There isn’t as much confusion about these terms as there used to be, but it still may be helpful to clarify the types of services we’re talking about here.
Although I’ve been a clinician in a variety of mental health settings for virtually my entire career, it’s important to be crystal clear that the service I’m providing is not psychotherapy.
Most people call it counseling, but it’s Psychotherapy and it occurs in person, face-to-face – and is a medical service driven by “symptoms” that are assessed and diagnosed. A psychiatric label with a code is generated, and a major portion of the fee is paid for through health insurance.
The services I provide for people who find me online are either coaching, or personal consulting.
Coaching is a specific type of service growing in popularity every year. It has become a profession requiring training and resulting in credentialing. I have received training in coaching from Mentor Coach.
Coaching specifically helps people achieve their personal goals via weekly or biweekly telephone interactions with the coach of their choice. This approach has specific parameters and avoids solving one’s problems or implying mental illness. Usually, there is a signed agreement that specifies the goals to be achieved and how success will be measured.
Personal Consulting is the most generic – and also my favored – form of “helping.” There are virtually no rules or structure other than what the client thinks is valuable. Although there can be a stretch of weekly or even daily phone calls when the situation arises, the frequency is mutually decided upon and can be on an “as needed” basis.
My skills are especially helpful for people to be able to perceive their situation more clearly – and therefore be able to form responses and alternatives that help move things forward.