Date of Paper

5-2016

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Rajean Moone

Department/School

Master of Social Work

Abstract

As life coaching grows in popularity, questions arise about its role in relation to therapy. Existing literature has explored theoretical similarities and differences between coaching and therapy and the potential benefits and drawbacks of separating and integrating the two. The current study sought to expand the limited base of literature on professionals’ real-­‐life experience in dual practice. Qualitative and exploratory in nature, the study involved semi-­‐structured interviews with seven dual practicing professionals. Findings include perceived financial and emotional benefits of practicing coaching and therapy, practitioners’ tendency to integrate rather than separate the two modalities, and participant concerns about the threat of untrained coaches, the hassles of health insurance, and unequal client access to services due to stigma and cost. Implications of this study include a need for educating the public on the realities of coaching and therapy, the potential adoption of more modern, less stigmatizing language to describe therapy and mental health, and changes to the healthcare system to promote proactive, accessible, and culturally-­‐sensitive measures of early interventions to decrease the severity and costs associated with serious mental and physical health concerns that have become so common in our society.

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Social Work Commons

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