In 2015, I posted a blog article entitled Coaching or Therapy? The Answer is Yes!
The topic came to mind back then when a client expressed a need to see a counsellor or therapist of some kind and I fully supported her. I had subsequent doubts about abandoning my client in a time of need. I came to the realization back then that a coach can support a client who is in the care of a therapist in a big way, and that often, therapy and coaching are really effective partners.
Fast forward to 2020; I have a lot of coaching under my belt since then and many, many experiences to draw upon in this journey that is coaching. This past week is no exception. And the message about coaching and therapy being a partnership still rings true…again.
I have spent quality coaching time this week with two long time coaching clients, both of whom are bright lights when it comes to dentistry. Both have warm personalities, strong values and incredible resilience. In both cases, Depression has reached its tentacles into the lives of these two clients in differing ways. This is not the “I’m really ready for spring!’ kind of Depression. This is the real McCoy; a general feeling of negativity and doom, anxiety, physical symptoms, ‘flatness’, lack of motivation, questioning life in general, lack of joy, dullness of other emotions, anger, resentment and a feeling of malaise.
Here is my message to my clients;
As your coach, I am listening. I can be your confident. I can be your sounding board. I hear you. I will even help you start the conversation about Depression and how you feel (and that often is a huge first step). But I can’t help you clinically. That is not what coaching is for and I know my limitations. When I ask you what steps you are willing to take to seek professional help, I am helping you to reach out to the hand you need to reach to, whether it’s your doctor, a medication/therapy combination, or a professional counsellor who is well versed in the symptoms and experience of depression.
As your coach, I am there to talk with along the way. There to keep you on track for any exercises or practices your therapist or counsellor suggests, there in the in-between times. Sometimes, I am just there to hold a safe space for you to be able to cry or laugh or just be in the company of someone who takes you seriously and cares.
This is what I know; coaching and therapy are not exclusive of each other; depression is real and it is debilitating; it reaches its tentacles into your personal life and your professional life and makes it harder to cope in an ever-demanding profession. Don’t ignore it. Work with me and we will work together. We can do this together – you are not alone.