You and your partner have decided that you’d like some extra support in your relationship. It’s not The War of the Roses, neither of you feel like you’re on the brink of divorce, but you would like things to be better than they are. You’ve done a few Google searches and have found some options that sound good, but you’re confused about the difference between couples coaching and couples therapy and are wondering which direction to go for help.
Couples Therapy and Couples Coaching are like step-siblings
The technical answer to the questions of “What’s the difference between therapy and coaching?” is that therapy requires more training on the part of the therapist and is more regulated by state and local entities. Therapy also tends to have more of a focus on emotions and psychological experiences, such as anxiety and depression.
In practice, therapy and coaching are like step-siblings. You might have heard that therapy’s focus is more on the past and does not take into account future goals, but if you’re not improving what your future looks like by addressing the past, what’s the point? It’s also a misconception to expect coaching to be solely future oriented, because you can’t address blocks towards goals unless you have an idea of where these blocks come from in your past.
Why Couples Coaching?
Our formal training qualifies us to be able to call ourselves couples therapists, so why did we decide on the role of couples coaching? Simple! We wanted the flexibility to meet with couples as a couple (this is basically unheard of in the therapy world!) AND we wanted to bring an extra element of play into our coaching, because we find quite often that playfulness is missing for couples wanting to improve their relationship. Most importantly, we didn’t want couples to find themselves on the brink of crisis before getting support for their relationship.