If you are looking for a space to process your past, understand the effects of an experience, dive deeper into an emotion, or heal from a trauma, then therapy is the exact right place for you. But, I have found that often, people use therapy for everyday obstacles, like decision making, communicating, navigating relationships, life transitions, or even for a non-judgemental place to talk with someone. Let me be clear, therapy is a vital and necessary resource for many people. I just think that sometimes people go to therapy as an automatic choice, without even considering coaching as an option. So I am going to give you a breakdown, using examples, to show you what life coaching can do for you.
Let’s start by understanding what coaching is. Jill Manaco absolutely nails the definition of what coaching is:
“Coaching is set apart by the way a coach approaches a conversation with a client. Coaches do not teach but help you through a process of discovery by using active listening skills, asking powerful questions, expanding thought processes, identifying limited beliefs, designing action steps and following up.
- Coaches don’t talk, they listen.
- Coaches don’t give information, they ask questions.
- Coaches don’t offer ideas, they generate ideas from clients.
- Coaches don’t share their story, they tap into the client’s experience.
- Coaches don’t present solutions, they expand the client’s thinking.
- Coaches don’t give recommendations, they empower clients to choose.”
Now that you have a clearer idea of a coach’s approach, you might be asking yourself “How do I choose between therapy and coaching?” When deciding what avenue to choose, the first question I encourage you to ask yourself is: What am I hoping to get out of this session or sessions?
Here’s an example: a work decision might be really stressing you out. Maybe you are plotting out your small business’ marketing plan for the upcoming year. This sets the tone for the rest of the year. You don’t know how to navigate it and the whole experience is causing immense stress, causing you to lose sleep and affecting your day to day. You might think– “I should go to a therapist.” Right?
Welllll maybe… it depends. Your therapist can help with your stress response, but ultimately is not going to take the situation away. While stress management is totally within the wheelhouse of a therapist, marketing planning and strategy is not. This is where a coach would be PERFECT. Like Christa Booker, she is an absolute WHIZ at business coaching and has years in consulting for marketing and planning. She also is an expert at mindfulness practices, tools that you can use in the moment when a stressful situation occurs. Working with a coach in this case would look like being empowered to make decisions that are both strategic and authentic. That means that the coach would work with you to generate ideas rather than telling you what to do without your input. All of the coaches at The Happy Hour believe that you have the answers within you. Sometimes it just takes a conversation to dig in and find them.
See how asking yourself what you need is ultimately so helpful?
Just like therapy, the frequency at which you go to coaching matters. When going to coaching, one of the biggest pieces of advice I can recommend is avoiding the “one and done” approach (lol, we aren’t that good). Similar to the mindset of going to therapy, working with a coach is a process. Yes, you will walk away with your compass pointing a little more north, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have the whole thing mapped out.
Let’s say you had a brutal break up 6 months ago. After some time and self healing you are finally ready to date again, but you have no idea where to start. You want to get back out there, but you want to do it in the right way. And let’s be honest, your friends have given you terrible advice up to this point.
A coach (ehem, yours truly) can guide you through learning about your values in a relationship, deciphering what you are looking for in a partner, how attachment styles can cause relationships to thrive or die, how to set and honor boundaries, how to put yourself out there, heck, how to even set up a dating profile that actually represents who you truly are. The areas in which a coach can help you are numerous. But let me say, we are not going to get through all of this in one session. What we will do in the first session, is set you up on the right path, one that involves all of the resources and support you need to take the first step. This is where being a part of our Whole You coaching program would establish and encourage massive growth. By having that wrap around care, you are truly supported in mind, body, and spirit during a time when all three of those are being put to the test.
Maybe you’re ready for a big life change. Possibly you’ve just gone through the transition from working full-time into retirement, or you feel restless or unfulfilled in your day. Authenticity coaches, like Clara, have years of experience guiding individuals through the process of discovering their passions, mapping their values, learning to trust and listen to themself, and ultimately uncovering their truest self. Coaches like Clara, can actually walk with you through the process by sending you resources throughout the week and checking in to help you stay accountable. This is another example of where Whole You is the best fit (next cohort starts in June!).
So those were three fairly specific examples, but what about getting help with the everyday stuff? Well, all of our coaches are uniquely qualified to help with this because they operate from the present moment to help orient you and help you discover what step is next. Like Erin, she has worked with people on how to make friends as an adult, navigating a tough conversation, learning to make decisions that feel good in your body and your mind, and understanding how to prioritize your schedule in order to find greater fulfillment in your day. I think that one thing coaches are really good at is understanding the importance of the first small step . It is really easy to get wrapped up in the big picture, but the tiny, small actions that happen everyday, is the difference in becoming who you want to be. Or as I like to call it, ‘showing up’.
I don’t blame people for not knowing how coaching can help them. Let’s be honest, therapy has just started to be recognized and valued for what it’s worth. The great part about The Happy Hour is, both therapists and coaches work under one roof. Actually, therapy and coaching work great together. Using information from our past experiences can help us make more informed decisions for our present and our future. Our staff can help you when trying to determine what’s best for you, so you don’t have to decide alone. Most importantly, if you are talking to someone about your mental wellness, you’re doing the right thing. We just want to make sure that you get the most out of your time here.
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