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Podcast Transcriptions

Pursue What Matters

Episode 19: Coaching vs. Therapy

Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service

Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
Life Coaching, executive coaching, therapy counseling telehealth, Oh, my, all these terms are thrown around all the time. But what do they mean? What’s the difference? And more importantly, what if any of them can help you pursue what matters? Well, stay tuned, because today, I’m going to break it all down for you, and discuss all of your options when it comes to keeping your head in the game. And I’ve got an excellent guide that outlines all the differences so you can find it best fit for you. So make sure you stay tuned to the end of the podcast, where I give you all the details on how to download this guide to help you determine the differences between coaching and therapy.

Dr. Melissa Smith 0:42
What does it mean to love and work well? And how do I pursue what truly matters? Working at the intersection of business and psychology? I help you answer these questions and more. So you can focus priorities, inspire, change, lead with courage, and live with more joy today. Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the pursue what matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. Today, we’re talking all about coaching and therapy, and what exactly are the differences between the two. But not only that, we’re going to address the different types of coaching, when coaching might be indicated. And when it’s time for therapy, and of course, how to go about finding a great coach or a great therapist. And of course, we’ve got a really great resource for you today, that really helps to kind of break down the differences between coaching and therapy. And I think that there’s a lot of confusion around this topic. So this is going to be really valuable resource for you. So I hope that you will take the time and download this guide, I’ll have all the details at the end of the show, so that you can find out how to download this guide. So let’s jump in. If you spend any time on social media these days, it seems like just about everyone is a coach, maybe it’s just because I I tend to see that life coaches fitness coaches, agility, coaches strength and conditioning coaches, executive coaches, nutrition coaches, triathlon coaches, leadership coaches, you name it, we’ve got a coach for it. Coaching is big business. And you know, it can be really helpful in almost any industry. But it can also be very confusing to make sense of those claiming to call themselves coaches. So for instance, you know, what qualifies one as a coach? Is there any sort of governing body? Are there special credentials? Is there special training, expertise, education, specialized experience, right, so if you’re a customer, or a potential client, or a consumer, trying to wade through all of these different titles, and trying to find someone who may be qualified to help you, it can be really confusing, and it can be really difficult to determine who may be qualified to help you. And you know, that can be really challenging, because if you’re looking for a coach, you know, you’ve got some needs that you’re trying to get met. And so to try and wade through, you know, all of this extra information can feel pretty challenging. So I’ve certainly seen plenty of experts, so quote, unquote, experts on social media, claiming to be coaches who really had no business coaching anyone, but coach is a totally unregulated term. So I think that’s one important thing to understand, right out of the gate, that anyone can really call themselves a coach, because it’s a totally unregulated term. And so anyone can slap that term on themselves set up a website, or you know, an Instagram account, and claim expertise in a given area. And so this is really a situation where the consumer needs to be aware and needs to kind of do their due diligence this last year, we’ve actually had a pretty good example

Dr. Melissa Smith 4:10
of how online fitness influencer or an online fitness coach was really heavily criticized for the way that she conducted her business. And so if you’re engaged with the fitness industry, you probably heard about this. I follow the fitness industry pretty closely. And I remember this was this was pretty big news. I remember reading about this. So this was Brittany Don Davis, so she had a lot of followers. So since 2014, she had a really lucrative business. So she had a combined 840,000 followers across all of her social media platforms, and she was making huge profits off of digital workout plans and diet guides for women. And so you know, this was a really big business for her. And she was, you know, she was making a lot of money. But what happened and what what came out earlier in 2019 is that customers said they were never getting the products that they paid for. They weren’t getting getting the services that they paid for. So right, they were paying for coaching services, they were paying for workout programs and workout plans. And they were not getting these services and these products and programs from Brittany dawn. And so just a couple of the comments from some of these clients. So from one client, I had the ability to, you know, text her with any problems or questions, but that didn’t really come through said one client, people would have a 60 day package of workouts bundled with personalized nutrition plans and access to Don as a trainer by phone. And that was you know, for like 250 $250. But despite initial hopes, you know, many of these clients described Don’s programs as fraudulent. So we’d go weeks at a time without communication, there would be something I need to know that morning and I wouldn’t hear back from dawn. Until that night, maybe until a week later. What kind of access is that? So

