Great question. I get this a lot, especially since I provide both services. While there are some similarities between coaching and psychotherapy, they are very different activities and it is important to understand the differences between them.

Both coaching and psychotherapy utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation and behavioral change, and interactive counseling techniques. The major differences are in the goals, focus, and level of professional responsibility.

The primary goals of psychotherapy are identification, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. The goals of psychotherapy include alleviating symptoms, understanding the underlying dynamics which create symptoms, changing behaviors that do not serve the client which are the result of these disorders, and developing new strategies for successfully coping with the psychological challenges which we all face. Due to the importance of confidentiality and privacy related to medical diagnoses, the dynamic between therapist and client is more structured to protect information and the client relationship.

Do you know therapy would benefit you? You can request an appointment with me by calling 785-539-5455.

The focus of coaching is more collaborative with the coach assisting the client to create and implement strategies to reach client-identified goals in their personal, relational or career life. Coaching addresses specific personal projects, life balance, job performance and satisfaction, or general conditions in the client’s life, business, or profession. While confidentiality is maintained in a coaching relationship, the relationship is designed to be more of a peer dynamic and the relationship between coach and client is often less structured.

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