Personal Coaching Counseling, and Psychotherapy for Seniors: Which One Is Best for You

senior psychotherapyDo you need help with life? Are you feeling defeated, sad, and hopeless? Are you experiencing problems too personal to discuss with family or friends that don’t warrant the services of a psychotherapist or psychologist? If so, you probably need the help of a professional who can help you make sense of it all – someone who understands what it’s like to be in your position and can help you get through it quickly with minimum distress.

You probably need a professional who can help you simply by speaking with you. This form of help doesn’t include psychotherapy, medications, or travel. It just involves talking through your problem, getting objective feedback, and developing a game plan to get you through this challenging period. The professional you talk with via phone therapy can help you come to conclusions about your situation, so you can take action on it to improve your life.

There are three types of professional help in dealing with the challenges of life:

  1. Psychotherapy
  2. Counseling
  3. Coaching

Understanding the difference between these three forms of assistance will aid you in deciding which one is best for you.

Senior Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy for seniors is for individuals seeking in-depth mental and emotional help. Many people with a mental illness seek a psychotherapist. But you don’t need to be diagnosed with a mental illness to seek psychotherapy. Usually, being emotionally disturbed is enough to want or need senior psychotherapy.

Who Performs Senior Psychotherapy?

A psychotherapist is a person who performs psychotherapy. This person may or may not have a doctorate, but is required to have a license in the state he or she is practicing. This professional receives a license only after receiving additional education and training.

Psychotherapists use many different techniques and strategies.

  • Psychoanalysis

This involves learning about mental illness so the therapist understands the causes, symptoms, and treatment. Psychoanalysis can help people come to terms with what they’re dealing with, so they can begin to take action.

  • Behavior therapy

Behavior therapy is commonly used in senior psychotherapy and includes classical conditioning, desensitizing, and operant conditioning. All of these help people change their behaviors by acknowledging the consequences and rewards associated with them.

  • Cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapy is another form commonly used in psychotherapy for seniors. It helps people change the way they think, so they can change what they do. When people have a negative perception of something, they often feel differently about it than if they were able to look at it objectively. This can alter their actions.

  • Humanistic therapy

This type of treatment can be used in senior psychotherapy and uses techniques such as client-centered, gestalt, and existential. All of these look at the person as primarily good with amazing potential. To reach that potential, therapy is used to help clients make rational choices. This works well with people suffering from severe depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder because often, they may feel as though they’re not worthy of making the right decisions or achieving their life goals.

The Length of Psychotherapy for Seniors

psychotherapy for seniors

Senior psychotherapy can last several months to several years. It’s a long-term commitment. Many people will go through many changes during those years. They also have a difficult time separating themselves from the psychotherapist afterward. Often, it can take weeks before a client feels confident enough to handle the world on his or her own.

As you can see, psychotherapy for seniors and others helps those with mental issues that make it challenging to get through each day. People suffering from a mental health condition may have difficulty getting out of bed, caring for themselves, going to work, or even socializing. This form of therapy helps people manage their symptoms.

Mental Health Counseling for Older Adults

A mental health counselor is a person licensed by the state in which he or she practices. Mental health counselors may also use psychotherapeutic methods to help others.

Counselors will have at least a bachelor’s degree in a counseling-related industry such as psychology, sociology, or human services. Counselors may meet with clients once to multiple times a week to help clients achieve specific goals.

The bulk of the work counselors do is through talking with clients. However, when counseling older adults, some counselors go with clients to their homes or out into the community so they can work on some exercises. For instance, if the goal is to become more social, a counselor may accompany clients to a senior center to help them mingle with others.

Counselors can work with people who have severe mental illness as long as the client is also being helped by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Counselors also often work with people dealing with other life problems, such as divorce, a miscarriage, or death in the family. They help people process life experiences, come to terms with it, and take steps to move on from past negative experiences.

Most counselors, whether they provide counseling for older adults or others, prefer to meet with clients face-to-face. Counselors pay attention to nonverbal body language to help understand their clients’ emotions. Therefore, counselors don’t typically conduct phone therapy or counseling sessions. Although they may on rare occasions or during crises.

The Length of Counseling for older adults

Counseling is much shorter than senior psychotherapy. Usually, people will work with a counselor for months before deciding they don’t need help any longer. It can be easier for a client to leave a counseling relationship in comparison to psychotherapy. Although some people may stillf find it difficult.

Counselors form bonds with their clients that can’t be easily replaced, if at all. So they can become a crutch to some clients that inhibits them from moving on with life without their counselor.

The good news is that through counseling for older adults, most people end up working on personal development, which increases their confidence. This can make it much easier for seniors to take what they’ve learned in counseling and apply it to life for many years into the future.

Counseling for older adults is for those who need to sit down with someone to go over serious life problems. These seniors often need someone to teach them different ways to handle situations (coping strategies). Counselors can also go with clients into the community to help them practice the skills they’ve learned.

Personal Coaching

You’ve now learned about senior psychotherapy and counseling for older adults. The third type of help that many people are not aware of is personal coaching.

