About two years ago I was having panic attacks on a daily basis.  I felt incredibly anxious about my future, my life and my then relationship.  My mind was constantly imagining the worst case scenarios.  Also no matter how much I talked with my family and friends, the number of self development books I read and online courses I took, how much personal development work I did on my own, I just felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere or feeling better.

It got to a point where I knew I couldn’t deal with it on my own and I just wanted to feel better.  And in addition, stop feeling so powerless over my negative thoughts which seemed to be winning all the time.

At the time it wasn’t an easy decision for me to make.  In fact asking for help or going to someone for help ​felt like I failed at something.  All my life I was surrounded by strong women and no one in my family ever “got help” from anyone.  So that was a huuuuuuge limiting belief I had to work through right then and there. This is one of the main reasons why I’m so passionate about destigmatising people getting any kind of psychological help.  So long story short, thank god I did get help, because it was one of the ​best decisions of my life.

Literally after my first session I felt like a mountain was lifted off my shoulders.  Like I could breathe again with my lungs open!  And more importantly, I could relax because now there was someone there for me.  More specifically, a professional who could guide me through my challenges, someone who had helped people in the same situation as me.

THERAPY VS COACHING: WHEN TO ASK FOR HELP AND WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?

So, you’re deliberating whether to invest in a coach or go to therapy?  ​I’m always a strong advocate to follow your instinct and just try. ​The only regret I ever had was not starting sooner and for trying to do it ​on my own ​for so long!  So much so, that two sessions in I wondered ​“Whyyyy on earth did I put myself through so much anxiety when I could have done this a year ago and felt better almost instantly?”
There’s something really powerful in having someone there that supports you. Someone that gives you a new perspective, that believes in you and in your ability not only to heal, but to reach for goals beyond your dreams.

If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation (whether you feel stuck, anxious or you want to uplevel your life) I want to offer some ​clarity ​around the main ​differences between therapy and coaching, but just know that there are so many incredible options out there for you, whether on a physical, mental, emotional, energetic or spiritual level – ​acupuncturists, acupressurists, sound therapists, hypnotherapists, reiki masters, shamans, mediums. ​You will always be able to find something that works for you.

THERAPY

For the most part, therapy often focuses on your inner world.  To clarify, it supports you on the mental and emotional level and helps you work through your traumas, problems and their origins. In comparison with coaching, therapy spends more time on your ​past​ than your present or future.
Psychotherapists are specialised in helping people overcome mental illnesses and are the only ones allowed to treat them (either with medication or psychological means, depending on their background and qualification).

COACHING

Coaching is much more ​present and future orientated. It focuses on finding solutions and discovering ways of how you can reach your goals.  Also, it helps you recognise your strengths, values, self-worth and develop your potential so that you can truly unfold and express yourself fully.
Through coaching you get to know yourself better and it supports you in your self-realisation, which ultimately leads you to living a happy, fulfilling and healthy life.

What a coach can’t do?

Coaches can’t treat mental illnesses.

What a coach can do?

Coaches can however support you in difficult situations that don’t have a medical cause.  For example, your personal development and growth, your purpose, confidence, relationships, career, work, goals etc.

As you can see, coaching and therapy both have their own purpose and they each have their own beautiful way of supporting you.
Even if you still can’t decide between the two, you will ​intuitively know which one will support you best in this moment in time. ​When I was looking for help two years ago I searched through so many therapists and coaches in Frankfurt and none of them really clicked for me. In the end I found an amazing hypnotherapist that was also a coach and that combination was perfect for me because my anxiety was mostly connected to me being stuck and wanting to get clear on my direction in life.

FINALLY, HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT OPTION?

Just listen to yourself and trust your intuition when it comes to the ​type of support and ​person you want to work with. Is the person guiding you ​embodying and living a life that you aspire to live and do ​you ​feel comfortable, fully accepted and at ease with them?  If yes, then that makes a great foundation for a successful coaching/therapy relationship and for personal growth and healing

Written by Tajda Glazer, TFE Contributor and Transformational Coach