By SHANNON SKAE, health and life coach at Revive with Shan
Health and life coaching and therapy such as that found with a psychologist or a psychiatrist are both beneficial forms of treatment, but they do differ. Psychology and psychiatry are recognised forms of therapy, and many people are comfortable with seeking this kind of therapy. In contrast, health and life coaching are very new, up-and-coming professions, which may make people nervous to try them out.
There are, however, many benefits to seeing a health and/or life coach. This is because a health and/or life coach can help you with:
- Managing stress and supporting you if you have anxiety and depression
- Managing weight loss and your nutrition
- Setting exercise goals and training
- Working through trauma and coping with loss
- Conflict management and relationship management
- Eating disorders and addictive behaviours
- Managing your sleeping
- Setting goals and focusing on the future
- Financial and job management
- Lifestyle changes and health and wellbeing improvements
- Focusing on progress and moving forward
Health and/or life coaching focuses on holistic treatment – mind, body and soul. It is also often more accessible to the everyday individual. For instance, there are usually no long waiting lists such as those associated with seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Health and/or life coaching should be something everyone accesses, especially due to the stressful and busy lifestyles we all navigate.
In comparison, psychologists and psychiatrists are different to health and/or life coaches in that they:
- Focus only on mental health
- Diagnose and pathologise
- Are usually more expensive than health/life coaching sessions
- Focus on more severe mental illnesses
- Focus on the past and healing past traumas
- Can diagnose mental illness where a health/life coach cannot
So which do you choose?
A person should seek out a psychologist and/or psychiatrist if their mental health declines severely. For example, they cannot continue with everyday tasks, and their physical health is at risk. They are also a danger to themselves or others and are possibly attempting suicide.
A person can seek help from a health and/or life coach if they would like advice or guidance on nutrition, goal setting, directions in life, lifestyle change, weight loss, exercise and movement guidance, coping with stress, relationship conflict, and everyday stressors. Their physical and mental health are not declining to such an extent that they cannot function in their daily tasks and are not suicidal. If a person is suicidal, a health and/or life coach will refer them to a psychologist and/or psychiatrist.
In an ideal world, all of us would go to a health and/or life coach or a psychologist because this would improve our health and wellbeing. It is essential to focus on holistic wellness, which is only achieved if we focus on self-care, recovery from past traumas and looking forward positively to the future.
If you would like a consultation with a health and/or life coach in Makhanda, you can book with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0832860774.
It is never too late to start caring about you! Empower yourselves to become healthy.