Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
A question I think more people should be asking is "What IS the the difference between a life coach and a Therapist?". This is a really important question because there are some big differences. Both can be great. But, and here is the big but, one has a licensing board, certification requirements, legal and ethical rules and are responsible for meeting standards of a governing regulatory board. This one is also covered by medical insurance and allowed to work with people with issues of mental health. The other has NONE of these. Anybody can wake up one morning and decide to call themselves a Life Coach and start advertising. This is not to say that there are not excellent, well trained life coaches out there, because there are.
I came across this article recently and I think it lays out the differences very clearly and in an easy to understand way.
Here is one excerpt from that article.
"If you are more comfortable knowing that the person helping you is a highly educated professional who is licensed and regulated by the state, shares a common language with other health care providers, and is trained to deal with the symptoms of mental health issues as well as the dramas and traumas of ordinary life, a therapist is your best bet"
My biggest concern is that these differences are not made clear to the public. And while there are wonderful Life Coaches out there, how do you know who they are? There are not legal standards currently in place to regulate the industry. This leaves so much room for unqualified people to be representing themselves as equal to a well educated, licensed, mental health professional. That can be misleading but more importantly, dangerous. Mental Health is not something to be taken lightly. There is also the issue of confidentiality. Therapists are required by law to maintain client confidentiality, life coaches dont have these requirements....
So please do your homework before you begin working with someone. It's a good idea to do this when working with a therapist to see if they have complaints against them and to ensure that they are licensed. And if you are looking into working with a life coach, see what sort of certificates they have, what sort of education, training or experience they have and how long they have been in business.
Just like there isn’t only one way to solve a problem, there isn't just one reason why people should go to counseling. It's not just for "crazy" people, or the place to turn as a last resort. There are many reasons to seek help from counseling, from traumatic life events to ongoing depression or major life changes.
Here are some of the top reasons people should go to counseling:
Long-term depression or sadness can hold you back. It makes you less motivated, less confident, it can damage relationships and can just reduce the quality of your life overall. If you are experiencing depression or ongoing sadness, a therapist can help you develop ways of coping, feeling better and getting to the root of the problem. A therapist can also also talk with you about whether medication might be useful in your treatment.
Anxiety or nervousness in small amounts can actually be useful as a way of protecting yourself. However, if your anxiety is getting in the way of you living your life, going to work, maintaining friendships- its time to talk with someone that can help.
When you lose a friend, family member or even a pet the sadness can feel like too much. You may feel moments of despair, then feel ok and then feel guilty for feeling okay. Some people also experience anger at the loss of a loved one. The grieving process is a natural one but most people need a lot of support as they navigate the this part of life. Counselor can help you to deal with loss in a way that is safe and healthy.
hen you experience a traumatic event such as a life threatening accident, witness a death, or get attacked, it can be almost impossible to move past the trauma. It may be something that happened recently or many years ago. A therapist can help you learn how to move past the trauma.
5. Life Changes:
Changes in life are inevitable, however that does not make them easy. Starting a new relationship, moving or having a child can be desired change, yet they can still cause stress and confusion. If changes that are undesired, such as divorce, happen a therapist may be even more important as you cope and make new plans.
When you are struggling to communicate with a partner, family member or friend, a therapist can help you to get back on track. In counseling you can learn tools to both communicate and listen in a productive way.
7. Relationships (beginning, ending or repairing):
I think we all know that relationships can be confusing, at any stage. This is even more so if there are problems or questions about the relationship. Therapy can be very helpful to answer some of those questions, make things less confusing or get the relationship back to a happy place.
8. Overwhelming emotions:
Overwhelming feelings can happen for so many various reasons. They may be uncontrollable crying, nervousness or mood swings. Feelings like this get in the way of living and enjoying life. No matter the reason, it is important to address the issue.
Sara Cole is an MFT practicing in Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill. For more tips, tools and articles you can sign up right here.
This video feels very relatable. If you suffer from anxiety or know someone that does, you may find this useful.
You may also find some of my guided meditations useful. You can find them on the free tools page or on my youtube page.
The Day of The Dead or Dia De Los Muertos is a time to celebrate those who have passed on but are still close to our hearts. Beautiful altars are built in remembrance of the dead. Other people decorate the graves of those who have passed. The altars are covered with marigolds, pictures, favorite foods, oranges, candles and other trinkets. Some people believe that this is the day of the years when the spirits of our loved ones are closest to us.
I love the idea of the my dear sister being close to me again if even for a single day. I like that Dia De Los Muertos comes at the beginning of the Holiday season when there is so much focus on friends and family and tradition. Holidays can be sad after someone special dies and this feels like a way of acknowledging that and allowing there to be a time and place to remember our people with joy and/ or sorrow. The grieving can grieve and we can also bring up happy memories of our loved ones.
My family has our own tradition of making little alters at our homes, in memory of my sister and other people we miss. On my mantle I have a picture of my sister, candles, a little cat (she loved cats) some flowers and a few other things that remind me of her. I can look at it and smile and tell my daughter stories about her aunt Amy. I feel like my daughter knows Amy in some ways even though they never had the chance to meet. I may leave my altar up all year this year because it does make me feel closer to her.
If there is someone you have lost, consider thinking of them on November 2nd and maybe make a small or big altar in their remembrance, visit their grave, look at old pictures or maybe tell someone about a memory you have of your loved one. Telling stories is one of the ways we keep the memory alive and let others know the people who are dear to our hearts. Talking is also a great way of lightening the grief we feel after someone dies.
If you would like to learn more about the grieving process please contact Sara and she will answer any questions you might have.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for over 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression, going away to college, marriage, etc. Sara also loves to help people get their anxiety under control. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.