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-   -   Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone? (http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/showthread.php?t=1830)

sk8rgrl23 December 9th, 2008 08:37 PM

Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
I am trying to figure out what exactly life coaching is and how does a clinicial therapist successfully incorporate or provide life coaching in a private setting? I have been reading a lot about life coaching from some fairly mainstream sources and am wondering if this would be worthwhile to pursue.

If I set up in private practice, how would I establish boundaries between therapy and life coaching?

Lil'Pon April 15th, 2009 02:42 PM

Re: Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
You can't. Life coaching from a licensed mental health professional = snake oil. It's just a way for a therapist to evade professional ethics codes.

William Reid April 19th, 2009 10:49 AM

Re: Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
Don't believe me; I'm older than most of you and probably out of touch in many areas. The "life coaches" I have run across in person are often nice people but tend to be touchy-feely types who didn't bother to get much formal counseling education or experience and are trying to fill a current pop-psychology niche to make themselves feel professional and/or grab a buck. In the Austin, TX, area, they advertise in alternative newspapers and new age throwaway publications (and the articles they write in those publications are self-serving & almost always accepted because they bought advertising space). Life coaching kinds of things come along every decade or so under a new, catchy name. I don't see much harm if someone wants to pay for it, but I'd vote against having it covered by health insurance as some kind of mental health profession.

Gee, I hope that doesn't sound critical. These newfangled whippersnappers . . . no, that would make me sound even older. :-)

Da Friendly Puter Tech April 27th, 2009 12:14 AM

Re: Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
Coaching doesnt have the professional standards and laws that therapy does. For that reason it is possible for coaches to have a wide variety of training and experiences to help in their job.

I know of a few MFT's or Ma level psychology majors who are coaches and do well. I also know of some with little to no official psychology training, who feels they have something to contribute and set themselves up as coaches. Its a buyer beware kind of thing.

As far as I understand the definitions therapy is often focused on the past and present, and getting a person more "whole". Coaching focuses on the present and future. Coaching is more about how to reach certain goals, and they are often external goals.

Coaches with higher education often does not advertise the same places as the new agers - although some do.

I would say to just be clear with the client which capacity you act in, and I dont see a problem.

Malene

sk8rgrl23 May 31st, 2009 09:11 AM

Re: Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by William Reid (Post 6181)
Don't believe me; I'm older than most of you and probably out of touch in many areas. The "life coaches" I have run across in person are often nice people but tend to be touchy-feely types who didn't bother to get much formal counseling education or experience and are trying to fill a current pop-psychology niche to make themselves feel professional and/or grab a buck. In the Austin, TX, area, they advertise in alternative newspapers and new age throwaway publications (and the articles they write in those publications are self-serving & almost always accepted because they bought advertising space). Life coaching kinds of things come along every decade or so under a new, catchy name. I don't see much harm if someone wants to pay for it, but I'd vote against having it covered by health insurance as some kind of mental health profession.

Gee, I hope that doesn't sound critical. These newfangled whippersnappers . . . no, that would make me sound even older. :-)

I kind of feel the same way about life coaches, as a profession. I could never quite put a finger on why it doesn't seem legit, but it's not something that seems to be based as much on research as on marketing.

But don't therapists also do some "life coaching" to some degree? I work with clients a lot on setting short and long term goals for themselves. I think self-efficacy goes a long way toward treating and preventing depression, and goal setting plays a big part in that.

William Reid June 1st, 2009 09:31 AM

Re: Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
<<. . . don't therapists also do some "life coaching" . . . ?>> Sure, and good point, but overall, I have more faith in the training, experience, ethics, and professional monitoring of card-carrying therapists & counselors than of "life coaches." (I'm sure there are exceptions in both camps.) And no question that self-efficacy helps one avoid (or deal with) many kinds of depression or anxiety (some kinds, however, are not much affected by that: Genetic and other biologic components & predispositions to severe depression and anxiety can show up in anyone.

sk8rgrl23 June 7th, 2009 11:56 AM

Re: Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
Then on the flip side, if some element of life planning is helpful, how do I as a therapist provide that and keep it within the definition of therapy, and where do the boundaries lie? For example, an easy boundary is that you wouldn't get into financial counseling with a client, though you might recommend a financial counselor. Life coaching functions as a therapist seem to lie more within career counseling I suppose, and that's where life coaches seem to be overlapping.

Probably the most significant ethical concern would be do life coaches have any training in recognizing or dealing with a potentially suicidal person? With licensed therapist positions, there's at least that standard of basic educational components including crisis counseling.

William Reid June 8th, 2009 11:21 PM

Re: Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
Actually, I wouldn't recommend a financial counselor, either. That's not part of a therapist's/counselor's/psychiatrist's role, is usually outside our expertise, and could be associated with liability or conflict of interest (especially if one knows or works with the financial counselor oneself -- for goodness' sake don't refer patients to your spouse unless there's a very good clinical reason!). Referrals to a professional close to one's field (mental health) seem fine, but I'd limit other comments to suggesting that the patient/client look to some objective resource [outside the therapy] for a recommendation.

In a "worst case," suppose you had your retirement with Madoff or Stanford and gave that name to a patient? (And remember, it is generally considered unethical (or at least a boundary issue) to do the opposite; that is, to act on information such as business advice or information received from a patient.)

The patients/clients one is treating are there for one purpose: treatment. Everything else should be scrutinized for countertransference, patient exploitation (even very small exploitations, not necessarily something terrible), and boundary issues (which are not always terrible either).

William Reid June 10th, 2009 07:44 AM

Re: Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
I realize I sounded pretty rigid in the last post. In my view, when one is learning, close scrutiny (often with a supervisor) is important. As one becomes more experienced, the scrutiny is still important, but so is being human, empathic, and not obsessing over whether or not to accept a stick of gum from a patient or offer him/her your extra umbrella if it's raining cats & dogs outside.

sk8rgrl23 June 23rd, 2009 08:46 PM

Re: Tennis, I mean, Life Coaching Anyone?
 
Nah, you can never be too mindful of ethical issues.....

Actually that touches on another ethical dilemma I recently came across. There are a number of private practice "coaches" out there; therapists that have developed a new genre of counseling, specializing in helping others build a practice, and a number of them have recommended joining Business Networking International. If you haven't heard of them, BNI is a professional org. where professionals of noncompeting professions meet weekly and commit to making referrals among themselves. I have yet to see on any of these forums a clean answer as to how do you participate in this networking and client referral group without conflict of interest or confidentiality breaches, yet several "coaches" have recommended them.

BTW, any suggestions on most effective ways to cultivate referrals and sources?


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