Therapy vs. Coaching: Which is right for me?


As I launch my new coaching practice, people have been asking me about how this service differs from therapy. Here are some key differences:

Psychotherapy is intended to treat those blocks that keep us from thriving: past trauma, mental illness such as depression or anxiety, or unconscious patterns that hinder our relationships, work, and lives. Therapy is often an introspective process, which focuses on understanding the root of one’s suffering and healing these wounds. In general, therapy is done in person, though video sessions within the state of Colorado may be appropriate for some. You can use your insurance, victim’s compensation, or employee assistance program to pay for therapy.

In contrast, coaching is more focused on achieving goals and manifesting your ideal life. It is not intended to diagnose or treat mental illness or trauma, and instead places heavy emphasis on moving forward in a manner that feels fulfilling and aligned with your purpose, spirituality, creativity, and/or passion. Coaching can be done in person (in Boulder, Colorado), on the phone, or via Skype from anywhere in the world. Often times, it is a combination of these that is most effective. Coaching is private pay only; insurance, EAPs, and victim’s compensation do not cover coaching services.

If you are still unsure of which service is right for you, I am happy to talk to you about your unique situation and goals at no cost. Please contact me to set up this consultation on the phone or in person.

A Word of Gratitude

upThis weekend, a training in Motivational Interviewing left me with a deep sense of gratitude. Sure, I was grateful for having a fun way to learn and practice helpful skills. I was grateful for the generosity of the trainer, who has been an amazing colleague and wonderful support for me in my professional development. I was grateful to be spending time with a group of wise and talented therapists and coaches over tasty scones and cherry juice.

But what left the deepest impression of gratitude was the continual reminder of the beauty and resilience of my clients, and how sacred it is to be invited into their life journeys.

Motivational Interviewing is a wonderful approach to therapy that calls on the wisdom of the client to move toward the changes they feel compelled towards making. And the therapist is lucky enough to be a travel agent and a guide in this profound process. As we learned new skills and reviewed the ones I had already been practicing, I thought of all of the growth and existential shifts I had been a part of over the last year with my clients. That I have had the blessing of knowing, over and over, on the most intimate level, how resilient the human spirit is.

Thank you to those of you I have worked with. It has truly been an honor.


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Rachael Uris, MA, LPC is the owner of Atacama Counseling, LLC, offering sex therapy as well as individual and couple's counseling for issues surrounding sexuality, love, and pregnancy. All services are located in downtown Boulder, Colorado, and are provided in English and Spanish.
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