Therapist or Coach?

Therapy and Coaching results are the product of many factors including the “fit:” between the client and provider. Other factors include persistence, motivation and the efforts of the clients and provider. Neither Therapy nor Coaching is an instant “fix” for anything. Both therapy and (life) coaching involve the change process and a course of life improvement.  Neither is a static event. You maintain responsibility for all decision-making in Therapy and Coaching.  Generally speaking, a minimum of four sessions is recommended for both services. But there are significant differences between Therapy and Coaching.


THERAPY does enrich lives and involves goals; however, it is primarily a prevention and intervention process and often qualifies for health insurance reimbursement when available.  Therapy deals with mental health issues. When session fees are covered and sent to be reimbursed by insurance, you must be diagnosed by a qualified licensed mental  health professional with a "mental disorder" in order to be reimbursed for coverage.  

Through therapy, a person moves from "mental illness" into "mental wellness." The practice of Therapy is regulated by law and can only be performed by licensed mental health professionals as a therapeutic method of intervention and prevention regarding emotional and mental health issues. 

Licensed Mental Health Professionals providing Therapy and who also offer Coaching will distinguish between the two services for clients. They will not bill insurance for coaching services. It is fraudulent.


Unlike Therapy, the field of COACHING is primarily an education and enrichment process through which a person progresses from "wellness" into "excellence". Up to this point, anyone can call themselves “Coaches” without any specific skill, experience, training, education, certification, or experience.  Buyer  especially beware.

Become a knowledgeable consumer as you weigh the value of someone whose ONLY credential is a “coaching certificate” or  being a “certified coach” with a capital letter acronym. [Fictitious credential example: Jaynie Smythie---, Master Certified Quality Coach (MCQC).] Nearly everyone who can afford tuition, chooses to apply to the right non-academic coaching program, and completes it will end up with a coaching certificate or certification. The quality, oversight, and guidance for non-academic coaching program varies widely.

A coach generally provides you with worksheets and homework as  guides for the coaching process. Coaches prepares in advance for each session and reviews what you have submitted.. Coaching is an out-of-pocket expense unless paid for by one’s employer.  Costs are comparable to physical self-improvement expenses such as massage, salon and spa services, and personal training.  You are in control and can choose whom to consult for what reasons and how often. 

Dr. Patt will discuss and assess your needs/goals as you report  them. She will offer her opinion of whether you are a candidate for Therapy, Coaching, or both.  After a review of your options, the choice on how and if to proceed is yours. Dr. Patt also reserves the right to refer you to another provider if she determines a lack of fit with you.

Licensed mental health professionals who practice Therapy and Coaching use discretion as to whether to alternately provide both services to their client or make an appropriate referral for one service. Licensed professionals will establish  clarity with clients about which service is being rendered. Services may overlap at times.

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By Appointment Only


By Appointment Only


By Appointment Only


By Appointment Only


By Appointment Only





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