Dr. Melissa Smith 6:43
likewise, private Facebook group called Brittany dawn fitness complaints has swelled to nearly 4000 members who are rallying to dispute charges, and gather information on Don’s bad business practices. So Meanwhile, there’s a change.org petition called stop Brittany dawn fitness scams, and it’s collected over 8800 signatures today, calling for increased awareness of Dawn’s so called scam in hopes of spring Texas officials. So that’s where Dawn is based into dissolving her brand. And so there’s been a lot of anger and frustration which is really understandable if you hire an expert or you hire a coach to provide a service or a product and then they don’t deliver on that that’s understandably upsetting. So nevertheless, Dawn claimed her innocence. So this is February sixth in a YouTube video responding to the uproar in the footage, she tells followers that she is simply human. So that’s in quotes, and should not be chastised so severely for her actions, further demanding that critics leave her family and friends alone. So this is a quote from her. I apologize to anyone who feels like they got scammed for me. And I genuinely promised that my intentions from the start were pure. I wanted to help and impact as many women as I could. Because I feel like this is why I was given this incredible platform. When you’re given an opportunity like this, you’d be stupid not to take it and run with it. Unfortunately, I ran too fast for one person, she said online. And then she continues these claims are coming from years ago after I got launched into a business that took off so fast. I didn’t know to mentally handle it. I did what I needed to do to the best of my ability. I didn’t know what I was signing up for simply because being an influencer and running a fitness influencer business was not really a thing back then, therefore, I didn’t have much guidance at time. At times it got extreme overwhelming extreme is her word. And I took on more than I should have. And for that I take full responsibility, and I’m sorry, so but she’s not offering any refunds or anything like that. Anyway, people are not happy, they want their money back. They people say you owe me a refund for this horrible apology, that sort of thing. But I think I think that the Brittany dawn uproar kind of makes an important point and with with the rise of the Internet and social media influencers, you know, like I said, it’s really easy for people to call themselves a coach or to claim expertise, regardless of whether they really do have expertise. Now, plenty of plenty of people do, right, but just like we can see with this situation, right? Here’s someone who she kind of got this great following, but didn’t necessarily have the skills and experience and the expertise to really support the following that she had. Right and so When it when it comes to actually supporting good business practices and being able to do effective coaching, there, there was a huge failure. And so this is where we really kind of want to take a step back and pay attention to what are the credentials, the expertise, the experience, and the training, that really helps to qualify someone as an expert, or as a coach, because I think what we see is, social credibility becomes a substitute for expertise, especially in the world of social media. And so if we see that someone has a lot of followers, we take that as a stand in for actual expertise or experience. And that can be a really dangerous road. And so, you know, if you see that someone has a lot of followers, don’t take that as the only evidence that you need, that they’re an expert. But But

