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SZA's Journey Highlights the Need for Clarity with Coaching

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Did you see this article about SZA where she talks about her experience with a coach when she needed a therapist? CLICK HERE TO READ SZA being confused about the difference between therapy and coaching is a classic example of why we need to be clear.

Think about it... if we are still clarifying this fine line, you know our clients are not 100% clear. This confusion can do harm. So, here are five ways we can create more clarity and make coaching and therapy work clearly as vehicles for healing and growth for us and our clients.

Is that Arm Broken or Buff?

Therapy is like giving TLC to a broken arm—lots of healing, support, and a gradual return to full functioning. It's for those deep emotional bruises, the things that require healing for our clients to live well.

On the flip side, coaching is all about the arm that’s ready to hit the gym and get buff. This arm is ready to take action and flex, setting goals, creating strategies, and hitting personal or professional milestones. There will always be an emotional component to our work, but as a coach, you are not there to explore the past, but instead, focus on creating a bigger bolder future with some clear outcomes. I actually like what Tony Robbins had to say about the differences in this article.

Be aware of the focus and intention of how we are engaging with folks. Is the outcome restoring well-being or future-focused growth?

Speaking of outcomes… let's talk about framework and packages.

Develop your Signature Framework

When you are working as a coach with a clear niche, it is wise to create a program that step-by-step moves folks through to a specific outcome. This makes it easier for you to market and deliver services and keeps you from getting too far into the therapeutic weeds by processing emotional content from the past that does not help with the future-focused, action-oriented style of coaching. Consider leveraging your expertise into a structured framework. Having a process you move folks through that is based on your expertise allows you to position yourself as an expert.

This is what I LOVE doing with my business coaching clients in our 90-Day Sprint. I have a clear way of taking your niche and helping you turn it into a step-by-step framework that you monetize in various ways. If you are curious about how to make this happen in your business, CLICK HERE to schedule a chat

Put it in a Package

Speaking of that structured framework… having one provides you an opportunity to create higher price point packages that offer specific outcomes. Therapists are very accustomed to the hourly billing rate, and for private practice that works. When you are exploring coaching, the game changes a bit. Clients also commit better to a process that is time-specific and structured.

No one-and-done hourly sessions. Packages keep things focused, ensuring you and your clients are on the same page about what you are working on and what's realistically expected of them to get there.

Marketing and Messaging 101

This one gets tricky for therapists. You cannot market yourself as a therapist, then just have a coaching option on your website right next to therapy and not expect folks to be confused. This is another reason why packages are helpful—it clearly defines that this is a completely different service than therapy, and there is no confusion from the beginning. If your hourly therapy rate and your coaching rate are the same and they are listed next to each other… what is the real difference from the client’s perspective?

The Wrong Road Trip

Trying to circumvent the geographic restrictions of licensure is probably one of the biggest reasons I see folks considering coaching. That’s so evident on the website that says, my rates are the same but I offer therapy in-state and coaching everywhere else. Offering coaching is not about expanding your geographical base. That’s how we end up with ethical issues. Make sure you are really offering a clear coaching offer, and get some training on what coaching is and how to operate in that space. Don’t just say you are a coach because your client moved to a different state… NOPE! I see y'all!!!

As a business coach for therapists, my mission is to help you scale your game beyond the classic therapy scene when you are ready to make that leap. But—and it's a big but—let's do it right. Keep it ethical, be transparent, and know what you are offering so there is no room for confusion."

*Sza photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images :

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