Do You Know The Difference Between Life Coaching And Psychotherapy?

Graphic of tight rope walker in brainEvery definition of coaching matches what I do as a psychotherapist, but not every definition of psychotherapy matches what I do as a coach.

As a coach, my work focuses on figuring out what you want in measurable terms and creating a plan of action to achieve those outcomes within a set timeline. With the support of a life coach, it’s possible to receive guidance and encouragement as you move forward. Coaching focuses on the here and now. It’s solution-focused and goal-oriented. I aim to help you gain clarity on what you need and road map to get there. As a relationship, life and executive coach, I don’t explore the history of your relationships or family of origin, unless we are not making any progress toward your goals.

Psychotherapy, on the other hand, is different. It involves delving into the past—your family history, childhood and your conscious or unconscious motivations. During therapy sessions, we can look deeply into your strengths and how you got where you are now. Psychotherapy can effectively treat folks struggling with depression, anxiety and trauma, which coaching cannot.

If you’re wondering if you’re suffering from anxiety, depression or trauma, please consider these warning signs that indicate you may need psychotherapy, not coaching:

o          Signs of anxiety – Take The GAD- 7 Anxiety Assessment

o          Signs of depression Take The PHQ-9 Depression Test

o          Signs of trauma—Take The Ace Survey

o          Insomnia

o          Substance abuse

o          Ongoing relationship problems

o          Missing important deadlines and appointments

o          Poor follow through

o          Persistent anger or aggression

o          Mood swings

o          Ongoing feelings of guilt and shame

o          Beliefs such as: I’m not good enough or the world is ending

If you identify with the list above or completed the assessments and believe that psychotherapy is the best fit, please contact me or call (425) 681-1170 for a free 15-minute consultation. In my private practice, I provide both coaching and psychotherapy services.

How Life Coaching Works

If you’re struggling right now, but you don’t have anxiety, depression or trauma symptoms, life coaching can help. It is a reality that human beings engage in behaviors that interfere with the ability to progress. We may be wired for happiness, but too many times we have been trained to run from fear.

During life, relationship, or leadership coaching sessions, I can help you face your fears. Together, we can look at your current life and collaboratively strategize, build your resiliency and skillset and work toward achieving your goals. With my guidance, you can come to recognize and express your inherent strengths and talents and utilize those to get more of what you want from life. Coaching is all about creating more success in your life, on your terms.

looking down at feet considering many directions

During life coaching sessions, you can expect to openly share your concerns. At the beginning of each session, I’ll ask you to summarize how our work is propelling you toward your goals. Then I will express what I perceive are the next steps, and together, we will find points of disagreement and agreement and collaborate on a plan of action.

You can expect me to listen to your concerns with compassion, but you can also expect me to be real and honest with you. Sometimes it’s necessary to shake things up and be challenged in order to gain deeper insight into the situation. Our coaching relationship is collaborative, but I am also directive.

Throughout our work together, I will regularly check to ensure we are making progress. My practice is built on teamwork, skill building and real-world application. If I find we are not making the kind of progress you expected, and there seem to be deeper seeded issues at play, I may refer you to a psychotherapist. Although I am both a coach and psychotherapist, the relationship dynamic is very different. So, if I find that you would benefit better from therapy services, I will make a trusted referral to a psychologist or therapist.

Who Coaching Can Help

person holding light bulbCoaching can support personal and professional growth and development based on your initiation and motivation to change in pursuit of specific, actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is forward moving and future-focused. The emphasis in our coaching relationship is on action, accountability and follow through.

Business Coaching

If you’ve recently received a promotion, are starting a new business, or find yourself managing and/or speaking in front of large groups of people, coaching can help you capitalize on this very positive transition. With the guidance of a seasoned executive coach, it’s possible to turn common fears and issues, such as, public speaking, procrastination, imposter syndrome, difficulty with discipline and more into opportunities for profound growth.

I also work with entire workforces. If you’re with an organization and would like to complete leadership training, diversity and inclusion training or team building for your entire team, coaching can help identify areas that require improvement as well as the skills needed to address and resolve pressing issues.

Relationship Coaching

This area of coaching focuses on skill building and resolving conflicts in the moment. If you’re in conflict with a partner, spouse, coworker, family member or someone else who is important to you, relationship coaching can help you resolve any barriers in communication that are currently affecting your relationships. I help individuals, couples, business partners and teams resolve relationship difficulties.

Life Coaching

If you’re trying to attain a specific goal in order to create more personal fulfillment, coaching can help you cultivate a clear vision of “how” to move forward. Together we can assess your paradigm of possibility and translate inner wants into material realities.

My Background With Coaching

I’ve been a therapist since 1993, which is when I graduated with a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Science from City University in Bellevue, WA. In 2005, I added coaching to my repertoire when I completed training with Mentor Coach. I also come from an organizational consultant background. Before I became a therapist, I spearheaded nonprofit agencies as an executive director, organizational consultant, lobbyist and activist. So, I am uniquely qualified as a relationship and leadership coach because of my rich experience.

There is the additional wrinkle to my skillset as a therapist and coach: I am a nationally recognized expert and trainer in the fields of Energy Psychology and Energy Medicine, which are body-based interventions that activate deeper levels of healing. Changes in mood and thought are driven by the body– disturbances in your bioenergetic patterns. As a coach and psychotherapist, I consider the role of subtle energy disruptions that block my clients’ success. I believe that common “resistances” to change are typically energy disruptions in the body that are fairly easy to identify and correct. It’s possible to locate areas of distress, both in the mind and body, unblock those disturbances and move forward.

Online Coaching

For folks with hectic schedules, I offer secure online life and executive coaching. I prefer to speak face to face– either in person or via secure video– but when requested, I can also work over the phone. Regardless of how we meet, it’s my aim to listen intently and truly understand your experience and perspective and provide you with real-world options. With the right support and guidance, it’s possible to become really clear on what you want and move toward the life you deserve.

Accomplish Your Goals

If you have specific goals in mind for your career, life or relationships, I invite you to contact me or call (425) 681-1170 for a free 15-minute consultation. My offices are located in Bellevue and Issaquah, WA. I also offer online coaching. 

Stephanie J. Eldringhoff has been helping individuals and couples overcome trauma and anxiety for 30 years. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and hypnotherapist with a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Science. She is the co creator of the Rapid Relief Process and holds advanced training in Thought Field Therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Thought Energy Synchronization Therapy (TEST), Advanced Eden Energy Medicine, Panic Healing, Energy Psychology, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mentor Coach and more. She is a proud member of the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology and a trainer in the Comprehensive Energy Psychology Certification Program. Her private practices are located in Bellevue and Issaquah, WA. She also provides secured, confidential online therapy sessions.