You may know you need help to get through the experience of infertility but deciding what kind of help you need can be tricky. Mental health professionals abound and while you may already have an idea in mind, here are some suggestions to understand the difference between therapy and coaching when seeking help. Knowing the differences can help you determine which would be most helpful for the experience you are having.
Therapy is usually where people start when they have something they are trying to work through. It seems like a natural choice to sort through a problem you have and it is pretty widely known as a resource for help. The primary focus for therapy is used to help people move from a place of dysfunction to a place of function in their lives. If you are having trouble taking care of yourself on a daily basis you may be in a place of dysfunction that therapy is suitable to help with.
Therapy is usually diagnostic based where a therapist will diagnose a non functioning problem that needs to be solved. Therapy seeks to heal emotional wounds from the past and looks to the past as the place to find the answers. Recovering from past traumas is a common reason people pursue therapy and in many instances it is completely appropriate for someone to stay in therapy until those resolutions are met.
Coaching, on the other hand, is appropriate when someone who is functioning is looking to take themselves to the next level. They want to improve on who they are and become a better version of themselves in some specific area of their lives. During coaching you focus on things like self-exploration and self-knowledge which can lead to professional development, performance enhancement and better self-management overall.
Coaching is very future focused. Unlike therapy and looking to the past, coaching focuses on the future and who are you becoming in order to solve the problem you are facing. The pursuit of motherhood, something in the future, is a good example of this. Coaching advances a person’s potential, focuses on solving problems in the now and rarely talks about the past. Trying to get through the current moment? Coaching can help you do that.
Most people facing infertility are not dysfunctional. They get up and go to work regularly. They have friends and meaningful relationships in their lives. They are looking to improve themselves to become mothers in whatever way that is necessary. That was me.
I spent 14 months in therapy for infertility before I was ready to move on. Why that long? Because it took me that long to find the tools of coaching on my own where I started to feel better and do better in my life. Each week at therapy I would lament over my infertility situation and blame other people for things not improving. It wasn’t until I learned from a coach and took ownership over my own life experience that I was able to make any amount of change. Once I made that switch of support and perspective I was able to stop overeating, improve my overall health and fertility, keep going with fertility treatment, conceive and have a healthy pregnancy.
If you are struggling with infertility and attending therapy but don’t feel like you are making any significant progress towards motherhood or feeling better, coaching is the route you should consider. You’re ready to look at the future and make meaningful decisions to become a better version of yourself. Life coaching is an option for people who are highly functioning and yet still suffering in their lives. That is where I was at with infertility. Going about my daily life and feeling torn to pieces on the inside about not being able to conceive.
If you are still working on healing from the past, therapy is an appropriate tool to use and there are many therapists that focus on fertility grief and loss that can help you. But if you are ready to focus on creating the future and moving onto motherhood, then you are ready for coaching to help you get there. .
Ready to take yourself to the next level and work on improving who you are before motherhood? Download the Infertility Mental Health Checklist now to get started. Imagine if that is all that his holding you back from your dreams of motherhood?