LIFE BY DESIGN BLOG

WHAT IS A LIFE COACH?

THE SIMPLEST ANSWER

 What Is The Difference Between A Trauma Informed Coach and A Traditional Therapist? 

Therapists Are The Front-Line Workers Of Mental Health Care. They Operate Under A Medical Model Of Care, Whereas Coaches Operate Under A Support Model. Therapists Work With And Treat Trauma. Trauma Informed Coaches Do Not Treat Trauma. They Are Simply Aware Of All The Nuances Of Collaborating With Clients Who Have Experienced Trauma. 

Trauma Informed Coaching Is The Practice Of Understanding The Presence Of Past Trauma In A Client’s Present-Day Experiences, And How To Use It As A Guide For Resilience And Solution-Forward Coaching Strategies.  

Often, People Will Need Therapy, As Well As A Coach To Support Them In Between Sessions. Other Times, Clients Have A Baseline Of Working With The Trauma, But Need Further Support To Make Positive Changes In The Present.

Here Is A Brief List Of What Coaches Can And Cannot Do. 

 

What I Do As A Trauma Informed Coach: 

⦁ Trauma Informed Coaches Anchor Their Work In The Present, Not The Past. They Focus On The Client’s Current Life And How Trauma Is Affecting Them Today. Their Aim Is To Utilize Coaching Strategies To Help Their Client(s) Build Up Their Strengths, Healthy Beliefs, And Positive Coping Strategies; Rather Than Just Extinguishing “Negative” Behaviors And Beliefs. 
⦁ Coaches Serve As Guides, Mentors, And Support. They May Provide Education About Trauma And Recovery, Or Set Recovery Goals, But They Always Operate In A Client Led Manner. 

What I Do Not Do As A Coach: 

⦁ Coaches Do Not Prescribe Or Give Advice About Medication. 
⦁ Coaches Do Not Treat, Diagnose, Or Assess Their Client’s Mental Health. 
⦁ Coaches Do Not Work Outside Their Scope Of Competence – Coaches Do Not Collaborate With Clients Who Are At Risk Of Self-Harm Or Harming Others. 

Therapy Vs. Tic Continued: 

Specialization:
 Trauma Informed Coaches Often Focus On Specific Modalities And Have Extremely Focused Areas Of Training. As A Coach I Specialize In Mindfulness, Meditation, And Cognitive Training Skills. In Comparison, A Therapist Most Often Has A Broader Spectrum Of Disciplines They Are Educated In, Which Are Usually Anchored In A Top-Down Approach (Working Through The Scope Of Cognition, Thoughts, And The Mind). 

 Collaboration:
 Coaches Understand That Just As Trauma Can Be Complex, So Too Can Be Healing. Rarely Does One Form Of Recovery Work Resolve The Effects Of Trauma. Clients Often Need A Collaboration Of Methods, Such As Talk Therapy, EMDR, Art Therapy, Life Coaching, Somatic Experiencing, Etc. Coaches Often Encourage A Team Approach To Collaborating With Clients.

Furthermore, Trauma Informed Coaches Are Non-Clinical. They Do Not Treat Or Diagnose Clients. Therefore, They Have An Ethical Responsibility To Refer Their Clients To The Proper Resources When The Support They Need Is Outside Of The Coaching Wheelhouse Or Spectrum. 

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