There are similarities between coaching and psychotherapy but several differences set them apart:
In Coaching no disease or mental illness is presumed and therefore no treatment based on a diagnosis. With Coaching the bias is towards the future. I work from the perspective that you are fundamentally whole, healthy and strong enough to deal with the challenges of coaching. Coaching facilitates your own thought processes. A Coach may discuss and suggest options but does not offer advice.
Ontological Coaching includes the body. Awareness of what goes on in the body provides a powerful way to connect to wisdom, energy and leadership. Ontological Coaching recognizes that actions are produced in our physical structures and that our actions reflect our whole self. It is therefore important to observe our conditioned tendencies that prevent us from being self-generating, self-educating and self-healing. When we are caught in our conditioning we become fragmented and react automatically without choice.
Humans are deeply linguistic, story creating creatures; therefore, Ontological Coaching holds language to a high standard of scrutiny. We check with the body and emotions to see if they match the story being articulated.
In contrast many forms of psychotherapy assign greater importance to language itself as a pathway for healing.
Present- and future focused
Coaching is focused on creating awareness of how one is being in the present, and how this being is able to move into the future. Coaching assumes you are ready to attempt to pursue a fulfilled, authentic life. Like any meaningful conversation, coaching can and often does touch upon important events in the past; but in contrast to therapy, coaching does not seek to expose the past in detail.