I'm pleased to be able to offer professional coaching services at The Colorado Springs Counselor, PLLC.  Clients who don't align with mental health diagnosis, who don't want to work with insurance companies, who want to keep a more confidential approach to getting help, or who want a more directive intervention to achieve transformation are encouraged to reach out to schedule a FREE consultation.

What's the difference between Therapy and Professional Coaching? 


Therapy is regulated and protected by the Mental Health Practice Act, which oversees the training, supervision, and licensing of mental health professionals and adheres to strict conduct and ethics.  An intervention like therapy is important for clients who are looking for a longer, deeper dive into psychologically diagnosable conditions as defined by the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition), or who struggle with more intensive psychological dysfunction that leads to things like suicidal ideation or self harm.

This intervention hosts a professional relationship that is primed for more critical, sensitive processing and exploration, and usually means that clients are in a fragile and vulnerable psychological state.  Lenses and orientations used are typically empirically-based, peer-reviewed, and generally accepted by insurance companies for the sake of treating mental health issues.  

One of the most important things to hold for clients as a Therapist is the space that it takes to have those delicate sessions.  The matter discussed is often sensitive and painful, so the responsibility of the Therapist is not in creating the change for the client, but for holding the space to allow the change to occur.  

Professional Coaching

This intervention is meant for those who are more focused on the here-and-now, in near-future transformations, and on very specific issues that don't meet the criteria for a mental health diagnosis.  There is less time spent looking back and dissecting the psychological components that created client's current functioning mechanisms, and more time creating acceptance for what is and collaborating about how to generate change and action that clients want now.  

The professional relationship is less sensitive and more directive, and usually involves getting more explicit advice from the Coach.  Typically, Coaches have niche specialities that involve working with a specific population of clients, where they can facilitate a more streamlined, tailored approach to creating change.

While therapy is covered by most major insurance companies, professional coaching is not.  This means that clients interested in the more short-term, directive coaching experience must be able to pay upfront rates.  Coaching holds quite a punch, as most Professional Coaches work very hard to deliver actionable changes for clients immediately.  

Professional coaching is not regulated by any overseeing agency like therapy is, so it's important to select a Professional Coach that abides by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Ethics and Standards; they are the leading credentialing authority when it comes to training and issuing professional certifications in coaching.  Many therapists offer coaching, but need to be aware of the limitations of practicing therapy with clients who disclose a desire for coaching instead, and need to clearly communicate the differences in recourse and protection that clients have when seeking both paths.  

Many people claim to be a Professional Coach but have no formal education, training, supervision, and continuing education to posture themselves as an expert in their field.  Keep in mind that the training mental health professionals get is longer, more regulated, and more thorough that any ICF training, so Coaching provided by a formally trained mental health professional is often very strong, such is the case when seeking out professional coaching services here.  

*Disclaimer: Professional coaching clients are not protected under the Mental Health Practice Act and are not entitled to the same recourse of follow-up for any grievances.