What is the difference with psychotherapy?
To put it very simply: if you were to measure the perception of happiness on a scale of -10 to +10, then psychotherapy is aimed at people who are below zero.
Psychotherapy aims to reduce psychological suffering, for example in the case of a severe depression, phobias, eating disorders, etc. It takes you from a situation where you feel very miserable (below zero) to a neutral state (zero).
Life coaching or personal coaching is for people who are above zero on the scale. People who function but feel that they can get more out of life and continue to grow, say from +2, +3 to +6 or 7. This can be on a personal, emotional or relational level, but also in the form of career counselling.
Psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, coach, …?
A psychiatrist has a medical background. He or she studied medicine and then specialised in psychiatry. Since a psychiatrist is a physician, he can prescribe medication and the psychiatric consultation is partly refunded by the Belgian health care.
A psychologist is not a physician. A psychologist has a university training in psychology.
Psychology is the science that studies the behaviour of human beings. This does not only refer to what people do and how they do it, but also what people feel, think and how they come to decisions.
The title of the psychiatrist as well as that of the psychologist is protected by law in Belgium.
A psychotherapist is someone who treats psychic suffering through consultation. The title of psychotherapist is not protected in Belgium. Everybody can call him or herself psychotherapist, also someone who does not have any qualification.
The title of coach is not legally protected either.
Coaches can be active in different fields. Executive coaches help managers to develop themselves as leaders, health coaches can help people adopt a healthier lifestyle, … Life coaches help people move forward in one or more aspects of their life.
"When I started the programme with Steve, I was in the middle of an important conflict at work, which was undermining my self-confidence and making me very anxious and stressed. I was doubting whether to start looking for another job and I reflected my stress on my team.
With Steve’s support, I have been able to work through some of my blind spots that were keeping me stuck. I now feel much more comfortable in my job – and in my life in general. I am confidently working on resolving the conflict at work and have found the mental energy to be creative again in my personal life.
What has really helped me is the fact that I have started practicing mindfulness actively. It helps me daily to recenter myself, to find some tranquility and to think more clearly. I very much appreciated Steve’s listening skills, the kind and consistent way he helped me get insight in the situation that was troubling me."
A., Secretary-General of a global industry association
“The main problem is was struggling with, was the amount of work I was constantly facing. Although I am quite an organised person, I still got the feeling that I never got everything done. I had already suffered from a burn-out and I was worrying whether I was developing one again. I felt the stress building up during the week, couldn’t sleep well and by the end of the week I was always exhausted.
After the individual coaching programme with Steve, I have realised that I was doing too many things myself rather than managing or delegating them. I now see more clearly what I need to do at work and what I don’t need to do. The ideas Steve brought up have been very helpful for me. It’s now clearer for me what I actually like doing and I have taken actions to do more of that.
I now have much less stress and I am now able to enjoy my free time alone and with my partner much more.”
J., Deputy Head of Unit - European Commission
“When I first started working with Steve, I was completely exhausted. I had been very successful business-wise, but still it felt like life was extremely tough. I hadn’t felt welcome at home for a long time and the constant pressure at work had made me become short-tempered and aggressive.
The sessions with Steve have been very useful for me because they challenged me to think about things that are uncomfortable. A lot of what happened was unconscious, but the coaching has helped me to take some important decisions about my work and this has had a very positive impact on my work-life balance.
The group format worked well for me, I found it very helpful to share insights and get feedback from others. I have been able to regain some of the values I had lost along the way. I must say I never thought it would have been so useful.”
“I had the feeling of “being lived” rather than really living. A reorganisation at work had made my position very uncertain, while I had been very loyal to my organisation for more than 20 years. Combined with the financial problems of my spouse, that also impacted me personally, it felt like I was pushed in “survival mode”.
The coaching day was very illuminating for me. It made me more conscious of what I needed and wanted to do about this whole situation. During the day it was not always possible for me to see clearly what to do, but Steve supported me in taking charge and defining concrete actions.
Instead of always doing things for everyone else and forgetting myself, I have now taken the decision to combine working at the service of others with developing myself and setting clear boundaries. This has made me feel a lot calmer.”
M., Business Development Manager