Dr. Melissa Smith 11:10
do your due diligence to pay attention to? Okay, do they have training? Do they have education? Do you know, like, how many people have they coached? What what qualifies them as an expert? And I think, you know, it’s, it requires more on the part of a consumer at the front end. So in that way, it’s a little bit of a hassle, but it’s your money. And it’s your time, and it’s your energy and right like, if we’re thinking about fitness decisions, it’s your body, right. And so be willing to take the time and to do your due diligence, before hiring someone who is who you’re going to be, you know, taking their advice, and their counsel from, and to make sure that to make sure that they’re trustworthy, and to make sure that they actually know what they’re talking about. And I think that, like I said, it can be harder than ever to be able to kind of wade through some of those questions on social media. Okay, so obviously, there are a lot of great coaches. So I am not trying like for a minute to say that anyone who puts themselves out on social media as a coach would be in this category, like this example here at all. But just to make the point that we just want to be really cautious. And that it is, I would say, it is what whenever you’re in a situation where you’re looking to hire a coach, or you know, a therapist, or anyone to help you with something like that, it is your responsibility to kind of do your own due diligence. So, buyer beware, I’ve definitely seen more than a few people get burned in these situations. And so my goal with the podcast today is to help you to be aware of what you need to know. So you don’t get burned. And so that when you decide to pay somebody your hard earned money, you can feel confident that you are getting sound counsel a high return on your investment, and huge added value in your life, because that’s definitely what you want for your time and your money. So let’s start by talking about the difference between coaching and therapy, because they are definitely not the same thing. So first of all, coaching is a collaborative partnership between the client and coach with a total focus on the client’s professional and personal vision, goals, needs and desires. So coaching is really a creative process in which the client and coach cultivate self awareness, personal accountability, and truth telling in order to develop and strengthen the client’s ability to live and lead while maintaining balance in your most important relationships. And for our purposes, today, I’m really going to be talking about coaching in terms of leadership, coaching, executive coaching, and life coaching. So kind of those three under that umbrella. I’m not going to be talking about like strength and conditioning coaching, that that gets a little more specific into fitness training and that sort of thing. So for our purposes, today, I’m really thinking about coaching in terms of leadership coaching, executive coaching, and life coaching which is a

Dr. Melissa Smith 14:54
little a little more general, than what we would think of in terms of leadership and executive coaching, but kind of along the same lines. So coaching is really that creative process. It’s about personal accountability, truth telling, in order to develop the strength to develop and strengthen the client’s ability to live and lead while maintaining balance. Okay, so coaching is focused on utilizing a strengths based approach to maximize professional and personal fulfillment. So it’s really focused on a balance between professional and personal fulfilment and potential. So that’s really key with coaching. And coaching absolutely utilizes the latest research to help clients increase their personal and professional effectiveness. And another big key with coaching, his personal accountability and alignment of daily actions with values and that is a priority. And I do executive coaching and leadership coaching. And I would say that’s a really big priority. And something that I’m kind of always hitting with those that I coach is where are they at in terms of their accountability and alignment with their values, and with their big goals, and that is kind of the thread throughout everything that we’re doing. So together, the coach and the client identify goals and a strategy for accomplishing those goals, although there are no guarantee guaranteed results, right. And that is kind of the thing with life, right, there are no guaranteed results. So a good coach provides appropriate structure and accountability to help the client in goal pursuit. But the client is ultimately responsible for choices and the resulting consequences. So the coach is really responsible for providing appropriate structure and accountability. But ultimately, the client is responsible for making the choices and taking responsibility for following through on actions and objectives that are consistent with the goal pursuit. So the coach is committed to the client’s personal and professional development, and recognizes that a balanced approach to achievement is not only most sustainable for long term success, but also carries the seeds for a deeply meaningful life. And sometimes the coach really needs to help rein in a client, because for a lot of high achieving leaders, they don’t have a lot of balance. So they may not lean towards a very balanced approach. And so they might be very hard driving. And so coaches often need to come in and kind of put the reins on some of their clients to help them achieve a little more balance, because the coach recognizes that a balanced approach is going to be more sustainable, long term. And it’s more consistent with creating deeply meaningful life, right, so the client might might experience a lot of success and a lot of achievement, but they might be hollowed out in terms of meaning, or they might burn themselves out. And so a good coach is really focused on helping the client pace themselves so that they can have sustainable achievement, and, and enjoy the process and have some have some happiness along that path rather than maybe achieving incredible success. But feeling like it was totally not worth it, because maybe they’ve lost their relationships or they are totally depressed or, you know, they’re so stressed out or they’ve got major health concerns. And so, in that way, coaches are really focused on sustainable balanced approaches. And coaching is guided by the client’s values and vision. Right, not that not the coach’s values and visions, but the client’s values and vision. And the coach really helps the client align their daily actions and beliefs to the client’s most deeply held values. And so that is a big part of the work as well is really helping client to identify and connect with those values and making sure that those values are showing up every day through the daily actions. And that can be really challenging when you know they’re leading an organization or they’ve got a really busy schedule to be able to really make space for those values that you know, because sometimes it requires slowing down or sometimes it requires, you know, leaving the office early, when a deadline is coming up for when there’s a fire that isn’t totally put out, because there is another value that is pressing in on them and recognizing that sometimes our our values are in competition with one another. And so sometimes we have to make some of those difficult decisions. And so coaches can be really valuable and helping clients kind of manage those priorities.

