“The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the answer.”
― Terence Mckenna
In parts I and II of this series, I distinguished therapy from coaching. In part III I reviewed dangers and opportunities. I expected to conclude here, in part IV, but I have not.
Following the Money
In coaching school we’re taught to look to the future and to avoid what counselors do, which is to look into the past. This distinction is a bit cheap but it’s the defining juncture that separates the two professions. Coaching and counseling are different because of the different mindsets of their customers: the struggling patient and the budding entrepreneur.
Beneath these intentions is the reality that the past is a memory, the future is a fantasy, and both illusions define us in the present. You can no more exist without a past than you can exist without a future. What counseling client could expect to resolve their past issues without considering how those issues effect their future? What entrepreneurially minded person could expect to better navigate the future if they are not going to start by considering who they’ve grown to be?
The real reason for the past versus future distinction is the difference in consumer demand, the shortage of providers, the time it takes to train for both past and future, and the attraction of money. “Follow the money,” we’re told in matters of politics and economics. The same goes for counseling and coaching.
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