When a client is experiencing grief, how does a coach ensure they are coaching instead of providing mental health services? One of the challenges the coaching industry faces as a whole is ensuring coaching is not mental health. The mental health professions do require specific education and licensure. What is the difference? A mental health professional works with a client to understand the past and process problems. A mental health professional diagnoses and gives advice. A coach focuses forward, does not diagnose, and does not give advice.
When a client is dealing with grief, a coach listens, demonstrates understanding by rephrasing and reflecting, and asks questions. The coach works with the client on moving forward.
In the coaching process, one example is the coach asking the client how the person they lost would want them to feel, what they would want them to do, and what they would want for their future. The coach then asks the coaching client how they do want to feel, how they want to do, and what they want moving forward.
As a coach, choosing grief coaching as a niche area does require empathy, experience, and focus on the coaching process. The benefits to coaching clients include emotional peace, clarity, and direction.