Amanda Delamer MSc, CPCC, PCC, Life & Leadership Coach and Susan Tran MC, Registered Provisional Psychologist
A common question that many ponder is “what would be better for me, working with a Coach or a Psychologist?” And what is the difference?
As fellow practitioners at Docere Wellness Centre, we thought we would offer you a few things to consider as you explore which practitioner to work with.
While Coaches and Psychologists may use some similar techniques or approaches, we also want to honour the unique and important differences that exist in these complementary professions.
What is Coaching?
Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching honours the client as the expert in their life and believes that every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Coaches partner with clients to help them move forward in a supported and truly meaningful way, all according to the client’s agenda. Coaches do not assess or develop treatment plans, but ask thought-provoking questions in support of clients living intentionally and making resonant choices.
When identifying a Coach to work with, do pay attention to credentials and training. Membership with a coaching body, for example the International Coach Federation (ICF), is not the same as holding a credential from the ICF. A certified Coach will have achieved their training via an approved and accredited body, and a credential from the ICF (I.e., ACC, PCC or MCC) signifies a Coach’s completion and pursuit of rigorous education and practice requirements that provide unquestioned legitimacy to their commitment to excellence in coaching.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy (aka talk-therapy, counselling, psychological services) involves working with a trained mental health professional who has, at minimum, a Master’s level degree in psychology, psychiatry, social work, or related field. Services provided by licensed psychologists are regulated by the College of Alberta Psychologists, meaning that they must fulfill several academic and training requirements prior to being licensed to practice, abide by a code of ethics, and meet standards of practices set forth by the College.
Psychologists can assess, diagnose, and treat mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, and sleep-related disorders. Treatment approaches are selected using evidence-based practice. Psychologists develop a therapeutic alliance with clients by showing empathy, acceptance, and positive regard while challenging maladaptive thinking and behavioural patterns that impair functioning. Finally, the majority of health care benefit packages provide coverage for psychological/counselling services.
Readiness for Change
If you find that you are eager to get going, to process and explore, working with a Coach may be the right fit. You do not need to be crystal clear on what your goals are or what it is that you want to change, but you have a knowing that you do not want to continue as is and are ready to put in the work, to be intentional about exploring something different. You’re curious. Working with a Coach does require a degree of readiness for change – a readiness to put in the work and be intentional.You are in the drivers seat and we work co-actively together.
If you are in a place where you are finding it hard to function, get out of bed, or be engaged in the day to day, it may be a better fit to work with a Psychologist. The assessment and approach to your treatment plan is based on your individual or couple’s goals and needs in a collaborative process. Working with a Psychologist can support you in your level of readiness for change.
You are here, where is here?
Thinking about where you are in your life in this moment in time can be helpful in deciding whether working with a Coach or Psychologist is right for you. Here are some examples that may ring true for you.
Example reasons to work with a Coach include, but are not limited to:
- Feeling stuck, wanting for something to change;
- Feeling overwhelmed and looking for support to process thoughts and ideas;
- Increasing self-awareness or awareness of your impact;
- Seeking clarity about goals and purpose;
- Achieving health and wellness goals;
- Setting boundaries to achieve greater life/work balance;
- Exploring your values and using them to guide your decision making;
- Getting unstuck by experimenting with different perspectives;
- Strengthening workplace and/or personal relationships;
- Conflict resolution;
- Career transition;
- Thriving in parenthood;
- Self-love and acceptance;
- Bridging the gap between where you are now and where you aspire to be;
- Living a more fulfilling life; and/or,
- Letting go of who you think you should be and embracing who you are
Example reasons you might work with a psychologist/therapist include, but are not limited to:
- Feeling overwhelmed and helpless to change some of your unhelpful thinking, behavioural, or relational patterns despite trying and getting help from family and friends;
- Feeling dissatisfied with who you are, how you are living, and your purpose in life;
- Struggling to carry out daily activities including parenting, self-care, or work tasks;
- Excessive worrying , expecting the worst, and/or feeling hopeless about the future;
- Losing pleasure or interest in activities and/or relationships;
- Past traumas interfering with current functioning in relationships across settings;
- Struggling to express yourself accurately and get your needs met in relationships; and/or,
- Seeing that your actions are harming yourself and/or others, including addictions or substance use, and wanting to turn things around.
Connection and Goodness of Fit
The relationship between practitioner and patient/client is key in order for to support you in your optimal health and fulfillment. Connection and fit is not only beneficial but necessary to create a safe environment where trust, courage, acceptance, awareness and opportunities for growth exist.
And sometimes you just “click”. Be sure to trust yourself and your intuition.
We make it easy for you to get to know us and our professions first – we offer complimentary sessions or phone consultations to help you determine fit and connection. There is no cost or obligation to continue, just an opportunity for you to explore how coaching and psychotherapy can support you in living a fulfilled life and address any questions you may have about the process
Get to know us and our areas of expertise!
The distinction between coaching and therapy is not black and white.
We hope the above gave you an idea of each profession, and provoked further thought about where you are in your life and the kind of support you are seeking.
Whether you choose to work with a Coach or Psychologist, or both, we are confident that you will enjoy a valuable experience that will honour where you are in your life. Both practitioners and professions want for you to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives, and are ready to support you where you are at.
Book in with Susan and Amanda today!
Call 403-452-6262or book in on-line at www.docerewellness.