How are Certified Mental Health Coaches and Pastoral Counselors different from Licensed Therapists? All are in the mental health and/or social work industries, but they are not the same. Like licensed therapists, coaches and lay counselors are mental health and wellness helpers.
Professional life coaches and pastoral/biblical counselors have chosen not to work in the healthcare system. They do not have government licenses to practice in medical healthcare. They are content to leave medical work to medical professionals. Their goal is to mindfully listen. Coaches and lay counselors do not diagnose. They don’t offer expert advice, but they do offer support.
Licensed psychologists, social workers and therapists work in the mental healthcare system with a government-issued license. They diagnose and treat mental disorders. The services of these professionals are crucial.
The coaching environment is different than what we often see in a medical practice or a doctor’s office. I have found that the coaching environment is more adaptable. The client is in the driver’s seat.
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“As a health and wellness coach, you will guide individuals during their transformative journey of achieving lasting changes and enhanced well-being by helping them overcome hurdles, surpass limitations and tap into their own unrealized personal and professional potential.”– University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
“Wellness coaches work together with others within the interdisciplinary team. They focus on helping clients who are well to stay well and assisting others to recover from illness and discover their best selves with a new emphasis on wellness. The role of the coach is to help the individual identify personal reasons for pursuing greater wellness and to enhance motivation for behavior change using evidence-based strategies. Opportunities exist for wellness coaches to work as independent consultants on the staff of sports or fitness facilities, as an insurance company employee, or as part of an interdisciplinary team in clinics and hospitals. Wellness coaches can set their own schedules and pay rates, choose their clientele, work from nearly any location and enjoy creativity and flexibility in their coaching approach.”– Mayo Clinic
“Mental health coaching is a form of strengths-based support for persons living with serious mental illness (e.g., bipolar disorder). Coaches help clients develop a healthy balance in life, give guidance in decision making, offer support in navigating mental health difficulties [PTSD, grief, loss, trauma, abuse, addiction, stress, anxiety, depression, etc.], and assistance in establishing a recovery plan. Coaches help clients find ways to obtain and maintain stability, manage difficult symptoms, rebuild relationships, and find a purpose for living. Coaches also help clients find resources for professional care and treatment, family support, and education.”– AACC