The ongoing debate among Psychologists today is split into two areas…
…1) discussions of the oncoming telehealth invasion, and 2) the notion that Life Coaches are taking everybody’s business away from them! There’s reasons for this…First, let us define the two.
Traditional therapy is what most Psychologists studied to become. In a comfortable setting, you disclose your troubles, issues, and even sometimes the occasional “good thing” to a trained professional. That trained professional then asks questions and analyzes the reasons for why something is, or how to improve upon it. Therapists, on average, charge between $75 to $200, and insurance can cover much of it.
Life Coaching is a new breed of help and relies less on psychological principles and more on motivational upkeep. In other words, Coaching is therapy but without the degree! This is what has caused a lot of debate among the psychology world, as Coaches seem to be less of a stigma (no one ever wants to admit they are in therapy, but seeing a Life Coach is just fine, right?) and cost around the same amount. The difference, however, is that you are paying someone who is usually not trained, and may be certified through an organization that (and let’s face facts) is not really based on anything.
How do you decide?
You have to ask yourself a very simple question: what is your purpose here? Are you trying to deal with a major issue such as getting over a recent death, a job loss, or a break-up? Or are you seeking personal development, or simply wish to better yourself? I guarantee you, a lot of people go to Life Coaches with the same problems they should be going to a therapist for, and they will get conflicting advice. That is because if you see a Therapist, you are speaking with someone who has at least ten years of Graduate school to back them up.
A Life Coach, however, only has that credential issued from the International Coaching Federation or the International Association of Coaches (both of which are the leading organizations behind Coaching certifications, but from my perspective – as a Life Coach – I do not see why you would even bother in getting certified). This means that a Coach (though probably better at helping you improve yourself) is not going to be as inclined to assist your problems from a psychological standpoint.
The best advice is to try both therapy and Coaching. As a Life Coach, I usually end up recommending a lot of people for therapy over my services, even when I can make a profit. This is because I am an ethical individual, but many Coaches are not. If you want my honest advice, therapy first, then try a Coach if the setting does not suit you. Coaching can be useful in the right hands! Just make sure you shake that hand before committing to a 3-month intensive coaching package…