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Differences between Coaching and Psychotherapy

Coaching is different from psychotherapy — it neither is, nor purports to be, a substitute for psychotherapy.  While there are some similarities between coaching and psychotherapy, they are very different endeavors and it is important that you understand the differences between them. Psychotherapy is a healthcare service and is usually reimbursable through health insurance policies. This is not true for coaching. Both coaching and psychotherapy utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation, behavioral change, and interactive counseling techniques. The major differences are in the focus, goals and level of professional responsibility.


Focus & Goals

The focus of coaching is the development and implementation of strategies to reach Client‐identified goals which will enhance performance and personal satisfaction. Coaching may address specific personal projects, life balance, job performance, and satisfaction, or general conditions in the client's life, business, or profession. Coaching utilizes personal strategic planning, values clarification, brainstorming, motivational counseling, and other counseling techniques. Deciding how to handle these issues and incorporate coaching into those areas is exclusively your responsibility.

The primary foci of psychotherapy are identification, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and nervous disorders. The goals of psychotherapy include: alleviating symptoms; understanding the underlying dynamics which create symptoms; changing dysfunctional behaviors which are the result of these disorders; and developing new strategies for successfully coping with the psychological challenges which we all face.


The Coach/Client Relationship

The relationship between the coach and client is specifically designed to avoid the power differentials that occur in the psychotherapy relationship. The client sets the agenda and the success of the enterprise depends on the client's willingness to take risks and try new approaches. The relationship is designed to be more direct and challenging. You can count on your coach, to be honest and straightforward, asking powerful questions and using challenging techniques to move you forward. You are expected to evaluate progress and, when coaching is not working as you wish, you should immediately inform me so we can both take steps to correct the problem.

It is very important to understand that coaching is a professional relationship. While it may often feel like a close personal relationship, it is not one that can extend beyond professional boundaries both during and after our work together. Considerable experience shows that when boundaries blur, the hard‐won benefits gained from the coaching relationship are endangered.

Professional Advice

Coaching is not to be used in lieu of licensed professional advice. You agree to seek professional guidance for legal, medical, financial, business, spiritual, psychological or other matters as needed. You understand that all decisions in these areas are your sole responsibility.

If either of us recognizes that you have a problem that would benefit from psychotherapeutic intervention, I will refer you to appropriate resources. In some situations, I may insist that you initiate psychotherapy and that I have access to your psychotherapist as a condition of my continuing as your coach.


Coaching is billed at $200.00 per 55-minute session.


Discounts are available if you buy a package:


$720.00       Four 55-minute sessions

$1,360.00    Eight 55-minute sessions

$1,920.00    Twelve 55-minute sessions


Professional time spent outside of coaching sessions, including but not limited to, between-session phone calls or email exchanges, reviewing tapes of sessions, report-writing, and reading or reviewing documents will be billed on a pro-rated basis, rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour. If I am required to attend meetings outside of my offices, you agree to pay for all time I spend traveling to the location of such meetings. Fees for coaching sessions must be paid promptly on the day the session occurs unless otherwise agreed upon.

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