Mental health can be a confusing environment to navigate. Therapy appears to be the main option for people looking for mental health help. So how do you know if you need therapy or coaching?
The Healthy Gamer Coaching Program is an online mental health coaching program developed by Dr. Alok Kanojia, the world expert in video game addiction. It uses virtual, peer-to-peer coaching to create a modern and accessible approach to mental health and wellness.
You can work with a Healthy Gamer Coach (trained by Dr. K) to tackle issues like life purpose, motivation, procrastination, relationships, video game addiction, and more. HG Coaching removes personal and environmental obstacles to personal growth.
Therapy is mostly about fixing what’s broken, whereas Healthy Gamer Coaching is about building something good. Therapy can help you with clinical issues such as depression and anxiety. On the other hand, HG Coaching is more equipped to help you figure out how to overcome the obstacles that get in the way of your goals and build the life you want to live.
Who is a Healthy Gamer Coach?
Healthy Gamer Coaches help you build a life you want by helping you get unstuck. They work on your thought processes and self-beliefs and help you create realistic, achievable goals. Additionally, coaches guide you through the process of achieving these goals. In that process, they work through the things that keep you stuck from the past (cognitive biases, traumas, etc.). They can also help you deal with failure, which is part of the process of change.
There is a common misconception that only therapists work with emotions. However, Healthy Gamer Coaches can help people process their past experiences and traumas as well. In the process of creating the life you want, you’ll need to dig into past issues as they arise.
Coaches regularly talk to people about how they feel and help them process these emotions. This combination of goal and action-oriented growth combined with emotional processing allows Healthy Gamer Coaches to help clients with varying issues. Coaches equip their clients with the tools they need to move forward in life, whereas therapists tend to focus on processing past events.
Therapists tend to deal with clinical issues, whereas Healthy Gamer Coaches are comfortable assisting with problems like a lack of motivation and excessive procrastination. They can also aid with emotional processing, relationship issues, video game addiction, and more.
Coaches cannot diagnose mental illnesses or provide medical treatment or advice. However, they can refer their clients to the appropriate mental health treatment providers.
Healthy Gamer Coaching vs. Therapy
- Healthy Gamer Coaches do not deal with clinical issues such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, etc. They also cannot handle acute suicidality, as that requires intervention from a trained mental health professional.
- Therapists, typically psychologists and psychiatrists, are trained to diagnose and treat clinical issues. They know how to administer appropriate treatment programs.
- Most therapists have no formal training in helping their clients with procrastination, technology addiction, or finding purpose in life. They deal with issues such as acute depression and suicidality.
- Healthy Gamer Coaches are trained in Eastern systems of the mind. They use this training to help you understand your mind and harness your mental energy to build a positive and healthy life.
- They also leverage this training to help their clients with procrastination, motivation, technology addiction, and finding purpose in life.
- Healthy Gamer Coaches often have lived experience of the issues that their clients are facing. That is because Healthy Gamer Coaching is built upon the peer coaching model.
- It is also rare for a therapist to have lived experience of their clients’ problems, or are taught not to use their personal experiences to help a client. They rely on their psychiatric and psychological training to assist their clients and patients.
- Therapists help their clients overcome clinical illnesses such as bipolar disorder, clinical depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. They fix things that are broken or clinically ill. Health care is really about “sick care,” not about building health.
- Coaches primarily help their clients move forward in life by helping them recognize present-day barriers to their growth. They help the client work through the obstacles that prevent them from living a fulfilling life.
- Therapy is about removing sickness, whereas coaching is about building a good life.
- Coaches tend to work on present-day issues, occasionally touch on the past, and build towards the future.
- Typically, therapists help you process your past experiences. They also help you understand how those experiences affect your life today.
- Coaches use evidence-based techniques such as reflective listening and motivational interviewing. They may also use techniques from clinical tools such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), although what they do is not CBT or ACT.
- Psychiatrists can also use tools such as medication along with talk-therapy to manage clinical illnesses.
- Coaching tends to be a shorter-term intervention vs. therapy, even though it can take place over months.
- Therapy can run from anywhere between 3 months to several years, depending on the client’s problems and needs.
How is Coaching similar to Therapy?
Here are some areas in which coaching and therapy overlap and use similar methods to achieve their goals:
Coaches and therapists use positive psychology to help draw their client’s focus on well-being and strengths-based thinking. Cultivating the approach to happiness is a part of the coach’s toolkit. On average, coaching is pro-happiness, vs. traditional therapy seems to be anti-depression.
Coaches and therapists have started to incorporate aspects of mindfulness and mind-body relaxation therapies into their practice. These techniques are handy when dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. Mindfulness is a great tool that allows the client to observe their behaviors and catch negative thought loops. As a result, they start to manage their emotions and take action, which creates lasting change in their lives.
Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based technique that both therapists and coaches use. The number one rule in motivational interviewing is never to tell the client what to do. Instead, coaches empower clients to discover their reasons for creating change in their life. They accomplish this through active listening and helping them cultivate self-reliance.
Coaches help their clients identify their strengths and values and anchor those in their imagination. Clients can use this knowledge when challenges and difficulties arise. As a result, a strengths-based focus is a core part of empowering the client.
Both coaches and psychotherapists use a solution-oriented approach. They focus on helping the client find ways of creating their solutions. This approach reduces the client’s dependency on the coach or therapist and allows them to feel more empowered as they build the life they want.
When to Seek Healthy Gamer Coaching vs. Therapy
Healthy Gamer Coaching is suitable for you if you do not have a clinical illness and want to work on the obstacles that are preventing you from building the life you want. If you are unsure about whether you have a clinical illness, then we recommend getting evaluated by a licensed mental health professional in an area.
If you have any of the following issues, it can be worth giving coaching a try:
- Unclear life purpose
- Lack of motivation
- Excessive procrastination
- Behavioral addictions such as video game addiction
- Relationship issues
Keep in mind that you could feel stuck in life because of mental illness, such as clinical depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. If that is the case, your coach can direct you to see a mental health professional who can diagnose you and provide treatment. As a result, coaching can be an excellent starting point to kickstart your growth.
HG Coaches are trained and certified through Dr. Kanojia’s curriculum. They help their clients understand their own minds to remove barriers and take action towards a fulfilling life. Dr. K’s certification program combines the following perspectives to create a unique and effective coaching experience:
- Cutting-edge neurochemistry, along with effective addiction interventions and recovery coaching techniques.
- Eastern perspectives, including meditative techniques and ayurvedic mental health.
- Psychology tailored to the internet generation: emotional suppression, dopamine exhaustion, and the triumph circuit.
Additionally, here are the outcomes from the Healthy Gamer Coaching Program.
- 45% improvement in feelings of anxiety.
- 47% improvement in feelings of depression.
- 32% improvement in sense of life purpose.
- 25% improvement in sense of control.
It is important to note that while Healthy Gamer Coaching is not a clinical intervention, it does seem to help with anxiety and depression.
Click here to learn more about Healthy Gamer Coaching.
Fundamentally, there is a simple distinction between when to seek therapy vs. when to seek coaching; if you are stuck in life due to environmental or mental obstacles, see a coach. However, if you have a clinical issue, such as clinical depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, you should see a licensed mental health professional.