Dr. Melissa Smith 21:06
Okay, so that’s a little bit about coaching. So while there are definitely similarities between coaching and psychotherapy, so I’ll talk about psychotherapy or therapy, it’s those are really interchangeable terms. So if you hear psychotherapy, if you hear therapy, just know, they’re pretty much the same thing. They are different activities. And it’s important to understand the differences between them. So therapy is a healthcare service, and is usually reimbursable through health insurance policies. And this is not typically true for coaching. So most insurances, insurance providers do not cover coaching, both coaching and psychotherapy utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation, and behavioral change, and interactive counseling techniques. So there’s a lot of overlap there. So a lot of coaching is based on psychological principles, principles of organizational behavioral behavior. That’s one of the reasons I love coaching so much, because it has a really strong foundation in psychological principles. So I get really geeky about that. And I really enjoy that. So having a really good understanding and knowledge of human behavior is a huge advantage in coaching and also psychotherapy. So from that perspective, they’re very similar. But the major differences are in the goals, the focus and the level of professional responsibility. So that’s what I’ll talk about now. So the focus of coaching, is development and implementation of strategies to reach the client identify goals of enhanced performance and personal satisfaction. So right with coaching, you’re taking someone who is functioning quite well in their life, and you really want to enhance their performance, you want to optimize their performance, and you really want to increase personal satisfaction to kind of take them to the next level. Whereas with therapy, you’re looking at someone who may have some deficits, right. So whether they are mental health deficits, significant relationship concerns that represent a deficit in functioning. And so you’re trying to take them from a deficit to normative functioning, right, we’re trying to restore some functioning for them and kind of take them back to a baseline. And so with both, we’re definitely trying to improve functioning, but we want to kind of pay attention to where are they at the start point, right. So most people with coaching, they’re already at a pretty high level of functioning. And so we’re really looking at optimizing functioning. Whereas if we’re looking at someone who is presenting for therapy, their level of functioning is not optimized. And in many cases, it it could be pretty poor functioning, or, you know, they could have several impacts on daily functioning as a result of mental health concerns. And so we always want to improve functioning, but we want to pay attention to where are they? Where is their baseline when we’re starting the relationship and so that’s a that’s a real key difference. So coaching may address specific personal projects life balance, job performance and satisfaction, or general conditions in the client’s life business. profession, right? So with coaching,

Dr. Melissa Smith 25:01
we really are paying attention to all aspects of the individual’s life coaching utilizes personal strategic planning, values clarification, right? I’ve already talked about that, brainstorming, motivational counseling, and other counseling techniques. So right, like we’re looking at the blocks to progression, we’re looking at procrastination, all of those sorts of things. And coaching really is a comprehensive process that absolutely may involve many different areas of life functioning, including work finances, health, relationships, education and leisure. So right, we’re talking about their worry, we’re talking about their stress levels, we’re talking about the role of anxiety, we’re talking about their fears, all of those things are certainly present in coaching. But the degree of impact of those things is really different in coaching versus therapy. Right. So the coaching client may certainly deal with anxiety, but it is not significantly impacting their ability to function in their life. So hopefully, that can help you to kind of understand some of the differences between how you would address those issues and whether you would look at coaching versus therapy. So now let’s talk a little bit more specifically about

