The first challenge with this question is that coaches are not trained to diagnose this or make the call. The second challenge is that if a coach says a client ‘needs therapy’ that can be perceived as diagnosing and giving advice – both of which are outside the scope of coaching. As a coach, be aware of the Code of Ethics and be aware of how you say what you say.
- Therapy requires specific training and licensure.
- A coach is not a therapist.
- A coach has the responsibility to support the client in obtaining the appropriate services.
- How do you determine if the client a whole person or working to become whole? (Coaches work with someone who is whole and therapists work with people to become whole.)
- What is the focus for the client?
- How is the coaching client best served: understanding and reframing something in the past (therapy) or exploring goals, strategies, and actions for the future (coaching)?
- What are the objectives in a therapeutic relationship?
- What are the objectives in a coaching relationship?
- What are the possibilities for both therapy and coaching?
As a coach there is value in researching information provided the general public on whether mental health is appropriate and the signs of mental health challenges. It is helpful to read up and be aware. The questions here are further tools for exploring this possibility. In the next blog is how to handle the conversation with a client.