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Coaching vrs Therapy

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Therapy, Counselling and Coaching

Definitions of Coaching vrs Therapy:

‘a generic term used to describe the application of any medical, psychiatric, psychological or alternative process designed to promote health and well-being’

What is Counselling?

An appropriate definition for Counselling is:

‘a form of guidance in which a trained person offers advice or education about specific problems in living’

What is Coaching

This is a succinct definition of Coaching:

‘a process providing an individual with feedback, insight and guidance on achieving their full potential in their business or personal life’

An NLP Coach brings together the skills, tools and approach of NLP into the coaching environment. NLP Coaching focuses on process (not content)- how a persons’ unconscious strategies produce their results.

Which is Most Appropriate: Therapy, Counselling or Coaching?

The answer to this is complex, as there are many techniques available.

There can also be a considerable overlap within each individual therapy, counseling or coaching process, making it difficult to know where exactly one starts and another stops; that is back to a matter of definition.

Some forms of therapy and counseling are more recognised by western medical authorities and health services than other, either because they have been around for along time, have some type of body of research evidence behind them, and there is a ‘professional’ study and governing body behind them.

Other techniques have less recognition from medical health authorities, whom may consider them new or ‘alternative’ therapies. The techniques and processes they employ may be based upon theory, experience or practice that do not conform to ‘traditionally’ accepted methods, although many produce significant results.

Eastern medical practice for thousands of years has recognised the value of healing using natural substances, energy and meridian lines of energy within the body. Western medical practice since the 1800’s has largely preferred to focus upon surgery and pharmacy, and some  psychotherapy.

In the 21st Century, finally we seem to be opening up our minds to wider possibilities, flexibility and freedom of choice – Hypnosis for example is offered in some areas of the NHS.

With further evidence that the mind and body are connected – that neuro-transmitter (enables ‘thought’ instructions to the body) is in every cell of the body, there is an increasing acceptance within the Medical profession that the mind can heal the body perfectly well in many cases where there is physical, psychological, neurological or spiritual dis-ease.

With the general acceptance of Modern and Alternative therapy and coaching methods, there are some significant benefits and advantages:

  • Non-Traumatic / Emotional – many processes are non-intrusive, in that the client does not need to recall the detail content of traumatic events to the practitioner – it is the process by which the meaning of the event affects the client’s present (and future) that the practitioner is focused upon, not the past event
  • Fast – many change/intervention processes are now extremely fast (when conducted in the appropriate environment). It only takes an instant for a client to get the ‘Aha’ moment of new understanding that can change their life; to get to that point may require a few minutes or few hours with a practitioner. It is no longer necessary to recount the past for many hours
  • Choice – there is now a vast range of processes available, and in addition, many modern practitioners draw on a wide range of tools (such as NLP) that can be chosen and modified to best suit the client, and the presenting problem
  • Convenience – there is a wide range available in most towns and cities

Note 1: Some processes are seen to be faster than traditional counseling or psychotherapy, and may be termed ‘Brief Therapy’.  These include NLP, Time Line Therapyâ„¢, Hypnotherapy, EFT, and EMDR.

Note 2: People who have a medical history and /or are currently receiving treatment or prescriptions through their doctor or GP should gain approval from their GP before commencing with alternative techniques.

Why choose Therapy, Counselling or Coaching?

In the western world, the results speak for themselves!

In recent studies and news reports (2007), the number of people diagnosed and receiving ‘treatment’ for depression or stress is in the region of 26% of the population in the USA, and 23% of the population in the UK.

This may not be surprising, given the fast pace of life and society today, the pressure to be ‘successful’ (western social conditioning definition), the rising cost of just standing still with head above water, and the general ‘unhappiness’ (the authorities now measure our unhappiness!) of the population.

The general treatment for depression or stress is an anti-depressant drug. what is ‘depression’? It’s a label – given to us by our doctor, along with the anti-depressant drug.

Another way to look at it is by not nominalising depression (making it fixed, stuck); we depress – and we have a strategy (thought process) by which we do that that we may be consciously aware of or not. This thought process will affect the chemicals in our body, which affects the body, which affects our mind and so-on. Another way to deal with depression is to find the root causes of these thought strategies, change them, and .. ‘Aha’!

There is a rising general feeling that ‘there must be more to life than this’ – and there is! – and therapies, counseling and coaching can enable the way for individuals to find the meaning of life for them, their purpose, achievement, fulfillment, success and happiness.

A-Z Listing of Therapies, Counselling and Coaching:

(Note: this list is by no means complete)
Adlerian/Individual Psychology

Founded by Alfred Adler, Adlerian psychology is based on the belief that all human behavior has a purpose and is goal-oriented. We strive for social connectedness, as well as suffer emotional difficulties because of feelings of inferiority and lack of a sense of community. True change and growth results from identifying, exploring and changing mistaken goals and beliefs. Therapy is seen as a re-education leading to greater social participation and fewer feelings of inferiority.

