Psychological coaching is grounded in the art and science of psychology and is in many ways very similar to traditional psychotherapy. They both utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation, behavioral change, and interactive techniques in order to help a client move from where they are to an improved state of being. The differences between psychological coaching and traditional psychotherapy are related to their goals, focus, and perspective. Traditional psychotherapy seeks to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioral conditions, with the therapist serving as "expert" in support of the client. Unfortunately, many have considered the pursuit of traditional psychotherapy to be stigmatizing, in part because of this perspective of the client being "broken" and in need of repair. Psychological coaching offers a different point of view. The coaching psychologist is more likely focused on developing a collaborative relationship, with the client in the "driver seat", with the perspective that the client is creative, whole, and resourceful. The clients' capacity for wellness and healing is assumed, encouraging them to move more quickly and directly through obstacles to their happiness, success, and life satisfaction.
As a Coaching Psychologist, my goal is to support you in creating awareness so that you can access your own skills and inner resources in order to manage the challenges you face now and into the future. While our work together may touch on past traumas and psychiatric concerns, they will be addressed from the perspective of your strengths, rather than with a focus on ill-ness or disability. In our larger community, it is not unusual for individuals to experience mild to moderate mental health issues, making psychological coaching an accessible and viable option. If, in the course of our work together, either you or I have reason to believe that your mental or emotional health concerns are better addressed by another service provider, a referral will be made.
As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I have 20 years of ongoing training and experience providing, consulting and supervising others in the provision of psychological services. However, as of now, the life coaching field is unregulated, allowing anyone to be a life coach - even those without training in the behavioral sciences. As well, the coaching field is considered to lack a solid base in research, creating disagreement on educational and training standards. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is working to change this. In order to ensure that your coach is not counseling others beyond their expertise, it is suggested that when considering a life coach, individuals should seek coaches who are trained or ICF certified. Along with my license as a Clinical Psychologist, I am currently enrolled in MentorCoach® L.L.C., one of the oldest ICF accredited coach training programs, and one that will enable me to be an ICF certified coach.