The border between coaching and therapy is often not clear. In today’s show, we try to eliminate those blurred lines and make distinctions between coaching and therapy. We’re diving in, clearing up misconceptions, and debunking five common myths.

Steve Coxsey is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Professional Certified Coach. He’s the Founder and President of Thriving Edge, Inc., a coaching and training business that aligns success and wellbeing through applied positive psychology. Steve wears two hats as an executive coach, where he works with professionals on workplace leadership and self-leadership, as well as working with business owners. He also maintains an active part-time therapy practice under his role as a Licensed Professional Counselor. His career path has included therapist, preschool center owner, executive coach, trainer, and mentor. The common thread among all his positions is his desire to promote lifelong growth and development. Steve is active in our North Texas ICF chapter, which is where Steve and I first met.

Show Highlights:

  • 5 Myths about therapy vs. coaching:
    • If a topic involves uncomfortable emotions, it MUST be a therapeutic conversation
      • Distress doesn’t mean you need a therapist!
    • Business relationships are for coaching, and personal relationships are for therapy
      • Systems influence development in relationships
    • Therapeutic models and frameworks are only to be used in therapy
      • The ACT model is totally appropriate in coaching
    • Coaching only deals with the present and the future, and therapy excavates the past
      • Many therapy models don’t go into the past, and some aspects of coaching focus on behavior patterns
    • If a client has a therapist, then they shouldn’t have a coach; you can’t have both simultaneously
      • Coaching and therapy can be compatible processes
    • The questions Steve asks of his new clients
    • The importance of collaboration and cooperation between a coach and a therapist
    • When a coach might need to refer a client to a therapist
    • Why coaches need to have relationships with therapists in the local area
    • Ideas on ways to find a therapist (Be sure to check your insurance coverage!)
    • Why a coach shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions from a place of presence, curiosity, and attunement


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