A lot of the time I get asked
“Are you a psychologist or counsellor?!
Do you straighten peoples head out.??!!…..”
When asked this I always feel the need to explain that I know about thought processes and all kinds of mental conditions people can have. But as a coach I believe a person is better of following his own inner compass then trying to follow a so cold “norm” which has derived from research. I believe research is very useful and we have become much more aware of our human behaviour, feelings and thought processes. But making the outcome of the research a ‘norm’ is for me one step too far.
I believe where a person starts aiming to be like the statistics and so cold ‘norm’ and this seems impossible to reach, this is where people get frustrated and starting to feel unconfident etc…
With this newsletter I hope to clarify difference between Psychology and Coaching. There is an overlap and they can support each other. I can also under scribe that for some people one will work better for him/her then the other. We are human! All different and therefore different support will work!
Psychology and Coaching are often used interchangeable as in fact they are all very different.
Psychology is used when a person has a known and researched condition, mentally and /or behavioural. The psychologist works with the person to help this person cope with the condition. The psychologist has studied all kinds of researched conditions. The psychologist can see if a person has a researched and known condition and treat the person with an excisting treatment.
Through research are all kind of conditions discovered and possible treatments created and developed. This is an ongoing process new research, new discoveries gives new or adjustments to treatments. These treatments are ways of psychotherapy. A psychologist will follow a system and tries to ‘heal’ or support a person to life with the condition. Through the research has risen a “norm’ which is the most common behaviour recorded in research. This is where ‘the norm’ for behaviour of ways of thinking is set and a client will be supported to come as close to this ‘norm’ as possible. Clients often feel stuck or have a known condition and want a researched treatment.
Coaching is used where the clients feels out of balance or stuck in a situation or way of thinking. When a person feels his behaviour or way of thinking does not support him he can go to a coach. A coach supports a client to become aware of his own personal compass. A coach believes every person is naturally resourceful and will always try to make his own situation better. A coach can work according known methods. Methods which are designed to support the client to deal with his personal behaviour, feeling, thoughts, views, perspectives etc…. the coach will ask the client questions and support the client to find his own answers. Coaching can be used in all different situations where a person wants to be more aware of his own inner compass which enables to person to follow his own course.
Counselling is often used where a person has to deal with his feelings. The client feels he is not moving forward in a certain area in his life. A Counsellor has studied all different kinds of behaviour and thought processes like a psychologist but are specialist in dealing with feelings.
These descriptions are very short and leave out lots of fine detail I know. But they are all different ways of working with feelings, behaviour and thought processes.
Aiming at ‘the norm’ or ‘inner compass’?
Where a psychologist follows a set treatment and wants a person to get as close to ‘the norm’ as possible, a coach takes the inner compass of the client as the norm. A coach wants the client to get as close as possible to his own compass and follow that.
Both ways work for different people. Where I see psychology as directive which can be very helpful to a client, a coach is objective as possible to support the client to make up his own mind which will work better for the client.
Looking back or looking forward?
Another distinct difference is that psychologist will ask you about childhood earlier experiences etc.. and built on this. A psychologist believes our behaviour is a combination of earlier experience, childhood upbringing and situation we have been in. We can change our behaviour and thought process consciously but there is always the change of falling back into our old behaviour.
A coach will take the current situation as a starter point and looks forward because a coach believes people have personal choice in how they behave or communicate and therefore create the future. A coach will only look at earlier experiences when a client specifically asks for it and the coach does ask the client how looking at an earlier experience can support him today and in the future.
I do hope this short article about the differences of psychology, counselling and Coaching will clarify the three ways of working.
I’m a ACC certified coach and I do believe people can safe themselves a lot of energy, frustration and time by knowing themselves better through coaching
Please feel free to share this article with friends and family or comments on this to me directly. Who knows it might give new useful insight?
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