What’s the difference between counseling and life coaching?
The biggest difference between a Professional Counselor and a Life Coach is the amount of education and training required to use the title. In the State of Florida, Licensed Mental Health Counselors must earn a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling with classes in the following 12 content areas: counseling theories and practice, human growth and development, individual evaluation and assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology, human sexuality, group theories and practice, career and lifestyle assessment, research and program evaluation, counseling in community settings, substance abuse, and legal, ethical and professional standards issues.
Licensed Mental Health Counselors must also have 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practicum, 1,500 hours of post-master’s supervised internship experience, and pass the national clinical mental health counseling exam (NCMHCE).
The education and training required to be a Life Coach varies. Because there is no “official” regulatory board in life coaching, the quality of coaches vary dramatically. A person is typically certified by the company they do their training under. A good coach is someone who is an expert in a particular area, and who helps people create positive change in their lives.
Cherie Burgess is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern (RMHCI) in the State of Florida, and has almost completed all licensure requirements. Cherie is also a National Certified Counselor (NCC), National Certified School Counselor (NCSC), and holds Board Coaching Certification (BCC) through the National Center for Credentialing and Education.
I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling or coaching, sessions will differ depending on the individual. I tailor my counseling approach to your specific needs.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of counseling. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.