Because a dentist business coach is a very specialized profession, people are sometimes confused about what it is I actually do. I help dentists achieve personal and professional growth through self-introspection and strategies for change. Then comes a question to which I have become accustomed: “So you’re like a therapist for dentists? Don’t you need a degree in psychology?” At this point I reassure whomever it is I am talking to that I am not a therapist or psychologist. However, there are a lot of parallels between my work and that of a psychologist or therapist. Both professions strive to help their clients become the best people they can be. The key different lies in the approach that a dentist business coach and a therapist each take. Make no misunderstanding: I am all about helping you and your business achieve your dreams, goals, ambitions, peace, fulfillment, and happiness.
The Similarities between Coaching and Therapy
Although coaching and therapy are far from the same thing, there are a number of similarities. For example:
- In both coaching and therapy, clients uncover areas in which they may be holding themselves back from their full potential.
- During coaching and therapy, clients address all areas of their lives, including the personal and professional realm. They discover the correlations between work and home life, and they discover how one might be affecting the other. (It usually is.)
- A coach and a psychologist both help their clients make lasting changes, so that they continue their personal growth in the coming years.
The Major Difference between a Dentist Business Coach and a Therapist
Although coaching and psychology have similar goals, a coach and a therapist use very different methods to achieve their aims. The primary differences include:
- Coaching is a much more hands-on approach. It is forward-moving. A therapist will explore a client’s internal life and help them establish goals for change. However, even the best therapist cannot make a mental journey along with his or her patient. On the other hand, while coaching does address our thoughts and feelings, it involves practical plans to bring about change and dental practice growth. Because this is an emotional and intellectual, yet tangible journey, a coach can be there to guide his or her clients as they implement these changes.
- In therapy, the psychologist is the leader. In coaching, the coach and the client work hand-in-hand.
- Therapy tends to focus on the past and how unresolved issues affect the present. Coaching focuses on the present and how you can make change now to achieve future growth. What happened in the past is not the most relevant factor.
- During therapy, everything is between the patient and his or her psychologist (and maybe some family members). A coach will address a dentist’s entire team to strategize for lasting change across the entire practice.
- A psychologist can address emotional and mental issues. A coach is not qualified to do this.
For individuals with wounded pasts or mental concerns, psychologists and therapists are invaluable resources. However, if your underlying anxiety or dissatisfaction stems primarily from the daily strain of running a business, working with a coach is typically the best way to achieve lasting change. We have a great profession; you’ve worked hard to get where you are, and more than anything, I want you to experience the rewards waiting for you!