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article imageAn interview with life coaches Special

By Lisa duTrieuille     Jan 20, 2013 in Health
Dorcy Pruter, a life coach, CEO/Founder of Dorcy Inc., says that life coaching is a billion dollar industry. Ron Jacobson, a life coach, says the most important thing is that the life coach has compassion for their client.
But the two questions that arise many times are: What are the differences between coaching and psychotherapy? And, is coaching more effective than psychotherapy? As stated by Dr. Patrick Williams, Founder and Director of the Institute for Life Coaching, on his website says there's some similarities between coaching and psychotherapy. Such as both modalities are created to support the clients. And, they both are practically done in the same way, through regular face to face or phone sessions. Both modalities are created to take a person from the place they are now to the place they desire to be. With that said, this is where the commonalities stop.
According to Jacobson, there are vast differences. In that psychotherapy, "one is dealing with the language of diagnosis, of mental health in particular a medical diagnosis." One is dealing with people who have issues on a chronic and more serious nature than one would with a life coaching. Life coaching tends to attract people who are more well adjusted, are fairly decent and with the help of life coaching, are taking a good life and enriching it and making it better. According to Jacobson, in his experience, it definitely has happened when someone so psychologically impaired and are in no state to deal with the hear and now. And, Jacobson would refer them to a therapist and/or a psychiatrist, who would be able to address those issues. Issues that are so deeply rooted than in the context of life coaching.
Pruter, on the other hand sees the differences between life coaching and psychotherapy much different than Jacobson. She said people hire a life coach because they are ideally transitioning in their life socially,professionally, spiritually and physically. Pruter said life coaching is not niche specific, that one kind of person has a life coach. She said the kind of people who really hire a life coach are searching for something more than they have achieved in their life wherever they may be. Pruter works well with all kinds of people from different walks of life. Such as CEOs, teenagers, families, people who have serious mental health issues such as bi-polar disorder and a history of childhood sexual abuse. So she won't turn away a client who has layers of serious mental health issues. Pruter said the difference a lot of the time is 99.9% of the time, people in psychotherapy, practicing psychotherapy, is based on an old model which really holds people stuck in a victim mind set. That it takes people in the past, keeps them in the past and is not transitionally oriented but more problem oriented. Pruter said psychotherapy is so focused on the problem that one has to keep coming back again and again. She said with life coaching, "Here's the problem. Here's the solution." Pruter said it's accountability as well, that a life coach holds you accountable for the goals you have set in life coaching.
In answer to the question as to whether or not psychotherapy or life coaching is more successful, from Pruter's perspective, she would say that life coaching is absolutely more effective than psychotherapy because it's solution focused, not problem focused as in psychotherapy. Jacobson says in both psychotherapy and life coaching it all comes down to two things. That it comes down to the client and the relationship with the client and vice versa. Jacobson says that a good life coach would never diagnose or make an assessment of a client.
From Pruter's perspective a good life coach won't do their client's work. Pruter says if the coach is doing their client's work, they're creating a dependency. A good life coach according to Pruter are not the change that somebody uses in their life. Rather, the life coach is actually the catalyst for change. The gateway for opening awareness.
From Pruter's view people who truly want to help the world are always looking to improve themselves. She said many psychotherapists, social workers, clinical psychologists are moving from that industry into life coaching. She said the hardest thing for the above mentioned mental health specialists is that they have to re-train their mind on how to do life coaching which is completely different than therapy. She said it's not an easy transition for these former therapists, social workers, etc. Pruter said it's a different relationship. She said these different kinds of mental health clinicians have been trained one belief, one mind set, a victim mindset. In life coaching it's a different mind set, it's more solution oriented.
For Pruter personally, who didn't attend college, it was really scary coming out and retiring from the mortgage industry and starting her own business. In starting to help people, Pruter said people didn't come to her because she has a degree or doesn't have a degree. People come to her because she can help them. Pruter said, "My record speaks for itself." She said at first she had a lot of anxiety and self-doubt about, "Could people trust me? Or, Are they going to think I am a fraud?" She said, "All these things I had especially when I started." Pruter has gone through many certification programs. She's coached over 10,000 hours. And, she said she's a fully qualified to coach. Pruter says not one person nor have they ever asked if I'am certified, nor have they said,"Where can I find your credentials?"
Pruter's key to being a successful coach is having a maintenance plan and treat it as a business because life coaching is a business. She believes that somebody who has the natural ability to be a great life coach understands that life coaching is a a career and business. That the life coach have infrastructure around them, a business plan and an effective business model. Pruter said there are different ways to leverage their business. So not becoming a workhorse hour to hour, who are in sessions per sessions life coaching. Because there's only so many hours in a day and a life coach will have somebody who clients that they coach one to one, have legally leveraged their product.
Pruter said life coaches are not emotionally involved with the outcome. They learn how to be detached which is in fact compassion. When Pruter coaches she can say to the client, "I love you, and I'am here for you, I'am excited for you and cheering you on." She wants her clients to see the choice is truly theirs. Somebody can be compassionate toward the client but be detached from the outcome and they are not connected to the results. A life coach is connected to the result as in they know how to get the result and get the client through the process.
Pruter said you have to love the people you're serving. She said her purpose is to really help people, really empower people with the skills and tools to live a self-actualized life. Pruter said this means teaching people to be 100% responsible for all things in their life so that they find peace, self-awareness and internal love- unconditional love. She said, " What you have inside is what you project to the world."
More about life coaching, psychotherapy, Victim mind set
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