Q: How are psychotherapy and coaching different?
Psychotherapy is guided by the client. It is focused on the mental and emotional layers of the person, and involves exploring and challenging negative behaviors and thought patterns in order to improve emotional experiences. It is usually more open-ended and exploratory in nature, where the length of services depends on the rate at which a client resolves their concerns. While it may include some focus on healing old wounds, the physical and spiritual layers, current licensing boards require a psychotherapist to work within the scope of their speciality addressing mental and emotional conditions utilizing only evidence-based tools deemed acceptable by the insurance and licensing boards.
Coaching is much more structured. It is a contracted set of services for a specified set of time. The coach teaches and instructs the client in wide array of tools and skills in order to address a specific goal. Coaching modalities do not operate from the typical Western models of psychotherapy in which a client is assessed for mental illness and diagnosed with a disorder, nor is it limited to psychotherapeutic methods of treatment. Coaching can effectively address all layers of the person (physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual) without attaching a stigmatizing label or restricting the range of treatment focus and options.
Q: Why don’t you take insurance for psychotherapeutic services?
The short answer: because you deserve better.
Working with insurance companies limits psychotherapists in many ways. Insurance companies reserve the right to deny a client services at their discretion and inhibit clients from receiving the quality of care they pay for. Limitations include restricting the amount or length of sessions a client may receive, requiring specific therapeutic tools be used even if they do not resonate with a client, if treatment is deemed too supportive in nature, denying phone or video sessions, or if the client is not considered “ill” enough to qualify for treatment. Insurance companies monitor treatment by requesting and auditing client private and confidential records, and require a psychotherapist to attach a label to the client, diagnosing a client with a disorder that could limit them from health care coverage or life insurance benefits in the future.
Western medicine has a long way to go, especially when it comes to mental health. After years of working “within the system”, I am no longer willing to limit the scope of my practice to a set of guidelines dictated by a corporate system who’s only goal is to make money. I am in the business of healing, and honor the care of my clients by allowing them access to a full range of healing modalities beyond what insurance will allow.
Coaching is not a service reimbursable by insurance.