Distinctions and overlaps between therapy, consulting and ontological coaching.

Coaching Relationship

I would like to offer a few distinctions between therapy, consulting and ontological coaching from my perspective. I am not a therapist. I have worked as a consultant for more than a decade providing professional advice, strategy, and services to clients in the realm of business development and marketing. As I am finishing my training at Newfield Network as an ontological coach, I am excited to have new resources to expand my offerings and be able to offer a new area of learning and development. Often, I find consulting clients can benefit from coaching and sometimes coaching clients can benefit from consulting. Understanding the distinctions and individual values that each offer is important. My hope is that clarity is gained through the distinctions and overlaps that I offer below.

Therapy is rooted in pathology developed out of an explanation/exploration of symptoms and behaviors that affected the mind and emotions, sometimes with consequences on the body. Merriam-Webster dictionary online defines therapy as “therapeutic medical treatment of impairment, injury, disease, or disorder.” Stated differently, therapy works with something that is broken or out of order and needing to be treated or healed.

Often therapy explores events that have happened in an individual’s past with little focus on working in the space of creating the future. It does explore self-knowledge and uses this as a tool, at times, to create new ‘better’ behavior patterns under particular conditions. A therapist also works to create space for hopefulness. A therapist creates a non-judgmental space for a client to share openly and explore various different events in their life. A client usually seeks therapy after a precipitating event, or at the onset of particular symptoms.

Consulting is developed out of the field of business or wellness. Consults act as experts in their field providing, tools, advice, and skills to grow, and do a certain thing better. Merriam-Webster dictionary online defines consulting as “providing professional or expert advice.” A consult can create a space of deep listening to better engage with their client and know what advice to give; however, a consultant does not rely on a client’s own knowledge, but rather on their own skills and expertise. A consultant provides the services and knowledge for a client to achieve a said goal or objective. A client seeks a consultant when they desire to push beyond their own capacity and improve or develop an aspect of their business or self.

Ontological Coaching
Ontological Coaching lives in the philosophy of intersecting linguistics, emotions and the body; and considers the way in which we each observe the world.  This creates opportunities for shifts in ways of thinking, as well as expanded capacities in the realm of possibilities. Clients seek ontological coaching when they have a particular issue they want to work on, something they want to sort out, a goal they wish to accomplish, or a fear they want to shift. As a coach, my promise is to help a person create their hoped-for future. I believe that a person is whole and complete, thus I am not looking to diagnose or treat. Instead, I approach with wonder and curiosity. Through deep listening, powerful questions, and observation, as well as the coach’s unique history, a relationship can be built that can move a person toward that which brings them joy and hope. This approach creates new learning opportunities for our clients through exploration and definition; and ultimately shifts a person’s way of thinking to create new space for different actions, which lead to different results.

If you have any questions that have arisen for you I invite you to connect with me through a Discovery Call.