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Lesson 33: What is the Difference Between Divorce Coaching and Therapy?

Psychotherapy Definition: According to FL Statute 491:

The “practice of mental health counseling” is defined as the use of scientific and applied behavioral science theories, methods, and techniques for the purpose of describing, preventing, and treating undesired behavior and enhancing mental health and human development and is based on the person-in-situation perspectives derived from research and theory in personality, family, group, and organizational dynamics and development, career planning, cultural diversity, human growth and development, human sexuality, normal and abnormal behavior, psychopathology, psychotherapy, and rehabilitation.

The practice of mental health counseling includes methods of a psychological nature used to evaluate, assess, diagnose, and treat emotional and mental dysfunctions or disorders (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), behavioral disorders, interpersonal relationships, sexual dysfunction, alcoholism, and substance abuse. The practice of mental health counseling includes, but is not limited to, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and sex therapy.

Signs you might consider therapy over divorce coaching:

  1. repeatedly falters, sidetracks or no-shows;
  2. repeatedly appears distraught in session (significant emotional lability) or un-naturally “flat” (little or no emotional expression);
  3. reports distressing hallmarks of Major Depression, or an Anxiety Disorder that occur several times per week or occur with overwhelming intensity:
    1. difficulty sleeping: repeated awakenings, can’t get to sleep, or excessive sleep (more than 10 hours);
    2. change in eating habits: can’t eat, or episodes of compulsive overeating, or bingeing resulting in a 5% change in weight over a month (unless there is compensatory purging behavior);
    3. recurrent thoughts of death (with or without a suicidal plan); i.e.: a desire to “not be here”; panic attacks (heart racing, trembling, sweating, choking feeling, numbness or tingling sensations, fear that something bad will happen, nausea; dizzy); avoids places due to fear of panic attack;
    4. poor hygiene; lack of energy;
    5. constant worrying; difficulty concentrating; indecisiveness;
    6. difficulty getting work done at home or in employment; isolated from friends;
    7. doesn’t enjoy things that used to make them happy; increased irritability;
    8. excessive or over-reactive anger;
    9. feeling worthless or excessively guilty;
    10. urges to hurt oneself or others;
  4. appears to need to work on something from the past (family of origin issues);
  5. shows signs of a personality disorder;
  6. shows signs of substance abuse or addiction.

IF you show 5 or more of the behaviors above for more than a few weeks (a month) then you may need a to seek out a therapist. Start by asking friends and family for a referral.

IF you show signs of wanting to harm yourself or others, this would be a RED FLAG which should be addressed immediately.

Expert Presenter: Tonya Quillen, MA, LMHC, Tampa, FL

 ©Certified Divorce Coach Program-Divorce Coaching Inc.