Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between “counseling” and “life coaching”?

 The most significant difference is the qualifications. Counselors are considered mental health providers and can bill insurance. They have at minimum a Masters Degree in Psychology or a related field and they go through a licensure process similar to what a doctor might do. Licensed counselors are required to earn thousands of hours of clinical experience. They are also required to take a board exam that measures their competency before being awarded their license. They are trained in using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Coaches are not required to have a qualifying degree, and they are not governed by an organized board. This means that there is not an organization that oversees how a coach provides treatment, and they are not legally liable for practicing outside their scope in the same way a counselor is held responsible. Several certification programs are available for coaches. However, many coaches specialize in specific areas based on their interests and lived experiences. Lived experience can go a long way in supporting another person through a similar change or challenge.

Some say that counseling works on the “why” of the problem, whereas coaching focuses on the “how” to get out of the problem; they also say that counselors look at the past and coaches will look at the future. It is important to note that both coaches and counselor work on specific goals and changes. Coaching helps you set and achieve goals versus counseling helps you recognize and solve your problems in life. A coach has the job to challenge you frequently versus a counselor who is there to support you with empathy and understanding
(although they might gently challenge you). Counselors typically diagnose and treat mental health disorders (Major
Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, etc.) and a Life Coach helps you navigate, well, life.

Can you bill my insurance?

No. Life Coaching is typically not covered by your medical insurance. Some health savings accounts (HSAs) may allow you to be reimbursed for Life Coaching services but since a Life Coach does not “diagnose and treat” as a counselor does, medical insurance will not cover the services.

Why would a Life Coach refer me to a counselor?

Sometimes when working with a coaching client, it is determined that there are some mental health issues (most often depression or anxiety) that might require medication to manage the symptoms. In this situation, the client would be referred to a counselor as this is outside the scope of Life Coaching.

Is Life Coaching done in person or virtually?

Both! Life Coaching can be done either in person or virtually. I do all of my Life Coaching virtually by using a telehealth platform that is HIPAA compliant (although Life Coaching doesn’t fall under HIPAA guidelines, I work to protect confidentiality).

What is EMDR and how does one use EMDR through telehealth?

EMDR is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). It is used to help people move through traumatic events. It does not mean that someone necessarily needs therapy but that something has happened and it needs some attention. When the trauma results in symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, a referral to a counselor would be warranted. EMDR is a structured model that encourages the client to focus briefly on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain.

There are virtual EMDR platforms/websites that allow for us to conduct EMDR therapy virtually quite successfully. The client is sent a link and can log in to the website during the session.

What is the Enneagram and how do I know my Enneagram Type?

The Enneagram is a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. The Enneagram describes nine personality types and maps each of these types on a nine-pointed diagram which helps to illustrate how the types relate to one another. It is very helpful when identifying one’s Enneagram type to discover core motivations including the unique core fear, core desire, core weakness, and core longing that is specific to each type. In using the Enneagram in Life Coaching, the client learns to have grace for themselves and this allows them to improve their awareness about their own behaviors and characteristics, advocate for themselves better, and communicate their needs more effectively.

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