Dr. Melissa Smith 26:36
psychotherapy. So of primary importance in psychotherapy is the identification, diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. So the goals of psychotherapy include alleviating symptoms, understanding the underlying dynamics, which create symptoms, changing dysfunctional behaviors, which are the result of these disorders, and developing new strategies for successfully coping with psychological challenges that we all face. So right, when we think about mental health disorders, there is a recognition that As humans, we all to some degree, deal with some of these challenges. And what we really want to pay attention to is the impact on our functioning. And someone who is who who would benefit from therapy has a larger impact on their daily functioning, right, someone who would maybe be more appropriate for, for coaching has less of an impact on their daily functioning. So hopefully, that can be helpful. psychotherapy includes formal diagnosis of mental health concerns, whereas coaching does not. So if someone’s coming into therapy, and you know, as a licensed psychologist, I do provide therapy. So I have a separate clinical practice. And then I have a separate coaching practice. And for those who I see in my clinical practice, I do formal diagnosis where I would, you know, maybe diagnosed someone with, you know, generalized anxiety disorder, or I would diagnose someone with a major depressive disorder, and then I would outline a treatment plan specific to addressing that diagnosis where we would have specific treatment targets, to alleviate those symptoms and to address that diagnosis. Whereas with coaching, I might note that a coaching client has some Generalized Anxiety going on. Right. So that might be something that I note, but I would also know, okay, like it’s not significantly impacting their functioning. If in coaching consultation, I were to know, okay, they seem to have a lot of generalized anxiety that does seem to impact their functioning, then I would consider referring that coaching client for therapy to get help on the generalized anxiety. And so one of the determinants that I would be paying attention to is does that Generalized Anxiety significantly impact their daily functioning, right, or is this the generalized anxiety? Is that something that it’s there, they’re aware of it but with some, some good skills and awareness on their part, they are able to manage that pretty well. And if that’s the case, then they may still continue to be a really great Candidate for coaching. And so with that individual in coaching, like I would not give them a diagnosis at all, but I would take note, okay, I just taking note that this person has some generalized anxiety, I might make some recommendations to them about, you know, tell me, tell me what skills you have in place to manage your anxiety and help me understand what you understand about your anxiety. And I would get an understanding about how proactive are they, in managing their anxiety, that seems like, Okay, this, this coaching client really has a good understanding of this, they’re very proactive about it, and I see them actively managing this, then that gives me as a coach a lot of confidence that they can, they can manage this anxiety well, and I don’t need to look at a referral for them to therapy, and that they will probably be able to thrive in coaching. And so it’s an awareness that I carry. And I think that would be one of the advantages of working with a coach who has a background and expertise in the mental health professions is they bring that added expertise to the table as a coach to be able to say like, Okay, what I’m seeing here is above and

