lives, so that they can go at it as usual.
Therapy and life coaching are two different disciplines of practice. Each requires a bit more information, planning, communication and emotional depth. Psychologists work with their clients, whether they think or not, and the client often has a hard time figuring how to interpret what their therapist is doing. It takes an enormous amount of focus and patience and commitment to do a great job on this side of the psychotherapy spectrum. When therapists and life coaches get together, the information can be overwhelming for both. The psychologist is the person who has the highest degree of control over the client; the role of “life coach” is to make sure patients feel comfortable, feel included and don’t have to worry about anything. Psychologists can help clients with a variety of issues – trauma, depression, addiction, anxiety and more – with their work. However, they are also experts in their areas, and you really need to see them doing the work to learn that part of the job.
Why are a life coach and a psychologist the same person? Well, psychologists use techniques that they developed themselves, while life coaches do their work from experience. Psychologists use techniques to help clients understand their feelings; life coaches help clients understand their behavior. As they both work with clients, both therapists and life coaches can develop an understanding of the client’s situation that has evolved over time. This understanding helps them create treatments that are best for the client. Psychologists look for patterns; life coaches help clients develop the skills needed to make healthy decisions.
What if you’re in therapy and want to learn more about your therapist? One of the easiest thing to do is to ask other psychotherapists about the type of therapy they did. They may have a different view of what therapists do. In some cases, psychotherapy could be called more “life coaching,” as the therapy focuses more around the clients’ thoughts and feelings than it does
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