Art Therapy
The use of art and creativity may lead to greater self-knowledge. Accessing creativity may be helpful in identifying emotional issues and can help in the healing process.
Behaviourism – BF Skinner / Watson – stimulus /response – we naturally move toward reward and away from punishment

A therapy that uses electronic systems to monitor heart rate, brain waves or perspiration to help individuals become aware of their physiological responses and learn to control them.

Brain Gym
Brain Gym is a way to enhance the learning process; a program consisting of 26 simple and fun physical activities designed to enhance connections of the brain’s neural pathways and integrate the entire brain; Left Brain/Right Brain. The end result is an increased ability to learn and improved performance.
Based on more than 80 years of research by educational therapists, developmental optometrists and other specialists in the fields of child development, movement and education. Brain Gym consists of simple movements, many similar to those accomplished by children as they go through various stages of development

This approach to counseling is founded on the Bible and on the belief that Scripture should be the final authority for what kinds of decisions people make and how they live their life.

Client Centered – Cognitive Therapy
Clients are in the best position to resolve their issues if the therapist can establish a warm, accepting and safe environment in which the individual feels free to talk about issues and can gain insight into them. This therapy is non directive because the therapist typically does not give advice or make interpretations. Founder Carl Rogers believed that people are trustworthy and have a great potential for self-awareness and self-directed growth, given a nurturing environment. The function of the therapist is to be genuine, accepting and empathic. Techniques are less important.

Cognitive Behavioral
Cognitive behavioural therapy emphasizes the role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. CBT stresses the fact that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our negative feelings. CBT is a structured collaboration between therapist and client and often calls for homework assignments. Brief and time-limited, CBT includes rational emotive behavior therapy and cognitive therapy.

Dream Analysis
Determining the meaning of dreams through symbols, myths, free association and memories may help clients process their issues. There are a variety of philosophies and approaches for analyzing dreams, including Adlerian (dreams are projections of a person’s current concerns), Gestalt (every person and object in a dream represents an aspect of the dreamer), and psychoanalytic (dreams are a key to what is happening in a person’s unconscious).

Emotional Release Counselling
Emotional Release Counseling (ERC) is based on the premise that to feel emotions and energy and to let them be expressed keeps us mentally healthy. ERC works to help a children and adolescents become more deeply connected to the sensation within the body, to develop self-awareness and self esteem.

Emotion Freedom Technique – EFT
Developed by Gary Craig, EFT is an adaption of Thought Field Therapy. EFT combines a cognitive process of thinking about the problem issue, whilst tapping on points of the body where the meridian energy lines come to the surface. The process therefore focuses upon clearing blockages in these energy meridians which were created from root cause significant emotional events.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR/REM)
An information-processing therapy that helps clients cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions or phobias. The patient focuses on a specific thought, image, emotion or sensation while simultaneously following the therapist’s finger. This causes swift eye movements that loosen one’s memory and allow negative memories to be reprocessed with positive ones.The EMDR technique uses a natural function of the body, Rapid Eye Movement, or REM, as its basis. The human mind uses REM during sleep time to help it process daily emotional experiences. When trauma is extreme, this process breaks down and REM sleep doesn’t bring the usual relief from distress. The premise for this therapy is that you can simulate the state you are in during R.E.M. sleep, bypassing your more conscious defense mechanisms, and release traumas and unwanted emotions.

A philosophy of life, rather than a specific therapy, existentialism focuses on free will, responsibility for choices and the search for meaning and purpose through suffering, love and work. People are seen as constantly changing and becoming more their true selves. Searching within and finding one’s own answers is encouraged. Emphasis is on the present and future, not the past.

Family Systems
This therapy looks at the entire family as a complex system having its own language, roles, rules, beliefs, needs and patterns. Each family member plays a part in the system, and family systems therapy helps an individual discover how her childhood family operated, her role in that system and how the experience affects her in her current family.

Feminist Therapy
This therapy focuses on empowering women and helping them discover how to break free from traditional molds that may be blocking growth and development. Feminist therapy tends to be more focused on strengthening women in areas such as communication, assertiveness, self-esteem and relationships.

Forensic Psychology
A forensic psychologist holds a doctorate degree with additional study in the field of forensics. These professionals offer expert legal opinion in both criminal and civil cases. Their work can range from psychological autopsies to evaluating a person’s psychological competency to stand trial. In addition, forensic psychologists provide treatment to people whose situations or behavior have brought them into contact with the courts.

