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May 05 2009

Coaching and Counseling

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Coaching and Counseling Services

Creating a new major relationship at any time in life is a big deal. If doing it at midlife, as an adult, do it the smart way. Prepare yourself, educate yourself, be strategic, and take good care of yourself along the way.

You do not have to re-invent the wheel. You do not have to do this alone.  You do not have to settle for less than you want just because you haven’t yet developed the skills or discernment or confidence to go for it all. Do what all high performing individuals do. Hire a coach.

What is the difference between Coaching and Counseling?

The Relationship between Coaching and Therapy; How those Differences play out in the way we support people who are Dating At Midlife

by Philip Belove, Ed.D., Psychologist, Therapist and Coach.

I do think there are some important differences between coaching and therapy. However, there is also a huge overlap.

Coaching is more focused on asking for Action; therapy is more focused on asking for insight.

As a coach I will help you set goals and then help you achieve those goals. I will remind you of your goals and keep you on track. Also, as a coach, I’ll help you be more effective, help you think about (and eliminate) what singer/poet Paul Simon calls, “All the extra moves I make and that bag of tricks it takes to get me through my working day.”

A coach wants to help you get further faster.  Who wouldn’t want that?

Yet there are times at midlife when the big push to “Get there now!” and all the encouragement to “just do it!”  is exactly the wrong way to help someone. The midlife crisis comes when, after climbing the ladder of success, you discover that it’s been leaned against the wrong wall.  There are times when a focus on action isn’t a good idea.

There are times when the best advice is “Don’t just do something. Stand there!”  And those are times for insight, the business of therapy.

In the stages of dating article, I describe four stages to the midlife crisis in dating: 1) Crazy Time, 2) Quiet Time, 3) Remedial Dating, and 4) Co-creating.  In general, when people are in the stages one and two they need to do less and think and feel more.  These are times for insight.  But then, in stages 3 and 4 people are more helped by coaching. Then they need help in clarifying their heart’s desires and in taking steps and in acquiring skills.

Coaching is more about the future and therapy is more about the past.

It is true that coaching is focused on the future. It is not true that therapy is only, or even primarily, about the past. That simply isn’t the case.  My own training was in the school of Alfred Adler whose method of analysis and help was deeply centered in how people thought about their future.  There are hundreds of schools of therapy and therapy is not so easily categorized.

Coaching is more about health and therapy is more about mental illness.

This only partially true. Clinical Psychology requires training as rigorous as medical training, six to eight years of graduate school plus several thousand hours of supervision. People training it in are trained to help people who have difficulty maintaining a normal level of functioning. Coaching is not about that. Coaching is about helping people move from normal levels of functioning to exceptionally high levels of functioning.

However, there are significant areas of psychology devoted to the study of high functioning people. Psychology is very interested in the dynamics of high performance in Sports, Learning, Leadership, Group performance, and Behavior in Corporations.

The model for helping people in Dating At Midlife draws as much upon psychological studies of exceptionally mature individuals, exceptionally healthy couples and families as it does upon studies of people and relationships in crisis.

Coaching represents and exceptionally rich body of lore and thought devoted to helping people improve their performance in many areas of life.

No question about this.  Here is an interesting way to think about the difference between coaching and therapy, and also to think about midlife relationships.

First, the theory: The psychologist Fredrick Herzberg had a theory, the Two Factor Theory, which talked about this. He said that in any working situation there were two factors that mattered.

There were “Hygiene” Factors.  These prevented dissatisfaction but aren’t particularly satisfying.  For example, the simple fact of good personal hygiene doesn’t necessarily make a person more attractive, but the lack of it sure makes them unattractive.

And you could say the same for mental hygiene. The fact that someone isn’t abusive, isn’t hostile, isn’t selfish, isn’t greed, slothful, avaricious, envious, and the whole list does not make that person attractive.  It does make them safe and reasonable to be around.

Hygiene factors are pretty much the business of therapy.  The other stuff, called Motivation Factors, are more likely to be the business of coaching.

Motivation Factors are things actually satisfy and inspire people be more alive and more involved. These factors make people more attractive and successful. Coaching training tends to be focused on these matters.

People in the Midlife crisis/transition generally want help in both areas. They want to know what parts of their own mental hygiene they have neglected and they also want to put themselves on a track toward success in the second half of life.  A mixture of both coaching and therapy is what serves them best.

Ongoing Coaching from Dr. Belove:  Four sessions a month and email support $300.00

You get support on an on-going basis. You have someone who has learned your particular wishes and your style.

To schedule, email Dr. Belove to arrange a mutually convenient time.

The “What Am I Doing Right” And “What Am I Doing Wrong” Assessment. Four sessions with Dr. Belove, including a summary: $300.00

In four hours of interviews and questioning we can give you a pretty good idea of  a number of useful things: What you are really looking for, what you tend to be a sucker for, what are your blind spots, where you tend to defeat yourself, and where you need to be working on yourself, where you underestimate yourself, what strengths you are not using and what are your skill deficits.

To schedule,  email Dr. Belove to arrange a mutually convenient time.

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