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Image by Maryna Yazbeck

I often get asked, "Heather, how do I know if I need counseling or coaching?" 

There are some similarities between counseling and coaching, such as exploring how your life experiences have influenced your current day experience, how your current life experiences have caused struggles or "blocks" in your life that keep you from moving forward in the direction that you are wanting. Counseling and coaching also provide you with the opportunities to gain more insights and understanding about yourself and your place in the world. There are also some significant differences as well.


With traditional therapy, there tends to be more of a focus on diagnosis, symptom relief and productive coping techniques to help you. I am also required to keep a permanent legal medical file on our work together. This legal file has the potential to be ordered by the court of law into any legal matter that you may find yourself in, if the court feels that our time together is necessary to examine.  Insurance companies also require a diagnosis in order to pay for or reimburse for psycho-therapeutic sessions. This diagnosis can lead to a number of issues. A diagnosis can be beneficial in terms of insurance coverage, academic or community resources, as well, psychiatric interventions, but having a diagnosis in your permanent legal medical file can also lead to stigma, mis-diagnosis and potential negative view of self. *For those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts & feelings, self-harm behaviors, discussions of harm to others or any psychiatric condition that requires a treatment team, the therapy option is required.

Coaching is not psychotherapy.


With coaching, you get the best of both worlds. You get the knowledge, education and experience of my license, as well as, the coaching, guidance and encouragement to tackle the blocks that keep you stuck in your life. While we do discuss past circumstances that may have lead to your current states of dis-ease, the goal of coaching is to move you forward in life free from the heaviness that has kept you feeling trapped. Since coaching is not psychotherapy, the notes that I take are more of process notes that help us stay on track with your goals and progress. These coaching notes are not a legal file and therefore cannot be called into a court order for potential legal matters. In my experience, many clients prefer the protection that coaching provides. *With coaching, I can take clients from outside the state of California and the United States. 

You will have an opportunity to opt-in for coaching or counseling by following the NEW CLIENT button found below and filling out a short questionnaire. 


If you are already a current client and are set up with me as either a counseling or coaching client, meaning you have signed the necessary forms/ contracts that I have sent to you, then you can schedule directly on my calendar by following the CURRENT CLIENT button found below. All appointments are first come-first serve. It is advised to schedule future sessions if your preferred date and time are available. 

Image by Maryna Yazbeck
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