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Understanding the Differences Between Mental Performance Coaching and Mental Health Therapy


Mental performance coaching and mental health therapy are two distinct fields that often overlap but serve different purposes and involve different approaches to helping individuals improve their mental health and well-being. Understanding the differences between these two professions can help you determine which one is best suited to your needs.


A mental performance coach is a professional who helps individuals improve their mental skills and abilities to achieve their goals and improve their performance in a specific area of their life, such as sports, work, or education. Mental performance coaches use techniques such as visualization, goal setting, and mindfulness to help clients overcome challenges, increase motivation, and develop mental resilience. They often work with athletes, executives, and other high-performing individuals who want to optimize their mental skills to achieve success.


In contrast, a mental health therapist is a professional who helps individuals address and treat mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and trauma. Mental health therapists use techniques such as talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness to help their clients understand and manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. They often work with individuals who are experiencing mental health problems that are interfering with their daily lives and causing distress.


One key difference between mental performance coaching and mental health therapy is the focus of the work. Mental performance coaching is typically more focused on helping individuals achieve specific goals and improve their performance in a particular area of their lives. Mental health therapy, on the other hand, is focused on helping individuals address and resolve mental health issues that are causing distress and impairment in their lives.


Another difference between these two professions is the approach to treatment. Mental performance coaches often use more proactive and goal-oriented strategies to help their clients improve their mental skills and performance. This may involve setting goals, developing strategies to overcome obstacles, and practicing mental skills such as visualization and mindfulness. In contrast, mental health therapists often take a more reactive and exploratory approach to treatment, helping their clients understand and manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors through talk therapy and other therapeutic techniques.


A third difference between mental performance coaching and mental health therapy is the level of intensity and duration of treatment. Mental performance coaching is often a more short-term and focused form of treatment, with sessions lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks or months. Mental health therapy, on the other hand, can be a more long-term and intensive form of treatment, with sessions lasting for several months or even years.


Mental performance coaching and mental health therapy are two distinct fields that involve different approaches to helping individuals improve their mental health and well-being. Mental performance coaches help individuals optimize their mental skills and abilities to achieve specific goals and improve their performance, while mental health therapists help individuals address and treat mental health issues that are causing distress and impairment in their lives. Understanding the differences between these two professions can help you determine which one is best suited to your needs.


Mental Coach Neil

hello@ArizonaMPT.com



Neil Wattier is a Mental Performance Coach leading science-backed performance coaching for athletes at all levels of sport performance. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona and an active member of the United States Air Force Reserve. He has helped individuals and teams realize their full potential while serving as a coach, advisor, and mentor to business executives, senior military leaders, young professionals, youth and adult athletes, fitness professionals, and faith communities.


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