Dr. Melissa Smith 31:33
beyond what we would expect

Dr. Melissa Smith 31:37
you to experience in this situation, and can make some recommendations or can say, hey, you need to maybe look at a referral for this concern or for that concern. And so, as a coach, I can make some minimal interventions, if it’s, if it looks like this person can be really proactive in following through on those, but then I can also make a very clear referral for therapy, if it seems like that’s what they need. And so I would say that would be one of the advantages of working with a coach who has expertise in the helping professions as well. So hopefully, that is helpful for you. Okay, so I think I said this before, but therapy is concerned with alleviating symptoms that impair functioning, right? So we’re kind of trying to get people back to normal functioning, whereas coaching is really focused on optimizing performance, and really assumes a strengths based foundation. So coaching is really concerned with taking people to the next level of performance. And so in that way, it’s really fun work and exciting work. So psychotherapy is conducted by licensed mental health professionals. So such licensure is heavily regulated within the United States by each state so that each state regulates that. And it includes evidence of extensive education, experiential training, continuing educational requirements, and ethics requirements. So to be able to conduct therapy, like it’s a very high bar that a therapist has to pass. And so that’s good, because there’s a lot of professional responsibility that goes along with the therapist role. So that’s appropriate, as I’ve already talked about coaching is mostly unregulated, although private governing bodies are attempting to formalize coaching. But today, this is voluntary. And what I would say is like, when you’re looking for a coach, like, I mean, you could what I would say is look for, look for experience, look for education, and look for expertise. So for some individuals, there’s the international coaching Federation, I think it’s ICF, if I’m correct, so a lot of coaches will go ahead and get that training. And I think that that’s not a bad idea. I think that can be really helpful, because it kind of acknowledges, hey, there’s this higher level of training and credentialing. This is one of the voluntary, private governing bodies that’s working to kind of formalize the coaching process. So you know, for myself as a leadership and executive coach, I to this point, I have chosen not to do that. Who knows, maybe I will, but I have not felt that that is necessary because I’m I’m not in a position where I feel like I need that additional credential to Verify my expertise because you know, I have a, I have a master’s degree and a PhD in psychology, right with like over a decade of experience in the helping profession. So I think that’s a pretty strong signal in terms of expertise, experience and education. And then they also have an MBA, which obviously, is a pretty important signal around business credentials. And so by virtue of that experience, and education and training, it doesn’t really feel very important or necessary to go ahead and get this additional coaching, training. I think if when you have coaches who maybe don’t have some of the educational training or some of some of that background, getting some of this additional credentialing can be helpful. So I think, I think there are some things to pay attention to, when you are looking for a coach. So as I said before, though, coaching by and large, cannot be accessed as an insurance benefit on most plans. So one of the other differences, so therapy patients are often emotionally vulnerable. So right, because if we think about mental health issues, so this vulnerability is increased by, you know, the expectation that they will discuss very intimate personal data and expose feelings about themselves, about which they are understandably sensitive. So, the past life experiences of therapy, patients have often made trust difficult to achieve. And so these factors give therapists greatly disproportionate power, that creates a fiduciary responsibility to protect the safety of their clients and to above all else, do no harm. And so that’s really the standard for therapists is to, above all else do no harm. And so there’s a really high responsibility there for therapists. And so I just I share that to contrast, the relationship between a coach and a coaching client, the relationship between the coach and the client is specifically designed to avoid this power differential that happens in the therapy relationship. So you know, the client sets the agenda, and the success of the enterprise really depends on the client’s willingness to take risks, and to try new approaches. So the relationship is much more balanced between the coach and the client. So the relationship between the coach and the client is designed to be much more direct, and challenging. So you know, if I were your coach, I’d be really honest and straightforward, I would ask pretty direct questions, I’d be very challenging in order to move you forward, right, because it’s all about accountability. It’s all about alignment. You know, as a coaching client, you are expected to evaluate your progress. And if coaching isn’t working for you, you really would be expected to speak up about that, so that we could address concerns. And so there’s, there’s much more balanced power in the relationship. And this is very different from a therapy relationship. And so I think that’s really important to pay attention to. therapists are very attuned to that relationship. Coaches aren’t necessarily unless a coach has a background in mental health or in therapy, they might not be very attuned to it, but it’s actually a really important thing to pay attention to. But of course, coaching is a professional relationship. So it’s not a friendship, I’m not your buddy. It often may feel like a close personal relationship. But you know, it’s best to keep it as a professional relationship and of course, considerable experience. And research shows that when boundaries blurred, the hard won benefits gained from the coaching relationship are endangered. And so we really want to keep those professional boundaries in place because that’s what ensures that as a coach, I’m able to challenge you and hold you accountable as you’ve asked me to do so. It when boundaries get blurred in the coaching relationship,

