What is coaching?
Coaching is a growth enhancing relationship between a coach and a client, in which goals in areas such as work, health or personal life are set collaboratively. The coach is a facilitator in the process of the coaching, in which the client is helped to over come obstacles to achieve one’s goals. In this process, the client may gain insights into one’s issues that are related to achieving one’s goals. The coach also facilitates a thought-provoking and transformative process that maximizes the client’s professional or personal potentials. In this sense, the coaching process will lead the client to a higher level of well-being and performance in life and work.
What is the difference between coaching and psychotherapy?
In coaching, the focus is on achieving one’s goals and maximizing potentials. It is a prospective process in which the client is helped to enhance one’s well-being and performance in life and work. In fact, both coaching and psychotherapy may involve developmental issues sometimes, coaching focuses more on tapping into present possibilities and attaining full potentials by enhancing awareness in relation to one’s actions.
In psychotherapy, the focus is more on retrospective side, as well as on the here-and-now perspective. The psychotherapist helps the client to look into one’s psychological issues and/ or mental illnesses that interfere one’s daily functioning, such as work, family, study, etc. The psychological treatment may involve exploring the unconscious issues and repairing damages or injuries from earlier experiences. It also involves looking into the client’s cognitive distortions, maladaptive underlying assumptions or core beliefs. Furthermore, it also provides skills or strategies to behavioral change in relation to maladaptive behavioral patterns or addictions. As the client may gain insights into one’s personality issues or unconsciousness, personal growth may also be achieved in psychotherapy.
How to choose a coach?
The most important consideration for you to choose a coach is the coaching relationship between you and your coach. Trust and respect are two salient elements you could look for in a coaching relationship. It is important for you to be willing to open up to your coach, who is accepting, empathetic, understanding and neutral. In this sense, the rapport between you and your coach is a good indicator of whether it is a good match.
Another important issue is whether the coach has undergone some professional training accredited by a recognized and established professional body, such as the International Coach Federation. Those coaches who underwent such professional training will be equipped with adequate coaching skills to help clients in achieving one’s goals. Those who had proper training will also be aware of the ethics of practicing as a coach. Thus, the benefit of the client is being protected.