Life Coaching vs Psychotherapy
By Dianne Ruth, CCH, PhD
ACCELERATE HEALING WITH LIFE COACHING
I coach and holistically counsel you on how to create a fabulous and
satisfying present and an amazing future. Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic
Counseling are dynamic movements to the next level of personal
In addition, I offer simple and easy to learn self-use techniques and
mini-exercises for releasing
self-improvement and personal growth. (See my
Magical Toolbox.) Time management work sheets and other
self-discovery forms are also available for home
PSYCHOTHERAPY DEALS WITH
PSYCHOTHERAPY, on the other hand, spends more
time talking about the past. It can involve doing remedial work, and
correcting past problematic behavior through helping the client process
their emotions through a variety of traditional psychotherapeutic
LIFE COACHING DEALS WITH
LIFE COACHING is positive and motivational. It
is largely present and future goal oriented. It helps you to maximize
and get the most quality out of living your life with fun, satisfaction,
Alternative Counseling teaches self-use
techniques for identifying and releasing old emotional blocks and
limiting beliefs/ decisions. The life coaching process then becomes more
powerful, successful, and effective.
Sometimes you might have non-clinical
"unfinished" business with the past. Some examples might be some old and
inappropriate limiting beliefs about your ability to achieve success.
There may be one or more emotionally charged negative experiences that
are keeping you stuck in some area of your life.
For example, experiencing a debilitating fear
of public speaking can play havoc with your career.
A Case Study
I once had a client by the name of Barry
who had been promoted to a position in his company that required him to
make presentations to various business groups. He was terrified!
As a child, Barry froze up in front of the classroom
while trying to give a book report. He was subsequently laughed at,
criticized and ridiculed. This created an emotionally limiting decision
about never wanting to get up in front of an audience ever again.
This event had even been "lost" to conscious memory. I
simply coached Barry through a simple timeline process which helped him
identify the memory.
Through the timeline process, he was then able to
quickly and easily release the
as there are several other methods for accomplishing the
Within just a few sessions, he was a role model for the Toastmaster's
COACHING IS ABOUT
One difference between
psychotherapy and Life Coaching & Alternative/ Holistic Counseling is that there is none of the imbalance in the
Coaching & Alternative/ Holistic Counseling relationship as usually found in psychotherapy
"doctor-patient" or "expert-client."
In Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling, it
is a co-partnership dedicated to your performance of
excellence and rediscovery of your values, inclinations and
In a Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling relationship, a
Life Coach & Alternative/Holistic Counselor does not present
himself or herself to you as an authority, expert, or psychological healer;
you are the expert
and the Life Coach & Alternative/Holistic Counselor is your supporter and guide, keeping
you focused and
PSYCHOTHERAPY ENDS WITH
between psychotherapy and Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling is
that in psychotherapy, clients are generally going through severe pain
and suffering. They are seeking relief; they are looking to the
therapist to fix them or help them eliminate their problem.
They will seek therapy to deal with their acute distress so
then leave, terminate the relationship, and resume their previous
emotional, semi-functional status. They usually never quite achieve their potential
for amazing accomplishment, joy and euphoric inner peace, however.
LONG AND SHORT-TERM
Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling, the
relationship may typically be long-term. It could last months and
Sometimes there are
situations where you may seek time-limited Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling such as being
supported through a special project or personal transition. Some
examples might be resolving a romantic conflict or quickly learning
highly effective rapport skills for a job promotion. You may need some
dental work and are paralyzed with fear.
This is different from psychotherapy that could be a brief encounter with a therapist for a specific issue or concern
such as relying on drugs to manage overwhelming grief over the loss of a loved one.
Sometimes clients may be severely emotionally
damaged and need to stay in psychotherapy for many years simply to
maintain an emotional holding pattern. This could serve to help them
avoid potential institutionalization.
Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling clients
often stay for the duration because they want to, not
because they need to.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the
average length of time a client is in psychotherapy is 2 to 7 years of
Because of the
powerful methods I use to teach the client successful self-use techniques
for taking control of his or her own life (for life), the average length of
time a client works with me is between 3 and 5 months of weekly or bi-weekly
sessions. Your results can often be achieved in
about half the
time by choosing to do sessions weekly!
When beginning your program of healing, you will likely
start to feel better by the end of your first session. After that, each
session will quantum leap you to the next level of relief.
By the end of 6 sessions
beyond the introductory session, most clients are experiencing significant
signs of improvement. This is usually described as fewer and less intense
episodes until suddenly, all anxiety is gone for good!
Of course, no one is able to accurately predict the exact
length of time a person may require help through the Life Coaching & Alternative/ Holistic Counseling
process. Goals, of course, are usually set.
Sometimes all a person really needs are as few as 2 or 3 sessions to take care of their immediate concern. For example,
perhaps the individual has an overwhelming fear of flying, and an urgent
situation suddenly and unexpectedly arises which requires them to travel by
A Case Study
A young woman once came to me because of claustrophobia
(a fear of enclosed places); in her case the fear was especially
overwhelming in elevators. Several years earlier, she had been trapped all
alone in an old elevator for several hours while traveling in Europe.
Up until recently, she had been working for a company
located on the first floor of an office building. The company decided to relocate to
the 14th floor.
Because she loved her job and did not want to leave, she
was attempting to hike up and down the 14 floors daily in order to avoid
taking the elevator. Unfortunately, this activity was just too strenuous for
her to continue indefinitely.
In just a few Life Coaching & Alternative/ Holistic Counseling sessions which involved
releasing that old associated trauma, she was able to transform her fear of
getting into an elevator into "riding the elevator of success" to new
dazzling career heights.
Sometimes, a person may elect to stay in the relationship
much longer in order to accomplish ongoing personal growth and development.
Alternately, their issues may be complex, complicated and many, calling for
more emotional tools and extended processing.
Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling and
can be mutually supportive. Some people work with a Life Coach & Alternative/Holistic Counselor and a
therapist at the same time.
See Side Bar on right for more information.
According to the
National Institute of Mental Health, psychotherapy only has a 20% success
I have a 97%
success rate, and over 37 years experience.
I honor and respect your race,
religion, culture, and way of life including senior citizens and those with
I also welcome adults in consensual, sane and safe, alternative sexual and
other creative lifestyle choices.
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responsible for this website is:
Dianne Ruth, CCH, PhD
Dynamic Resources International™
Anxiety Treatment & Care Doctor
DR DIANNE RUTH
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Differences in Boundaries
boundaries that exist in the psychotherapy relationship are quite rigid.
This is mostly because the patient/client is
usually suffering a clinically
diagnosable condition, and sometimes they can be very fragile emotionally.
Breeching these boundaries can often be devastating for the
Some boundaries can include no contact outside of the therapeutic
e.g., office, clinic, hospital, etc. except in very rare, justifiable and extenuating
Self-disclosure on the part of the psychotherapist is
generally minimal and discouraged by supervisors and peers.
Also, allowing a genuine two-way friendship to evolve is not
Coaching & Alternative/
Holistic Counseling have much more flexible boundaries. The assumption is
that the life coach is dealing with an emotionally healthy, relatively
well-adjusted and effectively functioning individual.
appropriate self-disclosure by the coach, more authenticity, lightness,
fun and friendliness in the relationship is often the rule.
In the Life Coaching relationship, transference and counter
transference is not a
concern as it is in psychotherapy.
Friendships often blossom, and certainly, the
potential for deeply felt affection exists. The
"love" I often refer to for my clients is defined in the
dictionary as: deeply held affection, respect, and regard.
Coaching Can Happen Anywhere
Life Coaching & Alternative/
Holistic Counseling can take place wherever
we agree. For example, over the phone, in an office, a
park, restaurant, at home with family, on a plane, beach, and so on.