Life Coaching vs Therapy (Coaching Ethics)

Joeel & Natalie Rivera
A free video tutorial from Joeel & Natalie Rivera
Top Udemy instructor with over 300,000 students
4.4 instructor rating • 82 courses • 272,344 students

Lecture description

Learn the boundaries between life coaching and therapy and how to practice life coaching ethically, considering it is an unregulated industry.

Learn more from the full course

Life Coaching 101: Complete Guide to Becoming a Life Coach

Find out why life coaching is awesome, what it takes to be successful & the 3 secrets to attracting your ideal clients!

01:41:55 of on-demand video • Updated August 2020

  • A synopsis of the life coaching industry
  • Life coaching industry best practices
  • What it takes to be a successful life coach
  • Marketing strategies that actually work (specifically for life coaches)
English [Auto] So now I want to go over an important topic which is life coaching versus therapy. And I want to keep in mind that life coaching is an unregulated industry so nowhere in the world that we have found yet there's. Are there any loss regulation of life coaching therefore anyone can be a life coach. No training or degree or license is required. However it is important to understand that coaching is not and should not be the same as therapy. We go into greater detail about the qualifications required to be a life coach in a separate video. So I want you to keep in mind that terminology really matters. The first thing we're going to address is the use of terminology in the life coaching and therapy field. See in some countries anyone can call himself a counselor a psychotherapist or even a psychologist. However in most countries this is not the case including the United States where transformation Academy is based out of. There are clear distinctions and misuse of these terms can restore and legal consequences that in reality you probably want to avoid. So at the highest level is a psychologist which is as a peace deal in clinical training and clinical training. Then there are psycho therapists therapists licensed mental health therapists and licensed clinical social workers all of which require master's degree at minimum as well as clinical training. On the other hand the word counselor is often used to replace therapists hire is also used to refer to non degree fields. Even like a camp counselor. So this word is a gray area. However we do not recommend that you use this word counselor because of the possibility of confusing a possible client and getting mixed up because some people might think that you're talking about therapy. Also to add more confusion there are related fields that are called what they do therapy even though it's a certificate program not a degree. And it's also not a regulated field. For example hypnotherapy goes deep into the unconscious mind and is used for many things whether it's smoking cessation anxiety depression phobias and many more things whether it's weight loss yet it's an unregulated industry with no degree or license required. However there are regulations in place in some states and countries and you're maybe have consequences for using it in a therapy setting or sense if you're not a licensed therapist. In other words using it to treat mental health issues a big no no because you might get yourself in trouble another feel that's surprising not regulated is a drug treatment centers. So yet if you send a loved one to a rehab facility there is no regulation body that accredits them legally so they can say that they're doing this therapeutic thing but they're not anything legal holding them accountable. So even in countries that don't regulate any of the things above mentioned fields it's still an ethical and professional to use appropriate terms and referred to what you do and receive appropriate training even if it's technically on the honor system so appropriate use of the therapeutic tools and life coaching. Now this is an important area so Life Coaches often use therapeutic tools such as CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy techniques Therapeutic Arts neuro linguistic programming hypnosis and other psychological techniques with clients see the word therapeutic means that it benefits the body or mind and increases well-being using these tools as helpful as a coach. However it is not the same as conducting therapy like a therapist. So therefore I want to just go over the boundaries between coaching and therapy. So a life coach can use therapeutic and psychological tools to help people so they may help people change their thinking increase their emotional well-being change limiting belief systems or reframe things from their past set in achieving goals make life changes increase motivation learn new skills and even change your identity to a certain degree. So in general or life coaches are present and future focus life coaches help their clients explore their past only as a means of understand their current life experience and belief systems but they focus on how they can make their future better. Their primary goal is to help a client look at where they are where they want to be and how to really just get from point A to Point B see a therapist may also help clients with these areas of their life but they also help their patients treat mental illness or clinical anxiety or depression heal past trauma cope with traumatic loss cope with abuse treat addiction or substance abuse or cope with relationship torn turmoil or violence. So as you can see it's a big difference. So in general therapists are past and present focus. While therapists may work with clients to set goals and make changes. Primarily clients come to them seeking assistance with healing trauma overcoming abuse treating addiction or really treating mental illness that's impact in their daily life. So because therapists have a specialized graduate degree clinical training to have an extensive foundation knowledge about the mind biology human behavior and they're qualified to help cries in these sensitive areas and more importantly they're probably trained on how to handle the volatile nature of these situations. Because when you bring up past trauma there may be volatile volatile situations that you're bringing up. So you want to have the tools in place to be able to deal with those things. So I also want to talk about working with clients who also need therapy. So sometimes when coaching a client and unexpected deep trauma can surface work can become apparent that this person is dealing with deeper mental health issues that you're unqualified to help them with and that you shouldn't be helping them with in this case especially if the person expresses the possibility of harming themselves or others. It is your moral and legal obligation to refer this person to work with properly trained licensed mental health professional failure to do this can lead to legal liability. And think about it. You don't want somebody to harm themselves. You don't want to create harm to them or harm someone else because you can refer them out to the right person. This is the best thing you could do to help them. You can continue to work with them as a coach and they seek the treatment that they need however is not a good is not good for you or the client to continue to work for them if they're not being properly treated for those other issues. So you might be wondering how can you tell if a person has mental illness or trauma that would really require therapy. So I'll give you a couple examples. Anxiety and depression. So working with people who are experiencing society's sadness or mild depression it's OK because those are all normal human experience you might all feel anxious at sometimes whether we've got to give a presentation or something like that. However the following high level manifestation of anxiety and depression are single that people need help that a life coach not qualified to provide. So incapacitation or the inability to re function on a daily life. Panic attacks that cause harm or require hospitalization or suicide thoughts history of those tendencies as well. The other part is mental illness. We didn't recommend life coaches intentionally work with clients who have been diagnosed with mental illness or personality disorders such as being a psychopath sociopath borderline personality disorder obsessive compulsive disorder multiple personality disorder bipolar disorder PTSD etc. etc.. However I am not trying to tell you that life coaches cannot coach people who fall under those categories as long as the persons also receiving adequate treatment in these situations a life coach are not addressing the underlying illness or the issues that are deep that they have to deal with is that they're supporting the person to make life changes set goals and practice new way of thinking and new skills. So here signs that your client may have mental illness or may not even be coachable so incoherent or illogical thinking patterns inconsistent stories. Police are common flip flopping or opinions regular poor decision making even after discussion details the right decisions inappropriate attachment to the coach neediness or even romantic advances a responsibility such as repeatedly missing appointments and I've fallen through an agreed upon action steps or explosive or hostile reactions to insights or recommendations made by the coaches so they might not have mental illness but they might not be coachable either. So remember it's always up to you to terminate the relationship with any client that is not coachable not compatible or needs help that you not feel comfortable providing as a coach. We're here to empower people to live a better life not heal them or cure their illness. And we definitely do not want to do them harm. So just like the 0 4 medical professionals we must always commit to the core ethical standard in the industry which is first to do no harm. Thank you.