Dr. RJ Jackson reviews the difference between therapy and life coaching for teens and tweens.
Most parents, when they have a child that is going through something tough, whether they’ve been diagnosed with something, maybe they’ve been bullied, or maybe they see that their child has been a little depressed, immediately think of therapy.
Therapy has always been around. However, even though life coaching has been around for some time, it is new in comparison and still unknown.
In fact, I am one of the few life coaches for teenagers in the entire country.
I want to share with you why life coaching may be the better first choice over therapy.
There’s definitely a need for therapy, but what we found is that it only applies to around 3% of teenagers. So, only 3% of teenagers will need therapy. This is usually when they just lost one of their parents. That is tough, I don’t think life coaching is great for that and therapy would be a better route.
When someone suffers severe depression where they are hospitalized, I believe therapy and life coaching together work great for that.
But ultimately it’s really severe situations when there is mourning that typical therapy is needed.
What we find is since life coaching is not as known as therapy, most parents choose therapy even though it may not be the best fit for their teen.
I know it’s my job to make life coaching more known, but in the meantime parents who only know therapy have a void for teenagers who are really not struggling to a degree severe enough for therapy.
Most parents say “my kid is fine, they have a few friends, I know that they could be a straight-A student, but they’re making B’s and C’s, there’s really no big issue that I can send them to a therapist, but I know that they have more potential in them than what they’re showing”.
This leaves a void for solving these issues, and that is where life coaching comes in.
Life coaching helps those parents who know their teenager is not maximizing their full potential.
It also is the first step If your child is either depressed, anxious, or has been diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s, or other diagnoses.
For this, life-coaching is the preferred option.
Another difference between therapy and life coaching is the processes they use.
Therapy looks to diagnose a child. They want to put a label on a child. I don’t want people to think that therapy is bad. It’s not bad, that’s just the way the process works.
When someone goes to a therapist, they’re looking for a problem, they find the problem, they labeled that problem, and then they start to use strategies and tools to work through that.
The problem that I found over the many years I’ve been coaching, is that a lot of these problems continue to be problems. Many parents have experiences with a therapist working with their child for six or more years and the child still suffers.
Right away, parents notice life coaching is a completely different picture.
We don’t see problems.
When I meet with teens and tweens in my sessions I never say you all have this problem or that problem.
I don’t label them.
I do the opposite.
There are no problems.
I see the children or teenagers, for whom they really are, a person who has an unbelievable amount of potential.
My objective is to get results, not a diagnosis.
It is my goal to help all teens, tweens, and parents achieve their greatest potential.