Pat Williams of the Institute for Life Coach Training has said: “Traditional therapy will not become extinct but will increasingly offer help primarily to those who need clinical services. Therapy is about uncovering and recovering, while coaching is about discovering.”
Therapy tends to be about addressing clinical issues, and coaching tends to be about creating a desirable future. In general, clients come to therapy to address a dysfunction in their lives but come to coaching because they’re looking for something more out of an already functional life. However, there’s considerable overlap. Some life coaches work with clinical populations; there are ADHD coaches, relationship coaches, and recovery coaches. But counselors who use a solution-focused approach to therapy work in a manner that’s virtually indistinguishable from the coaching approach.
In fact, coaching has some of its roots in the fields of positive psychology and solution focused therapy. I tend to treat coaching as counseling specialty, and use what I’ve learned from my education at the Institute for Life Coach Training with my counseling clients.
At present, I’m not set up to accept insurance payments; I’m in process of setting this up but it will be a matter of months before I’ll be in a position to accept insurance (and then it will be for certain insurance companies only, and only for counseling, not coaching). My per-session rate for counseling and coaching is $110 for a full session (50 minutes), $55 for a half session (25 minutes). Questions that arise between sessions can be handled via email or phone at no extra charge. When considering using your insurance to pay for counseling, there are some issues you should think about:
- You may be limited to a small number of sessions your insurance will pay for
- Tele-counseling (via video) may or may not be paid for by your insurance
- Insurance companies require a medical diagnosis
- Counseling and coaching for self improvement isn’t covered
- Counseling for normal reactions to life stressors isn’t covered
- This means you’ll have a history of a mental disorder
- Your insurance company will have access to your treatment record
- If there is an audit at the insurance company, your records may be read
- You may need to report a mental health diagnosis when applying for a job
- A study at the University of Illinois found half of Fortune 500 companies use health data in employment decisions – even though they’re not supposed to