Coaching refers to short-term or infrequent sessions to identify and stay on track with your life or professional goals. Many people seek coaching to find greater job satisfaction or have greater self-awareness when faced with major life choices.
Psychotherapy refers to building a helping relationship to work through major life or mental health challenges, even if they feel temporary and situational. When your stress exceeds your ability to cope, and you find yourself stuck or acting in unhealthy ways, you use psychotherapy to get unstuck.
Family or couples therapy is recommended when there are things to improve in our significant relationships that are blocking our happiness or causing unnecessary stress. This might include parent-child conflict, in-laws, sibling conflict, grandparents who parent, or marital infidelity.
Ideally, all the parties involved would participate so everyone finds new ways of relating, but in some cases the best we can do is find a different way to relate to an unchanging situation.
Sometimes all we are looking for is a brief consultation with a professional for a different perspective and some guidance. This is a perfectly valid way to use an experienced therapist and does not necessarily lead to an ongoing working relationship. Organizations may also seek a consultant for a time-limited intervention or project such as staff training or organizational support around a difficult event. A seasoned, independent mental health consultant can bring perspective and wisdom to an otherwise confusing situation.
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