or Life Coach Hiring
Defining Medical Professional Roles
Researching Holistic Solutions
Psychotherapist or Life Coach hiring. What’s the difference? First let’s talk about the root of the problem. Did you know that stress and anxiety are one of the leading causes for seeking professional help? More specifically, more than 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety and 20 million suffer from depression. Compounding that nearly one of 10 Americans is on some kind of anti-depressant.* What makes this far worse, in my personal & professional experience, is that people are confused as to where to turn to for help. *(M. Hyman, The Ultramind solution, p. 11).
Social media and the internet have enabled us more efficiency seeking help. Unfortunately, it has also created more possibility for sub-par professionals. Frankly, these are people who are not properly trained to offer services. They often offer advise that can be misleading and do more damage than good.
Maybe you’ve heard about the “Hippocratic Oath“? The key to everything is not to do harm. The “Hippocratic Oath” is an oath historically taken by physicians. It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. In its original form, it requires a new physician to swear an oath. An oath to/by a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards.
The Oath is the earliest expression of medical ethics in the Western world. Link Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath
Specific Medical Professionals Defined
There are certain specific Professionals that are properly trained to help clients with mental and emotional illnesses or disorders. They are Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counselors, Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. In addition Licensed Mental Health Counselors and several others mental health professionals, such as Psychiatric Nurses.
But this is definitely NOT something for life coaches! Including “Certified” Life Coaches. They might be able to help clients with “life challenges”. Those that require setting goals, or improving skills. This might be for example changing a career, or finding a romantic partner. But there are limitations. Frankly most are not even aware of them and render services out of a drive to make a quick buck.
My beautiful home town Ljubljana, Slovenia
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Therapists
As in any other field, there are “good and bad” therapists. There are “good and bad” life coaches. I do know some good life coaches who have ethics and understand limitations. However, more often than not, I’m coming across unqualified and unethical life coaches. Thus far that has been my experience of living in S Fla for over 20 years. Also having been a therapist now over 15 of those years.
Years ago I wrote and clarified distinctions between each in my previous article. It was entitled “The Difference Between a Psychologist, Psychotherapist and a Psychiatrist Demistified” June 2014.
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Therapists (cont.)
There is a problem that exists in my opinion. That is the coaching field is not upheld to any high rigorous ethical and legal considerations. Not as it is in the case of licensed mental health professionals. The only regulating body is the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Therefore the coaching schools that are following their standards, are more likely to offer quality programs. But unfortunately it’s still not a guarantee. That’s why ethics and moral obligations to refer clients out when you’re NOT qualified is the key here.
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Experience
Once to my horror I observed a “healer/life coach’ proudly describe how they treated a client, who was suicidal! First of all, all clients who enter mental health treatment with a licensed clinician, are guaranteed privacy. This includes social media! This also means being HIPPA compliant! So this was already the first violation. Not to mention the fact that this person didn’t have any training whatsoever! That is key in cases like this.
Over the years I have had several incidents with life coaches and their specific approach. I actually attended 6 months of intense training by a coaching school. This school is accredited by the International Coaching Federation. This is in addition to graduate school and other training over the years.
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Life Coaches
I came across one such poorly run life coaching programs locally here in S Fla. I actually read on their website that the founder had a criminal and drug history. The website was not created very well by the way! Over the last 30 years of being in education and the psychology field I have studied many self-help authors. I do believe that people who had to deal with adverse life situations can be one of the best teachers!
Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer & Donna Eden
There are several people that come to mind. For example Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Donna Eden and more just to name a few. These are folks that come to my mind when you talk about overcoming enormous adversity. Then in turn sharing that gift with others.
However they were also very humble people! Moreover their first priority was not sales but rather SHARING what they had learned with others. They also didn’t cross boundaries when it came to others’ mental health.
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Life Coaches (Cont.)
I cannot say that ALL the trainers from this particular program are like the three trainers I had met personally. But this happened in the span of over 10 years. It seemed to me like theirs is a general approach. Their obvious lack of knowledge how to approach clients remains just the same.
