The term self-care gets thrown around so much these days, it's hard not to roll my eyes when I hear it. As with many things co-opted by capitalism, the monetization of self-care has veered things off course. Rather than taking time for ourselves, it is often billed as a time to treat ourselves. Not to say that it shouldn't be activities that we enjoy, but it's worth asking the question, are we actually caring for our ourselves or simply numbing ourselves? And if we're shooting for the former, then that means self-care isn't always going to be enjoyable in the moment, but you always feel better having done it. For me, therapy and coaching fall firmly in that camp.
Chances are, if you know me in real life, you have been on the receiving end of one of my ‘everybody should go to therapy’ speeches. I am therapy's biggest hype woman. To be fair, becoming a coach probably wasn't too much of a leap, given the amount of overlap between the two fields. Friend and fellow coach, Kate Turner, likes to say, “you heal a wound with therapy and strengthen a muscle with coaching.” Each are steps towards becoming healthier, but in different ways.
Both therapy and coaching are centered around establishing a relationship of trust and confidence in order to facilitate self-awareness and greater insight for the client. However, therapy is often about overcoming past challenges by processing the emotions that arise. This can sometimes include healing trauma or managing mental illness. Coaching, on the other hand, is future-focused. Rather than processing the insights gained, we utilize that information in our plan of action to move forward.
Regardless of the methodology, effective change requires immense vulnerability. With a coach or therapist, there is no judgment. There is no concern for reciprocity or worry that what you have to confess is too much. Purely a safe space with someone who is fully present to hear you out. Therapy and coaching shouldn't just be embraced, but normalized. Depending on your needs, one or both could be the support you need in finding more satisfaction in your every day life. There isn't a single one of us who could not benefit from a better understanding of ourselves and the filters through which we experience the world.
Note: While what goes in the vault, stays in the vault is my general motto, a coach is not legally-protected in keeping your secrets. So if it's dreams of criminal activity you wish to unload, definitely find a therapist.