Gestalt Therapy- Fritz Perls
Known as an experiential therapy, gestalt emphasizes what is happening in the here and now, helping individuals to become more self-aware and to learn responsibility for and integration of their thoughts, feelings and actions. Techniques include confrontation, role-playing and dialogue between two parts of a personality. This therapy is based on the belief that to reach maturity, people must find their own way in life and accept responsibility for who they are.

Hypnotherapy became ‘accepted’ from the work largely of Milton Erikson.  Hypnosis uses a process of relaxation, ‘switching off’ the conscious ‘self talk’, opening up the mind to accept suggestions to find the resources required to achieve the desired outcome for the client.

Through this method, which emphasizes the uniqueness of the individual, practitioners help their clients realize their potential. The individual works toward this goal through change and self-directed growth. Also known as client-centered psychotherapy, the humanistic method is an umbrella term for gestalt and Rogerian approaches, as well as existential theories of therapy.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
IPT is a short-term psychotherapy in which therapist and client identify the issues and problems of interpersonal relationships. They also explore the client’s life history to help recognize problem areas and then work toward ways to rectify them. There are also specific therapies, such as Imago therapy, which focus on intimate relationships. In addition, interpersonal therapy is not to be confused with trans personal psychology, which is the study of states in which people experience a deeper sense of who they are, or a sense of greater connectedness with others, nature or spirituality.

Jungian (Analytical Psychology)
The focus of Jungian therapy is to help people access their unconscious to develop greater self-realization and individuation. Founder Carl. G. Jung’s theory is psychoanalytic, but differs from traditional Freudian theory. Jung added the concepts of individuation (human potential), which includes transcendence and spirituality. People are seen in a positive light, and therapy considers the soul, which seeks to be nurtured by something larger than the self.

Life Coaching
Life coaching is a new type of therapy that helps healthy people to realize their goals in work, family and life. Although many psychologists also consider part of their treatment to be a form of life coaching, this therapy doesn’t focus on treating mental illness. Executive coaches, for example, may be enlisted to help a chief executive become a better manager.

Marriage and Family Therapy
Family influences the way we interact and communicate with others. In this type of therapy, the provider works with family members, both individually and as a group. The therapist reinforces the constructive aspects of a relationship and, at the same time, identifies the destructive elements. Marital therapy assists couples in finding problem-solving strategies.

The Metaphor Therapy developed by David Grove is a process which facilitates profound change by working within a person’s own symbolic representation of their problem or issue. Client’s words, gestures, sighs, ‘lines of sight’ and other non-verbal cues provide entry to this out-of-awareness symbolic world. “Metaphor” David says “mediates the interface between the conscious and unconscious mind.”

Narrative Therapy
Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy with an approach to helping people that was developed during (and has evolved since) the 1970’s and 1980’s, in good part by Australian Michael White and his friend and colleague, David Epston, of New Zealand. Narrative therapy suggests that we are defined by our accounts of our lives. A narrative therapist is interested in documenting and more fully describing these accounts and the trajectories, modes of living and possibilities associated with them. At the same time the therapist is interested in an accounting of the problems that are affecting the client’s life. By considering the effects problems have on peoples’ lives rather than thinking about problems as being inside people or part of people, distance is created in which people can reflect and connect with the intentions, hopes, dreams and desires they have for their lives.

Neuro Linguistic Programming – NLP
NLP a method, a toolbox of techniques, or personal development system first developed in the early 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in association with Gregory Bateson. NLP uses a toolbox of strategies and beliefs about human communication, perception and subjective experience.
NLP works at the neurological level (rather than psychological level) and utilises precise language patterns to improve communication in our self and others; to produce the desired results.
The core principle is that an individual’s values, beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, gestures and words (‘filters’) interact to create their perception of the world. By changing these filters, using a variety of techniques, a person can change their perception of themselves (and others), can enable more excellent internal resources to come forth, and therefore change their results.

NLP teaches that a person can develop successful habits by amplifying helpful behaviors, beliefs, strategies etc. and diminishing negative ones. Positive change can come when one carefully reproduces the behaviors and beliefs of successful people (called ‘modeling’). It also states that all human beings have all the resources necessary for success within themselves. Bandler and Grinder credited three successful therapists — Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson — as NLP’s major inspirations. They ‘modeled’ the therapists and developed special “patterns” for communication, rapport-building and self-improvement.

NLP is also used as an adjunct by therapists in other therapeutic disciplines, as it offers processes, tools and communication skills that empower and enhance personal performance and interpersonal relationships. NLP is of value to individuals, therapists, counselors, coaches, teachers, business people, politicians, presenters…

An NLP Coach brings together the skills, tools and approach of NLP into the coaching environment.

