DEPRESSION

How Life Coaching can help with Depression

When I set up my Coaching practice, it took a while to establish who I wanted to work with and how. I have since let the business grow organically, honing in on my key skills and most importantly the needs of the clients who find me. The most common challenges my clients face are related to Depressive thoughts – limiting beliefs. I work with my clients (alongside any clinical care) to move them forward from these thought patterns, support them and show them it is possible to overcome their challenges. 

Please note that I do not offer a magic cure through Coaching. I offer an authentic, empathetic, safe, non-judgemental environment in which clients can express their inner-most thoughts and actively engage with them to help them move forward. This also helps clients (usually the young adults who are used to getting what they need at a click of a button) looking for a ‘magic fix,’ feel as though they are moving forward from the first meeting because Coaching deals with the present and the future with some references to the past but certainly not in the same way as counselling. 

Reasons why working with a Life Coach who has experienced Depression or Anxiety can be beneficial:

If a Coach has had anxiety or depression and has ‘overcome’ it – then the past anxiety and/or depression is a bonus! Especially if they have clients with sticky limiting beliefs and mental health issues – because they have first-hand experience.

Coaches who have experienced anxiety and depression are quicker to spot these issues and encourage people to seek alternative or additional help (as I do with both coaching enquiries and clients), whereas a coach who has never had anxiety or depression will not recognise these signs in the same way – and sometimes not at all.

When we expect people to be ‘perfect’ and free of fault we not only set them up for failure but we set ourselves up too. Because no-one is perfect. The standards we judge others by – are also usually the standards we hold ourselves to. The more rigid our standards are, the more limited our lives will be.

Mental health issues like anxiety and depression take time to heal. We are reprogramming our minds after 20, 30, 40, 50 years of thinking a certain way. Some beliefs can be changed in a snap. And others take a lot of time, hard work and courage.

We live in a society that likes to make things black or white – and yet we humans are shades of grey. There are no absolutes. But there is a fear in our society of what we don’t understand and we can’t control. Our mental health (feelings, thoughts etc) is incredibly complex and individual – and impossible to fully understand and control.

AND sometimes the best helper is not someone who has solved the same problems as us – but is just a few steps ahead of us. They’re far enough ahead to be able to see issues and offer valuable insight, but they’re still close enough that they know what it’s like to be where you are!

Mental health conditions like clinical depression, anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder require treatment from a mental health professional. Coaching can be helpful for those with conditions like this, but it should always be in addition to (not in place of) treatment with a psychotherapist.

I’ve supplied some information below from the Life Coach Directory UK which further explains the uses and benefits of working with a Coach.

For many, depression coaching serves as a useful addition to their existing treatment programme. Coaching can play an important role in recovery, offering encouragement and support to those struggling to engage in day-to-day activities.

Life Coaching and Depression Frankly Coaching

Coaching is not designed to be an alternative to talk therapy or other medical treatments; it is designed to be a valuable addition to your treatment plan to help manage symptoms.

An article published by the American Counselling Association likens therapy and life coaching to step-siblings: sharing similar traits, but each using different approaches. Many life coaches focus on creating a new life path in order to achieve goals, whereas therapy sometimes looks into emotional resolutions to past problems in order to move forward, according to Counselling Today.

If you haven’t been diagnosed with depression, but recognise that you experience some of the symptoms, you may be prone to developing the condition. In these cases, coaching may help you to resist the pull into deeper depression, helping you to move towards happiness.

Looking ahead – how a coach can help

A big part of depression coaching is establishing what area of your life you want to work on and setting goals to move forward. Having a tendency towards the negative can make it difficult to motivate yourself. If you have depressive symptoms, you may find yourself feeling lethargic and uninterested. Meeting regularly with a coach can offer a regular dose of optimism and energy.

Every coaching session allows you the opportunity to focus on the ‘new you’ – on the ‘you’ you want to become. Together with your coach you can work on removing negative and unhelpful ways of thinking. This helps to make way for more positive and productive ways of thinking.

Understanding what’s missing in your life in terms of joy is also important. A life coach can help you identify areas that may be lacking while helping you to find ways to fill these areas with more joy. This may include nurturing your relationships, finding ways to de-stress or even starting a new hobby.

Going through any mental health condition requires a support network. This is typically formed of friends, family and professionals. A coach can be a valuable part of this network. A coach adds another voice for you to turn to when things get on top of you.

Should I see a coach or a counsellor?

It is important to note that there is a difference between coaching and psychotherapy, and therefore a difference between coaches and counsellors.

Mental health conditions like clinical depression, anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder require treatment from a mental health professional. Coaching can be helpful for those with conditions like this, but it should always be in addition to (not in place of) treatment with a psychotherapist.

Coaches are not able to diagnose or provide treatment. Coaching is a process that can help people cope with symptoms and encourage them during their recovery. For example, a coach may motivate you to take up exercise and improve sleep habits.

In some cases a counsellor may refer a patient to a coach to help them follow through with therapeutic goals. This combined approach from counsellor and coach ensures all the needs of the patient get addressed.

Many people find it useful to seek help from both a counsellor and a coach as they can help in different ways. If you are unsure which approach to take, speak to your doctor for further guidance and perhaps contact some coaches to learn more about what support they can offer.

Please contact me below for more information:
+44 07842 656 766
Frankly Coaching

Puja K McClymont is a certified NLP Life & Business Coach; working with companies to improve their Employee Engagement and supporting Fierce Millennials to unlock their full potential.

 

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Email: hello@franklycoaching.com
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