Counseling, Coaching, & Psychotherapy Information


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What is Counseling, Coaching, Therapy, Treatment, & Psychotherapy:

  • There are many interpretations and definitions to distinguish between counseling, psychotherapy, and treatment; however, contained herein is a general explanation of these terms to provide a basic understanding.

  • Counseling includes assistance, guidance, and support resolving personal, emotional, and other difficulties or stressors.

  • Psychotherapy is the treatment of psychological disorders or maladjustments utilizing clinical techniques.

  • Counseling and psychotherapy are terms that are often used interchangeably though psychotherapy is best understood as based in clinical acuity including diagnosis and treatment of mental and behavioral disorders whereas counseling includes problems of everyday living that cause distress.

  • Treatment or therapy may also be used as a synonym for counseling and psychotherapy.

  • Counseling, psychotherapy, and treatment focus on problems or symptoms that rise to a level of severity that impair one’s ability to function at their optimal levels.

  • The goal of counseling, psychotherapy, and treatment is to reduce, extinguish, or resolve symptoms and problems so the individual may recover and return to his/her previous optimal level of functioning.

  • Counseling, psychotherapy, and treatment achieve this through clinically appropriate evidenced-based and empirically supported and validated interventions.

  • Counseling and psychotherapy are provided by licensed mental health professionals who receive extensive education, training, supervision, and experience to develop and refine clinical and professional expertise.

  • Counseling and psychotherapy education and licensure requires a bachelor's degree and a masters degree, phd, or psyd in clinical psychology, clinical social work, or counseling.

  • Counseling and psychotherapy education and licensure requires ongoing training and consultation throughout one’s career.

  • Counseling and psychotherapy licensure and treatment provide professional protections to clients, such as, privacy, confidentiality, and privileged communication.

  • Licensed professional counselors follow professional, ethical standards, codes, and guidelines which are standardized and protected by law. In most circumstances counseling and psychotherapy are covered benefits for managed care insurance policies.

  • Coaching is a process to empower individuals to develop strategies for achieving one’s personal best. Coaching assists individuals identify and augment strengths. Coaching focuses on holistic health and wellness. Wellness is a state of optimal performance and is not merely the absence of disease.

  • Coaching assists individuals with identifying and exploring strengths, goals, and future oriented plans. Coaching does not include the assessment, diagnosis, intervention, or treatment of mental, behavioral, or psychological disorders.

  • Though many counselors and psychotherapists do utilize coaching as a change facilitation strategy to assist their clients coaching is not a treatment and does not have requirements for education, training, supervision, or licensure.

  • Coaching does not provide a client legal or ethical protections for privacy, confidentiality, and privileged communication. Further, coaching is not a covered benefit for managed care insurance policies.


What Is The Therapeutic Process?

  • The therapeutic process includes the following: Identifying strengths, developing problem solving techniques, coping skills, assertiveness skills, impulse control skills, boundary setting skills, and communication skills. It may also include receiving positive supportive and empathic feedback, impartial objective feedback, polite challenges to illogical thought processes, respectful confrontation regarding maladaptive or inappropriate thinking, feeling, and behaving.

  • The therapeutic process may entail education regarding mental health treatment and diagnosis, healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices as it relates to mental and behavioral health, stress management, spiritual or value identification and development, existential exploration, insight development, awareness of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, assisting with goal development and achievement, accountability to support goal attainment, and learning about emotions, cognitive processes, and personal development.

  • Further, the therapeutic process may include the following, but not limited to: Positive emotional support and validation, reframing experiences, resolving trauma, increasing understanding regarding motivation and behavior, and having a physical and emotional safe place to explore one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a healing positive, and non-judgmental environment.

  • The desired outcome of therapeutic treatment is to reduce or eliminate symptoms, reduce maladaptive thinking, feeling and behavior, to reduce or eliminate distress, and to explore, as well as, implement individualized strategies and interventions to help a client achieve his/her goals.

  • Further, desired outcomes of treatment may include, but are not limited to the following: Increasing relationship satisfaction, improving relationship quality, to assist with identifying and augmenting strengths, to learn healthy coping strategies, to increase functioning in specific areas of a client’s life, to identify and utilize resources, develop resilience and resourcefulness, to increase self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy.

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