OB330/OB331 Leadership Fellows: Coaching vs. Therapy

Professor: Brian Lowery, Ricki Frankel and Hugh Keelan

Coaching vs. Therapy

Battley, Susan. 2006. Coaching Myths. Leadership Excellence, 23(7):10

This article focuses on common myths that led to skepticisim about executive coaching. It is a common belief that successful people do not need coaches and executive coaching is being viewed as another therapy or counseling. It is also considered that mentoring is similar with executive coaching.

Bluckert, Peter. 2005. The Similarities and Differences Between Coaching and Therapy. Industrial & Commercial Training, 37(2):91-96

Purpose - This article sets out to explore the similarities and differences between coaching and therapy - a subject of great interest currently within coaching and therapy fields. Design/methodology/approach - The objectives are achieved by examining the convergence of approaches and thinking within these fields, as well as exploring theoretical contributions to the debate. Findings - Coaching and therapy have a number of similarities. However, as this article explores, the two disciplines are in many ways, considerably different, particularly in terms of context issues bought to sessions and the ultimate in tension. Typically, the skill sets required for each differ. Practical considerations such as terms of contract, length of session, pricing and boundaries also vary greatly. Originality/value - The paper examines in greater detail a subject which is of very definite interest to both coaching and therapeutic practitioners, and also examines the popular argument in greater depth.

Hart, Vicki, John Blattner, and Staci Leipsic. Coaching vs. Therapy: A Perspective. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 51(4):229-237

This article reports a study of current perceptions among professionals regarding therapy and coaching. Whereas therapy and counseling have been traditional fields of study and practice, coaching is not as well developed. It is helpful to examine the perceptions of practicing professionals in order to delineate the distinctions and overlaps in these modalities. A set of 7 questions was used to explore these viewpoints with a participant pool of professional coaches–therapists. Interview data and narrative summaries provide a perspective on the controversy of coaching versus therapy.

Skibbins, David. Differences Between Therapy & CoachingBecoming A Life Coach. New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Chapter 4 of the book Becoming A Life Coach. In this chapter, the author refines the definition of coaching down to its essential qualities.

Sparrow, Stephanie. 2006. It's the Thought That Counts. Training & Coaching Today, Nov/Dec:25

The article discusses issues related to cognitive behavioral therapy in relation to mentoring in business. Boundaries between coaching and cognitive behavioral therapy are becoming blurred, according to some coaching experts. Clients and coaches need to be vigilant in defining the differences between coaching and counseling, according to Zoe Gruhn, head of executive coaching at the Hay Group.