Having had personal experience of therapy and having gained so much insight from it, I decided to become a professional therapist and help others navigate their inner landscapes.
With a growing amount of buzz around the words, 'mental health', 'wellbeing' and 'self-development', people often ask me if going to therapy and having a life coach is just a craze or if it actually works.
I think it’s wonderful to see how mental health has risen in popularity and how people are talking about it with much less stigma compared to just a few years ago. Nonetheless, having so much information to navigate through, can be quite confusing, especially when dealing with such sensitive issues. Accessing such abundance of information can make it difficult to understand how this kind of support can improve our wellbeing.
So what is it that makes psychotherapy and coaching a good investment of our time and money?
Unlike talking to a friend or family member, talking to a psychotherapist or life coach offers you the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and feelings with a professional practitioner who is external to the dynamics and situations that you are challenging you.
While it is important to recognise that psychotherapists and life coaches have different trainings, they will both support you in gaining further insight into a specific area of your life. In very general terms, psychotherapy usually focuses on more in-depth work, addressing your past to understand your present better while coaching focuses on your future and on how you can act differently in your present to achieve your future goals.
In your work with a psychotherapist, you are not expected to know what the end goal of your sessions will be as sessions often have an exploratory nature. The therapeutic and coaching relationship both offer you opportunity to find your own answers and solutions and start dealing with difficulties more effectively.
By interacting with a psychotherapist or coach, you can gradually start seeing things from new perspectives and develop a sounding board for your deepest thoughts, fears and emotions. Psychotherapists and coaches will not spoon-feed you with answers or advice. They will support you in finding new answers to your questions by promoting self-reflection and deeper insight in relation to your behaviour and thought patterns. For this process to occur, it is important for you to find a therapist or coach who you feel you can trust and who is going to be able to walk along side you while you venture on this rich and often complicated journey of self-exploration.
If you’d like to learn more about the difference between coaching and therapy, you can read my article on how I combine creative psychotherapy and life coaching in my practice here, or visit Pebbles my professional Facebook page for more resources on therapy, coaching and wellbeing.