Coaching is about keeping your eye on the prize. Counseling and Therapy is about untangling the mess. They are very important. Each are has inherent strength and inherent weakness. If you tell a coach that you just found out you have to go in for heart surgery they are likely to begin developing a plan to keep progress toward the goal in motion, or at least on the tracks while this procedure and the ensuing recovery takes place. A therapist may explore the feelings that arise because you are going in for heart surgery at the same age that your father died from a heart attack.
The strength in the coaching approach is that regardless of your heart condition, assuming the experience does not change your goals, you are going to want that process to be as far along as possible so that you can just get back on for the ride when you recover. The strength of the counseling approach is that our feelings produce results in the real world. The power of our belief is probably one of the most important distinguishing characteristics that separate us from other life forms. We are able to believe that which is not in our present experience and act on it. By acting on that believed reality we make it true. So, it is very important sometimes to come to terms with what it is we believe and why we believe it and decide if that is something we want to believe. As with anything else, the line between coaching and counseling is not set in stone. But, in general terms, what was just described falls into the area of counseling.
The weakness of the coaching model is that one can be so focused on a future goal that one neglects health, relationships and other aspects of the moment. When we achieve our dreams and ambitions, they are empty without those with whom we love. Counseling and Therapy, on the other hand can get so enmeshed in the past and with feelings that it becomes a tangle with no outcome. We can get lost in there.
It’s easy to see how these two areas can work together. While most excellent counselors and therapists have a little bit of the coach in them it is not their primary job. Coaching is not therapy. When coaches and counselors can work together, the therapist can help untangle the obstacles that prevent us from being the best we can be while the coach helps you devise a road map, vision a goal and achieve it.
From a practical application, this approach can end up being very economical. This is because issues that come out in counseling are often worked through quicker. Coaching is often done over the phone. The phone call might be a fifteen-minute call. When its all working together, it can be faster, better and more effective. That is the goal. And achieving that goal makes us feel good!

Cw Markham

Coach Chuck:

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