Life Coach and Executive Coach

Executive Coaching and Life Coaching with a Clinical Edge

Life Coach and Executive Coach serving Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Dr. Justin D’Arienzo , Life Coach, is ready to help you take your life to the next level. As a board certified clinical psychologist, he is expertly qualified to be your personal and professional coach. His coaching style is solution focused, directive, and clinical in order to maximize your personal growth and change. Contact Dr. D’Arienzo at 904-379-8094 to get started today.


Life Coaching vs. Counseling or Psychotherapy Article, 2012

Life coaching is a back door method to provide psychotherapy without a license, and without a license, it is a threat to client and patient safety.  The practice of life coaching by those without a mental health license must be stopped. If you seek an expert coach, ensure the coach is also a licensed psychologist, licensed mental health counselor, or licensed clinical social worker. If the professional is licensed to provide mental health services, a coaching certification is absolutely unnecessary. The practice of coaching by an unlicensed mental health professional is “dumbed down” psychotherapy and counseling.

Life coaching, relationship coaching, executive coaching, ADD coaching and oh the list goes on…and the individuals providing the service are as diverse as the type of coaching offered. As a licensed psychologist with a bachelor, masters, and doctorate degree in clinical psychology followed by an accredited clinical psychology internship, residency, state licensure, and board certification, I’m deeply perplexed how a certified coach unlicensed to provide mental health services is professionally suitable in assisting others in managing their lives. Life problems, even ones that appear simple on the surface, are often quite complex and require the requisite knowledge to solve them.

The lives I treat in my practice and the lives other licensed mental health professionals (mental health counselors, social workers, and psychiatrists) treat are the lives of our parents, siblings, spouses, and children. Their lives, their suffering, and their need for change are serious business and if addressed by the loosely and poorly trained, unlicensed, expert coach, one’s safety is at risk.

I understand one’s desire to coach and to help others achieve resolution and peace in their lives for it is the passion that drives licensed mental health professions to achieve higher education and licensure to adequately grasp psychological concepts of change, human development, neuroscience and psychopathology. I have found in my practice that individuals presenting for life or business coaching invariably have other issues surface that warrant the help of a licensed professional.

There are similarities between coaching and popular therapy theories.  Coaching’s emphasis on goal setting and focusing on the future is clearly based in psychological practices of solution-focused counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy. For obvious reasons, there are psychologists who focus on prevention, maximizing emotional health, and achieving peak performance, much like what a coach would focus on. The difference is that psychologists also have the additional training to help clients when things go deeper than the surface stuff.

In order to grasp the novelty of coaching I read several coaching textbooks and quickly discovered that it was psychology practice “dumbed down” and I soon realized that it is an misguided attempt by a few psychologists and other individuals to mass market active listening skills to those thirsty of helping but to those unwilling to go the extra mile to ensure they possess the adequate degrees, training and skills to truly be healers of psychological impasses and emotional pain.

Coaching professionals will defend their guild, suggesting their work is different from psychotherapy or counseling.   A significant divide exists when coaches discuss how coaching and counseling are defined and what each profession offers.  While coaches maintain that they provide a distinct service that helps clients work toward specific goals, they suggest that the relationships they establish are with clients rather than setting up a doctor-patient relationship. The difference I infer is one of semantics and I see no difference in the relationship between professional and client or many of the services offered or suggested. If my child, friend, or parent required assistance, my recommendation would be a psychologist or other licensed mental health provider and not a certified coach unlicensed to practice some form of mental health.

In the event that you do long to be served by a coach due to the stigma of seeking a psychologist, counselor, or social worker presents then I suggest you contact a recommended or referred licensed mental health professional and inquire about their coaching services. Their coaching services will be as available as any clinical service the professional practitioner provides.

So as you navigate through the myriad of “helping professionals,” just remember that because a psychologist or a counselor does not tout themselves as a life coach, this does not mean they are not trained or equipped to be one. They absolutely are and they also have a license to prove it.

This article was written by Dr. Justin D’Arienzo, Life Coach, Board Certified Clinical Psychologist, and expert in the field of wellness and prevention. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. D’Arienzo, Psychologist and Life Coach, Jacksonville, FL, and echoes many of the concerns expressed by his esteemed colleagues within the mental health field, including psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed clinical social workers in Jacksonville, FL. Dr. D’Arienzo has a private practice in Jacksonville, FL and serves Orange Park, FL, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Ponte Vedra, FL, Amelia Island, FL, Fernandina Beach, FL, and St. Augustine, FL. Dr. D’Arienzo, Life Coach in Jacksonville, FL works to improve the wellness of individuals. Dr. D’Arienzo, Relationship Coach in Jacksonville, FL also works to improve the wellness of couples through couples and relationship coaching. Please contact Dr. Justin D’Arienzo for more information about his practice in Jacksonville, FL by calling (904) 379-8094.