That is also why I can only go by what I had personally experienced. I might have even taken their workshop if I wasn’t so turned off by several things. First their lack of proper interpersonal, communication as well as sales skills. This is in addition to what I saw as a complete lack of knowledge of basics of human development & psychology. This is something that has happened years ago but it really stands out in my memory.
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Life Coaches (cont.)
I came across another life coach and I’ll share that experience too. This happened when I was part of a coaching/self-growth program back in 2004. This was at one of the networking meetings when I had just graduated. However I was immediately turned off by her aggressive sales pitch. In graduate school the first thing we learn is UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD for a client.
This means you need to work with people where they are. This person tried to convince me that I desperately needed the help of this particular program. Of course she happening to be selling it too right at the moment. But I needed to buy it because my life is “such a mess”! She said that “I will not be successful” because my “strategy” was no good. Amazingly she went on to say I had created my own trauma. Basically everything negative that happened in my life was my fault.
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring– Salespeople
This happened on two more occasions over the years with two different coaches from this particular program. Of course the last encounter I just told the person I had no interest. My only intention to meet with her was socially. I had expressed lack of interest due to my previous experiences with two other coaches from this program. Unfortunately, she even persisted and tried to put me down and shame me as well!
Frankly, the worst thing was that I was in a car accident almost around that time in my life. Unfortunately, I was a victim of road rage. However, she persisted in telling me “I created and attracted this”. When you examine this it tends to sound more like New Age philosophy.
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring– Pretense
The worst of all too was this person really didn’t take time to understand my personal situation. She missed the fact that I actually am suffering from mental illness. She blindly kept pushing her agenda.
I couldn’t even respond in the moment because I needed time to reflect on what happened. She was overwhelming to me in those moments. This is awful behavior especially for a “mental health” practitioner or even one pretending to be!
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring – Shaming
I do believe that mindset is key. Any properly trained clinician knows that shaming and putting people down is the last thing you want to do. Especially when you say you want to help that person. This kind of approach could break a person who is struggling. Perhaps because of their exposure for example to previous harshness and criticism.
Here is the bottom line. Even if the program works for some people, their sales pitch clearly shows to me that there is no depth. People who sell this program in most cases have no proper training or credentials. At least the ones I have come across. Specifically this person only took this course 6 years ago. Prior to this she was in a service industry before and now calls herself a “Master Trainer.”
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Training
Why do I say that? It seemed like it came with a sense of entitlement. I’m very intuitive and sense people’s energy very quickly. In the past I just didn’t trust myself enough with this “gut feeling” or “intuition”. However in most cases my gut is right!
I have always been an open minded person and worked all my life. Honestly I’ve worked at least for 30 years on healing my own trauma. I’ve earned a Master’s Degree from the highly reputable University of Miami in Coral Gables Fl. I graduated with Honors! So understand this is not the only case I have come across.
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Tactics
I had a similar experience with another self-growth program, that will remain nameless! The short version is even though I gained some skills. The way they go about with their sales totally turned me off from further exploring it. They call it enrolling people!
How can you be ethical when you are desperate to make money? Ethically speaking don’t you need to really understand if this person is a match? Or is just about you and the particular program you happen to be selling?
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Coercion (Cont.)
So my concern is therefore two fold. First most of these Life Coaches have no proper training in human psychology and understanding. They can cause serious damage in cases where people have experienced significant life trauma or have underlying mental illness. This occurs by making them “wrong”, coercing them and using aggressive tactics.
Fortunately I have worked on raising my self esteem which used to be very low. Consequently, many people that are struggling with mental health disorders also have a difficult time asserting themselves. Especially if they were abused, because of the potential for this low self esteem, predators can and do take advantage!
This taking “advantage” of their clients innocence and desperation and willingness to try anything to feel better is awful! They do not have proper training. They also are not able to distinguish who is the right candidate for their program. Think about that. It has the potential to make this a really terrible situation.
Psychotherapist Life Coach hiring- Cost
Another issue is also the high cost of these programs or coaching sessions. Recently my client told me that his friend is a life coach. His friend offered him and a friend a family discount rate for a coaching session. This discounted rate was $500/hr! Which of course is absurd! Please be observant and do your research!