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To the Therapist Who Will Settle For Nothing Less Than Optimally Functioning Clients
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To the Therapist Who Will Settle For Nothing Less Than Optimally Functioning Clients

As an Admissions Coach at iPEC, I speak with social workers and therapists who tell me that their patients often come to them during a time of great need or struggle. Often, they are battling depression, addiction, or trauma. In some ways, they’re coming from a non-functional place, and your goal is to help them become functional again. This is important work, but it can also put a heavy weight on your shoulders. You’re constantly surrounded by tumultuous energy that’s bound to invite itself into your life.

Most people choose careers in psychology or social work because they want to help people. They want to make a difference in the lives of others, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see that difference unfold on a case-by-case basis. But when you have a full schedule of patients who are working through deep, difficult times in their lives, you might begin to feel unbalanced and drained yourself. Expanding your practice to include one-on-one coaching may be the answer to refreshing your spirit while still remaining true to your goal of helping people.

Coaching is a similar journey with a different beginning.

The major difference between therapy and coaching is where the client begins and ends the process:

Imagine your client as a broken-down car. Your job as a therapist is to get the car running again. This takes patience and expertise, and it could get a bit messy. You may get the the car moving, but the A/C blows hot air, the brakes squeak, and the radio is stuck on AM frequency. 

When you work with coaching clients, on the other hand, the car is already in motion—your focus is to help them break down roadblocks so they can navigate and accelerate the path ahead of them on their own terms. Coaching clients are already working at a functional level. They’re on their feet, they have goals in mind, and it’s the coach’s job to help them see past the obstacles holding them back and empower them to take action and work at an optimal level. 

Coaching skills can expand your practice.

If you’re facing burnout and overwhelm as a counselor, it may be time to explore coaching as an additional (or alternative) skillset. Not only could this provide multiple streams of revenue, but it will give you the time and space to balance the energy around you. When you feel more balanced—and less anxious or stressed—you’ll be able to bring your best to each patient and client. You’ll also be better equipped to offer long-term support.

The great news is that you’re in a unique position to build upon your experience and enhance your counseling skills with a professional coach training program. Click here to learn more about how iPEC can help you diversify your counseling services.

About Sheryl James

Sheryl has been an iPEC Admissions Coach since 2015. She is also an international speaker, author, and a professional coach for parents of children with special needs.

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