What It Is

Personal coaching helps people who are going through life hardships or transitions. It’s for people and seniors who need someone to speak to during stressful times to feel heard and understood.

Who Performs Personal Coaching

Personal coaches can be someone who previously worked as a licensed psychotherapist or counselor. This person understands not everyone needs the intensity or length of psychotherapy for seniors or the hands-on work a counselor offers. Many people may just need someone they feel comfortable with to speak to during an acute crisis to come up with a solid plan for dealing with it.

Personal coaching for seniors responds to individuals with clear, objective feedback based on the clients’ expressed concerns. The coach and client can enter into a private and personal exchange that generally leads to a clearer understanding of the problem and a realistic plan for the resolution of the issue. With a sense of finally being heard, knowing a plan for resolving issues, and the realization personal support can be had over the phone, clients gain a more positive sense of well-being and self-determination.

Phone Therapy for Seniors Is Just a Call Awayphone therapy for seniors

One of the top reasons people choose personal coaching for seniors over psychotherapy and counseling for older adults is the accessibility of the coach. Clients do not meet with the coach face-to-face. Sessions are performed by phone, similar to phone therapy. Clients simply pick up the phone to schedule a session. Sometimes, personal coaches will take a client as soon as he or she calls, while others will need to schedule time. It can also just depend on the day for the coach.

Many people prefer personal coaching for seniors because:

  • They don’t have to drive anywhere for it.
  • They don’t have to worry about anyone seeing their car in the psychotherapist’s or counselor’s parking lot.
  • They don’t have to be concerned someone they know will see them in the waiting room.
  • They don’t have to get ready to head out the door to make the appointment.
  • It’s less expensive because there’s no cost for gas or parking fees.
  • They end up forming a close bond with their personal coach who becomes a confidant. Venting to someone you trust can make you feel better inside and provide you useful insight.

Personal coaches are professionals that help you improve your life. Everyone has something about their life they’re unhappy with. But a personal coach can help bring those feelings out and turn them around.

What People Get Out of Personal Coaching for Seniors

Most clients seek to solve problems or improve their life in some way. Some enter coaching with a specific situation they need to resolve. Others may not be aware of the precise cause of their problem, but know something needs to change

Problem Solving Help

A personal coach knows the right questions to ask to get to the bottom of the problem(s) you’re having. This helps you get a better view of what you’re dealing with, so you’re able to come up with solutions. Your personal coach will never tell you to do this or do that. A personal coach guides you to come up with your own solutions. He or she may provide suggestions. But ultimately, you’re the one who will decide the best course of action.

Continued Support During Transitions

Some people are to improve their lives and take what they’re learned to change their life. Others need more help along the way. Personal coaching for seniors continues to provide that support. Those who need it can receive assistance with knowing which steps to take to reach the goals they set during previous personal coaching for seniors sessions. Each time a personal coach for seniors meets with a client, the coach will review what’s been done since the last session, the challenges that were discovered, and what can be done before the next session. Your personal coach will never judge or criticize you for lack of follow-through. A personal coach is simply by your side to help you do or achieve whatever it is you desire.

The Length of Personal Coaching for Seniors

Personal coaching has no time parameters. You don’t have to be in personal coaching for weeks, months, or years. You have sessions when you want or need them. If you only need a session once a week or once a month, that’s fine. It’s whatever you think is best for you.

Many people enjoy the opportunity to determine when they’ll have a session. They also enjoy the ability to start and stop at any time. This gives them a sense of autonomy.

You’re here because something is troubling you. Don’t continue to live like this because it isn’t fair to you or those around you. It’s time to care of yourself.

You can do this through any of these options: senior psychotherapy, counseling for older adults, or personal coaching for seniors. Now that you know the differences between them, you can determine which is best for you and your situation.

Scheduling a Personal Coaching Session

If personal coaching for seniors seems to be the best choice, click here to learn more about personal coach, Kendall Van Blarcom. He has many decades of experience as a licensed marriage and family counselor in California and phone therapy coach. He specializes in older adults and their caregivers, and is known for being “a senior helping seniors.”

First-time clients receive a limited-time special introductory price: $49 for a half-hour.

Images courtesy of Joe Houghton from Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/joehoughton/4517637307

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Try an introductory session with me for only $49. For 30 minutes we’ll get to know each other & you’ll learn why my clients keep coming back!

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Help is as Close as your Phone
Are you feeling “uneasy” about a situation in your life? Kendall Van Blarcom provides caring and compassion as your personal confidant, helping you overcome the obstacles standing in the way of your peace and joy. Sessions are conducted via a secure landline. Call for an appointment today.

Van Blarcom Consulting Mission Statement

To provide improved mental health support for seniors, education, and motivation to individuals having difficulty with life’s challenges, and to empower them to turn their life around so they can improve it with positive changes that will greatly influence their thoughts, feelings, and actions for the rest of their life.

Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M. Licensed Psychotherapist (Retired)

Disclaimer

Please note: I do not offer the services of a virtual counselor, therapist or geriatric psychologist. Online personal consulting is not intended to take the place of traditional face-to-face therapy, clinical assessment or treatment.

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