Dr. Melissa Smith 39:54
then coaches tend to lose their effectiveness and then clients don’t make the progress. They need to make. And so even though the power is much more balanced in a coaching relationship, it’s still a professional relationship. And so obviously, it’s really important to keep that in mind. So coaching requires committed and consistent effort by both the coach and the client. So that’s really important to keep in mind, there are responsibilities for both parties. So the coach really needs to call the client to self awareness, and honest communication, to embrace feedback and support, and to really invest the time and energy required to translate the client’s vision into reality. And so the coach really is a truth speaker to the client. And so in that way, coaching is is really exciting. I mean, I think it’s really invigorating. And it can also feel kind of overwhelming sometimes for coaching clients. But if you can, if you can embrace that overwhelm, it’s really exciting work. It’s actually really awesome work. Okay, so and here’s the other thing. So therapy is most often done face to face. And, and there are good reasons for that. Because, you know, there’s a lot that goes on in that therapy room where it’s important to have that one on one connection, and kind of see what’s happening emotionally for these clients, because they are pretty emotionally vulnerable, especially with the material that they are sharing, tell us there be is definitely happening happening more. It can be it, it certainly is effective, but the preferred approach to therapy is still face to face. So when we think about coaching, a lot of coaching is done over the phone, or done via video, video chat, video conferencing. And that can be very effective coaching face to face is also really great as well. And I think a lot of coaching is happening across the globe. And so, you know, if you can, you know, if you’re working with a coach, I think always having some sort of face to face connection, at least occasionally, even if it’s like just once a year or something like that is always an added bonus. But you can work really effectively with a coach, even across the globe, I think if you can do video chat, where you can make eye contact, even over video conferencing, that is always preferred. But just know that coaching can be really effective over video conferencing. So there’s, there’s no need to to shy away from that. And usually coach and clients are very comfortable with that. Because for most of us in our work settings, you know, we we’ve really embraced video conferencing and most of our work environments are absolutely geared towards that. And so, you know, the one thing that we would just want to pay attention to is making sure that we have secure lines and that we can you know that we have some privacy and confidentiality, that sort of thing. So, for me with my coaching clients, I do all of my coaching, video conferencing over HIPAA compliant video conferencing lines just to protect confidentiality. So it’s just kind of an added measure of protection and privacy for coaching clients. And of course, obviously, with telehealth teletherapy, that sort of thing. Although, you know, all my therapy is is actually done face to face. Okay, so now how do you decide what will be most beneficial for you? So I really want to provide you with some questions to answer as you consider whether coaching or therapy my best meet your needs. So first of all, what’s the biggest problem or challenge you are facing in your life or leadership at this point? So that’s the first question to consider the second How is this problem? Or challenge impacting your life? Is it getting in the way of your daily functioning? And if so, how? So like, How much is it impacting your daily functioning? So for instance, if we think about our example before of

