Our systemic coaching does not replace classical coaching, consulting,
counseling, psychotherapy or psychiatry. Each is useful for different
objectives and different problems. Our systems coaching is useful when
solving relationship problems with complex emotional issue s and ambiguous
What results do YOU want?
If something bothers you, probably you seek solutions.
If the problems persist - you may seek help. If your problem is mental
or emotional, then you may talk to friends and family, and, if
that fails, you may consider seeking a specialist. But which one? See
Evolution of Coaching Styles.
Perhaps you make a few telephone calls or some online searches.
You explore who is experienced in your issue and what they charge. You want
to know long it will take to solve your problem, which depends on your goals,
motivation and the helping professional's skill. So you make an appointment ...
Coaching, Consulting, Counseling, Therapy & Psychiatry
It can be difficult to differentiate between advertisements of helping styles.
Most helping professionals seem to claim they can help you do the same things -
during rather expensive conversations:
- learn or acquire life skills
- become happier and more productive
- better function within your family, community or culture
- experience personal growth / develop your human potential
A problem is that credentials may not signify valid experience. The
experience of sitting in classrooms and libraries for five or ten years or more
may not support maturity, experience nor competence.
‘It’s them letters you get to put after your
name,’ he whispered. ‘They are very expensive letters! It might not cost much
money to become a witch, but when you want them
letters, oh, don’t you need that
money!’ Terry Pratchett on credentials
Coaching, consulting, counseling, psychotherapy and psychiatry are conversations about attitudes, feelings, interests,
goals, self esteem and behaviors. If your problem appears solvable, all
may offer you solutions, although some solutions have consequences
which may be worse than the problems. The following general descriptions
may help you compare and choose:
Types of Conversations
||Coaching is about helping you achieve your goals
using life coaching, accelerated learning, etc to
resolve emotional and relationship blocks to your success. Coaching
began as a way to accelerate skill acquisition in university, then in
sports and then in business. It is now a popular way to accelerate
human development and potential.
||Consulting is usually about helping you with
specific expertise such as financial, legal or
medical advice. Consulting is often associated with corporate and
organizational goals. A consultant is often a specialist in specific
technical, financial, legal or medical specialties.
According to the Committee on Definition of
the American Psychological Association; the objectives of
counseling are to "help individuals toward overcoming obstacles
to their personal growth, wherever these may be encountered, and toward
achieving optimum development of their personal resources".
Specialties include pre-marital, marriage,
post-abortion and family counseling.
||Psychotherapy is about changing personality
and coping with strong emotions. This includes
individual therapy and systemic family therapy.
A psychotherapist may help you re-arrange your
personality and integrate insights into your behavior, to
control negative emotions and behaviors associated with
neurosis and emotional problems.
||Psychiatry is about controlling emotions and
inappropriate behavior, often using drugs such as stimulants
and anti-depressants. Although psychiatry is medicine, a psychiatric
diagnosis is usually an opinion that cannot be verified in a laboratory. A psychiatrist
can prescribe drugs to help control negative emotions and behavior.
Compare & Contrast Conversations & Interventions
Treatment time differs between coaching,
consulting, counseling, psychotherapy and psychiatry. Systemic coaching
is often measured in hours and classic coaching in days. Consulting
often follows a contract
of a few weeks. Counseling sessions are often over months.
Psychotherapy sessions may last for years. Psychiatry
treatment and medication can continue for decades.
Professionals offer different focus.
A coach asks "What do you want?" A consultant
asks "What is the problem?" A counselor
examines "What is happening now?". A therapist
enquires "What happened in your past?". A
psychiatrist may ponder "What drugs might manage or mask
Goals are what you want, although few people
can specify them. We can help you resolve conflicts that prevent you
defining your goals. A consultant may help you solve specific problems.
Counselors may help you solve a life crisis and psychotherapists
can help you with emotional and personality problems.
A psychiatrist may not ask what you want and instead consider
psychopharmacology - which drugs can mask what emotions? As coaches,
we have only your goals. Your agenda is the only agenda that matters.
We accept your objections, and use
your resistance to help you fine-tune a goal until you are
certain you want it. Counselors may regard your resistance
as a nuisance and try to reduce it. A consultant may offer logical arguments to
counter your objections. Psychotherapists often try to understand your
resistance, to help your change your personality. Psychiatrists may rely on
their authority, ignore objections or enforce a medication.
Transference is mistaken identity - confusing one person with
another. Although called positive and negative, depending on the emotions it
elicits, transference distorts relationships. Counselors often want a personal
relationship with clients, yet may perceive transference as a manifestation
of immaturity. Psychotherapists may use transference to
gain authority. We offer simple ways to quickly resolve fixations, transferences and transference loops.
Comparison of Goals and Methods
The conversations used in coaching,
consulting, counseling, psychotherapy and psychiatry overlap. I find that coaches,
counselors and therapists often appear more
eclectic (or heretic) than consultants or psychiatrists, and more willing to think outside
the boxes that they learned at university.
A simplified comparison of the styles of some
||Provide mental homeostasis
||Overcome with authority
||Use to increase authority
||Family of origin
||Reality of life demands
||Cope with life problems
||Avoid & minimize
||Training & Experience
||Dissociate & ignore
||Sense of life
||Accept & resolve
||Systemic Coach Training & Expert
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I thought you were just
another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.
Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2003-2017 All rights reserved.