emotional intelligence

What you should know about coaching or therapy

~ By Dr.L.Michael Hall and Shawn Dwyer~

Therapy is an intervention that starts off to distinguish the difference between coaching and therapy, so that then as a coach, you can be crystal clear about what you are doing and what you are not doing. Central to that distinction is the presence of ego-strength. As a coach, you challenge people. Yes, you do so out of compassion and care and even love, but you challenge people.
You disturb their peace, you shake them up so that they awaken to their possibilities and potentials, and you stretch them so that they do not stay in their comfortable and familiar comfort zones.


Do that with a person who needs therapy and you can make things a lot worse.
Do that and you can activate the person’s fragile ego-system and then all sorts of abreactions can occur. The person may become overwhelmed with anxiety, have a panic attack, fall into a comma, positive or negatively hallucinate, fall into a deep depression, start feeling suicidal, etc.
Insufficient ego-strength refers to one not having sufficient inner strength or capability to “face” some aspect of their “reality” without falling apart or collapsing. Then in fight/flight they react in extreme ways trying to protect themselves.

How much do you, as a coach, need to know about therapy?

How much do you need to know to stay clear about when to coach and when not to, when to refer to a professional psychotherapist, and when you could facilitate the needed healing?

Use the questions about coachability. Is the person okay in his person or is there a deep not-okayness? Is the person living in the past, and reacting to the past as if it is present? How defensive does the person seem to be? Does she present herself as open to feedback and finding out how to work on self and improve oneself?

Does the person talk about peace or growth?

While the coaching client is focused on solving problems, growing, stretching, unleashing potentials, exploring new possibilities, and generally, taking on more, not so with the therapy client. The one who needs therapy (healing) wants peace, tranquility, the cessation of striving, pushing, achieving, the release from stretching, etc. These are two very different orientations and they indicate that the therapy client is tired of the struggle, tired of things not working, tired of the internal conflicts, and just wants a reprieve from them.

To be effective as either a coach or a therapist requires both knowledge and skills

Your studies in NLP can lead you through a lot of the knowledge that you need. It has prepared you for understanding communication and how the coaching dialogue can work. Learn about the filters people use to process information when you learn about Meta-Programs. You can learn about the construct of meaning and the layering of meaning when you learn Meta-States. Learn about the processes of change when you learn The Axes of Change. Thereafter you can learn about unleashing potentials when you learn The Self-Actualization Quadrants. After that the more rigorous and difficult challenge of learning the coaching skills so that you can actually do it.

To be effective as a psychotherapist also requires both knowledge and skills

Here knowledge has to include Abnormal Psychology, how things can go wrong and how to identify what has gone wrong, how, and to what extent.
Included in abnormal psychology is the structure of neurosis, the presence and structure of personality disordering, how and what gets traumatized within a person, and much more. You need to know about projection, transference, abreactions, etc.

Learn the art of coaching or therapy at The Coaching Centre today!

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