The combination of fear of a pandemic and the trauma of repeated social injustice encouraged a discussion into mental health and wellness especially amongst the black community. I am working to contribute to the healing of the black and POC community caused by historic and systemic injustices, however the information in this post can apply to anyone asking themselves if they should seek out a coach, mentor or psychologist. The complicated symptoms of any historic trauma can have an affect on more than one aspect of one’s life. It can creep up in our relationships, friendships and in the professional workplace. Identifying that there may be some destructive patterns in our decisions and actions is the first step to opening ourselves to a stronger, self awared future. So, what is a life coach and what is a therapist?
So what exactly do I do as a Life Coach? Well, as with any coach, I am there to maximise your potential. To help you identify your own strengths in order to achieve your own personal or professional goals. A coach should not give you the answers but empower you to find them for yourself, motivate you to set and attain these goals and can be a stepping stone to and from therapy. As a coach, I also have a coach and so I am on the journey with my coaching. It isn’t about having a casual chat that you may have with a close friend or family member, I always endeavour to set my clients proactive and meditative tasks. I also create strategies to ensure my client’s goals are realised and growth is recognised. My clients may need assistance with strategies to cope with stress and anxieties, because, lets be honest, life will always have moments that cause anxiety. So my role is to examine triggers and provide exercises and strategies to manage without disrupting daily life. However, coaches are NOT therapists…
One definition of psychology is the study of the human mind and human behaviour. It is a journey delving into the subconscious and conscious, seeking an understanding of the what, where, when, why and how of our lives. This is an area for trained professionals as they are there to assist clients to uncover, unpack and heal. Part of my journey has included becoming a Psychology First Aider; this includes identifying if there is a need for greater support by a psychologist or a psychiatrist. I greatly support therapy and will always encourage clients to be clear about or have an idea of why they may need to visit a therapist and what they want to gain out of their sessions.
If you feel coaching or therapy is for the privileged or the wealthy, get that idea out of your head now! There are many resources for free therapy sessions, affordable therapy/coaching and resources for ethnic specific services. What it will take is a serious decision to invest in your mental and emotional wellbeing; even if you do have to pay for a service, it may mean not eating out as much or buying that handbag you have been eyeing up. It is an investment in YOU. Decide to invest in YOU, TODAY!
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. -Rumi