Founded by Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis is based on the belief that true change and growth comes from an individual gaining more self-awareness. One must bring unconscious thoughts, motivations, feelings and experiences into the conscious so that behavior is based more on reality than instinct. Key concepts: Behavior is determined by unconscious motivations, irrational forces, instinctual drives and psycho sexual events occurring during the first six years of life. Classical psychoanalysis is an intensive and long-term process with a focus on transference (transferring feelings about and reactions to past significant others onto the therapist) and uncovering unconscious material. Essentially, psychoanalysis strives for fundamental reconstruction of individual’s total personality.

Psychodynamic Therapy
Psycho dynamic therapy is also known as insight-oriented therapy. It evolved from Freudian psychoanalysis in which the therapist interprets the patient’s words and behaviors. This approach holds that bringing the unconscious into conscious awareness promotes insight and resolves conflict. This therapy involves more frequent sessions than CBT does.

Psychological Testing
Psychological testing is used to describe a wide variety of evaluations, but when applied strictly, the term refers to tests administered in clinical settings. Tests are devised to make a psychological assessment based on answers a client gives the examiner. Neuropsychological testing, for example, addresses problems with cognitive functioning and can require hours of testing. Nonprofessionals, such as potential employers or educational institutions, now commonly administer achievement or aptitude tests to evaluate potential candidates. In addition, intelligence tests and personality tests are offered through Internet sites. Psychology Today offers tests in such areas as career, health, personality and IQ. This also now extends to testing and developing Emotional Intelligence (EQ.)

Rational Emotive Therapy (RET)
According to RET, our emotions result from our beliefs, interpretations and reactions to life events. A type of cognitive therapy, RET is based more on thinking and doing than with the expression of feelings. Founder Albert Ellis is known as the father of RET and the grandfather of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Basing this method on the works of Freud and Jung, founder Heinz Kohut added the element of empathy. Self-psychology is a mode of psychoanalytic treatment that states that each individual’s self-esteem and vitality derive from and are maintained by the empathic responsiveness of others to his or her needs.

Social-Learning Therapy
In this form of therapy, desirable behavior is modeled for clients, then reinforced and mimicked.

Most psychological problems are present only intermittently. People with panic disorder do not spend every minute in a panic; even depression fluctuates in severity. Solution-focused therapy tries to help the patient notice when symptoms are diminished or absent and use this knowledge as a foundation for recovery. If a patient insists that the symptoms are constant and unrelieved, the therapist works with him to find exceptions and make the exceptions more frequent, predictable and controllable. This therapy builds on working solutions already available to the patient.

Thought Field Therapy – TFT
TFT is an innovative therapy employed as part of psychotherapy for psychological problems developed out of extensive knowledge of the body’s energy system. TFT was developed by Dr. Roger J. Callahan, Ph.D.
Dr. Callahan discovered that by moving the body’s energy in specific ways, distressing emotions could by eliminated with the chemical and cognitive corollaries of a distressed emotion no longer functioning in the pre-therapy manner.

Time Line Therapyâ„¢
Time Line Therapyâ„¢ is a process conscious/unconscious processs to gain emotional freedom and control over your life; past, present and future. This process produces long-lasting transformation very quickly. Undesired emotional reactions and limiting decisions or beliefs prevent us from achieving the results and quality of life we desire. These unwarranted emotions, limiting decisions and beliefs result from our (distorted) internal representations of significant emotional events in the past that we store in our memory. Created by Dr. Tad James, Time Line Therapyâ„¢ enables the client to represent the past, present and future, recall significant  events that have shaped memories and cognition, and re-learn and re-frame these events more resourcefully. The benefits of Time Line Therapyâ„¢ are that the process can be extremely fast, no emotional content recount(to the practitioner) is required, and the new ‘learnings’ re-program the gestalt of negative root causes of limiting emotions and decisions.

Transactional Analysis
A system of psychotherapy, it analyzes personal relationships and interactions in terms of conflicting or complementary ego states that correspond to the roles of parent, child and adult.

Transpersonal Psychology
This branch of psychology is concerned with the study of states and processes in which people experience a deeper or wider sense of who they are—or a sense of greater connectedness with others, nature or the spiritual dimension. Trans personal psychology extends into consciousness studies, spiritual inquiry, mind-body relationships and transformation. Carl Jung first coined the term trans personal (uberpersonlich) when he used the phrase trans personal unconscious as a synonym for collective unconscious.

•    Erickson, G., Gifford, J. & Spane, C. (2005). Explanations of Therapy Styles and Theoretical Orientations. Finding Stone Counseling Center, Arizona
•    Gerrig, R. J. & Zimbardo, P. G. (2002). Psychology and Life. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon
•    Institute of Trans personal Therapy
•    International Society for Interpersonal Psychotherapy

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