Dr. Melissa Smith 44:36
generalized anxiety, are you able to make it to work every day? Are you able to, for instance, do work presentations when you need to? Or is your anxiety so debilitating, that you are not able to make it to work or you are missing work, you know, several times a month or several times a week. Do you To debilitating anxiety, or you have not been able to function in your role at work due to debilitating anxiety. So we really want to get a sense of how much is this problem or this concern, impacting your daily functioning? That’s a really, really important question to answer. Okay, have others given you feedback about this challenge? If so, what has the feedback then? So right, you know, maybe you’ve been given feedback about your anger, you know, maybe you have colleagues who have said, I will not work on this project with you, because of your anger because you lash out at people or because you’re so you know, you’re such a tyrant to work with. have others requested that you seek help for this problem? Or this challenge? If so, who? So who’s requested that you seek help? Has it been your spouse? Has it been your boss? Has it been a subordinate? Has it been a colleague? Has it been a work partner? Has this challenge been an issue at other times in your life? And if so, when? So for instance, maybe you dealt with this challenge, while you were in graduate school, or maybe you dealt with this issue at another place of employment. So really want you to pay attention to other times where you may be struggled with this challenge? how stressed would you say you are on a scale from one to 10? Currently, so 10, being totally stressed out? And one, you know, being very low stress? And, you know, as you look at these questions, I really want you to be very honest, so, you know, no defending, you know, like, I’m not out to get you No one’s out to get you this is really just for you, and your own personal assessment around, you know, whatever the problem area or challenge might be the next question, how do you cope with stress? do you cope with stress? Do you have predictable ways that you cope with stress? Maybe you have a couple glasses of wine at night? Or maybe you take it out on the golf course? Maybe you go out with friends on the weekends? What do you do? Maybe it’s maybe it’s at the gym? How do you cope with stress? And and maybe you don’t have an answer to that question. And that would that would be helpful to recognize as well? Do you have any behaviors that worry you? Or do you have any behaviors that worry others or that others have expressed concern about? So for instance, maybe you know, your few glasses of wine at night, maybe concern you or maybe they concern your partner? Or they you know, your partner has expressed concern about that. So the next question, what is the most recent goal you have set for yourself? So this could be a personal goal, this could be a professional goal. And then and I think this is the talent one, what is the most recent goal you’ve achieved? So can you think of a recent goal that you’ve achieved? And if so, what was that, so maybe you’ve set a lot of goals, but you haven’t achieved one in a long time. And now it can be very telling because, you know, it might speak to the difficulty with follow through with procrastination, with sabotage, with accountability, with alignment between values and daily actions, it also might just speak, to overwhelm, you know, these would be some of the areas where coaching could be really valuable, just to really help you with that alignment. You know, if you don’t have any goals at all, that could also be an area where coaching could be very helpful just to help you with focus. And, you know, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of people out there that they just,

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you know, they just kind of let life happen rather than really kind of guiding and directing their lives. And I think when when we see someone who doesn’t really have goals for their lives, that would be one of those, one of those situations where they just kind of letting life happen to them. And so that would be an opportunity where we would kind of want you to take a look at, okay? You know, let’s maybe be a bit more proactive. And that’s, that would certainly be an area where coaching could be very effective in terms of Let’s help you be a little more goal directed in your life and connect with your values and your purpose of that more. Okay, so hopefully, this podcast was helpful for you to understand some of the differences between coaching and therapy, and certainly, to help you see, you know, where coaching could maybe be helpful where therapy could maybe be helpful. And you know, for yourself, if you’ve ever thought like, Oh, you know, is coaching something that could be helpful for me? Or is therapy, something that could be helpful for me, hopefully, you got a little more information about it, because I don’t know about you. But I think sometimes, both of these activities can feel like a big black box, like oh, my goodness, like what happens behind those closed doors. And so, you know, hopefully, that feels like a little bit less of a mystery for you. And then also, my hope is that these assessment questions are really a good opportunity for you to kind of consider where you are in your own life and and kind of gives you a little bit of a gut check in terms of looking at what might be helpful for you in terms of, you know, kind of next steps if if you were to consider whether one of these activities could be helpful for you either, you know, now or down the road at some point. So make sure you head on over to my website, to check out the show notes with all the great resources for this episode@www.dr Melissa smith.com forward slash episode dash 19. So one more time, that’s www.dr Melissa Smith comm forward slash episode dash one, nine. And of course, I also want to remind you, we’ve got a really great resource for you. And it’s gonna be a guide that spells out all the differences between coaching and therapy and helps you to determine what might be the best fit for you. So you’ve got to go to my website that the link that I just shared with you on the show notes, to access that resource, it’s really going to be very helpful. So I hope you will go there and get that resource. And again, I just wanted to take a moment. And thank you for being here and listening to the podcast. If you’re enjoying what you’re hearing, please head on over to iTunes, and subscribe and leave a review. And I’m now on Spotify. So if you prefer that platform, definitely head on over to Spotify. And check us out there. And again, head on over to my website to check out the show notes with all the great resources. And of course the freebie on the differences between coaching and therapy. It’s a great resource. You know whether for you or someone you love, maybe you can like slip it to someone over dinner or something. It’ll be totally subtle. They will they won’t notice it at all be great. So thank you so much for your time. And again, that website is www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-19. That’s 19. I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work work in love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.

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