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What is therapy?


What is Therapy?

Therapist and other mental health professionals are the trauma surgeons, emergency room personnel and paramedics of the mental health and well-being community.  Sometimes our mental health can be so debilitating that it's difficult to move forward in our life, temporarily or permanently.  Therapists,

with their expertise and experience, are best suited for helping us when we are in this state.  They can diagnose, prescribe medications, employ modalities like CBT, EMDR, Brainspotting, Neurofeedback and others to help patients come back to a state of equilibrium.  Both therapy and coaching help an individual identify, and address behavior patterns, beliefs, and coping mechanisms over a period of time.  

What is Trauma Recovery Coaching?

In Trauma Recovery Coaching, we work with our clients as peers and equals. It is always client lead and collaborative.  

Just as we have innate adaptive responses that ensure our survival, we have capabilities to recover from trauma injury, allowing us to reconnect to ourselves, our bodies, our emotions and others.  Coaches educate their clients about neuroscience and the effects of complex trauma.  Through psycho-education we help to identify and normalize those effects with a compassionate lens.  We use somatic practices and other modalities to reconnect to the body/mind and invite nervous system regulation.  We create a safe space for our clients to explore where adaptive coping mechanisms are having undesirable effects in their life and walk together to discover new ways that allow them to life the life they want to live


How is Trauma Recovery Coaching different from life or other forms of coaching?

Trauma Recovery Coaching is different from other types of coaching because it focuses on the 'bi-products" of trauma: codependancy, shame and adaptive survival responses that kept us alive when we needed them to but, no longer serve us or bring about unwanted and unintended consequences, preventing us from living the life we want to live.  We walk together with our clients toward reconnection to themselves, their bodies and adaptive responses that reflect who they are today.  In doing this they are able to reach for the life goals they have for themselves.   

We do not diagnose/assess mental illness or tell clients what they should do in a given situation. We discuss options, look at areas of potential growth, set recovery goals and view experiences, both positive and negative, as learning opportunities, guiding a client to see the their best potential outcome. The client is responsible for the outcome and growth. 

Should I choose Therapy or Trauma Recovery Coaching?

How to determine which is right for you? If you are suffering from undiagnosed depression, anxiety or active suicidal ideation, then working with a therapist and psychiatrist is necessary.  Therapists are the trauma surgeons, emergency room personnel and paramedics of the mental health and well-being community.  Coaches have fully stocked first aid kit and skills to put it to good use, but they are not physicians.  In this analogy, when clients are 'ambulatory'-able to continue their healing without the managed care found in the medical model-thy are a good fit for individual and group coaching.  

People can, and sometimes do, participate in Both therapy and coaching.  If a client so chooses, with a signed consent form, the therapist and coach can communicate and coordinate care.  Clients can, and sometimes do, move between therapy and coaching depending on what is more appropriate for a given period of their life.  


Trauma Recovery Coaches do not diagnose or prescribe medication. Trauma Recovery Coaching is not therapy, counseling, advice giving, mental healthcare, or treatment for substance abuse or any addictive behavior. The coach is not functioning as a licensed mental health professional, therapist or counselor, and coaching is not intended as a replacement for counseling, psychiatric interventions, treatment for mental illness, recovery from past trauma, professional medical advice, financial assistance, legal counsel, or other professional services. Coaching is for people who may be struggling but have an emotional baseline, and/or who may have done some internal work/healing previously and want to dig deeper to reveal what is holding them back from healing today. Coaching clients may have one particular area connected with their trauma they wish to work on where specific maladaptive coping mechanisms are carried into adulthood and don’t serve their survival any longer. Coaching can involve brainstorming, values clarification, completion of written assignments, education, goal-setting, identifying plans of action, accountability, making requests, agreements to change behavior, examining lifestyles, and responding to questions from the coach.

Why is Trauma Recovery Coaching Effective?

There are multiple reasons why Trauma Recovery Coaching is effective:


  • Childhood trauma is a relational trauma, which means it happened in the context of relationships. The journey of healing and working through developmental trauma also happens in the context of relationships. The Trauma Recovery Coaching relationship with the client is built around the client learning how to feel safe with another person.

  • The Client sets the recovery goals, and is supported 100% by the Trauma Recovery Coach throughout the process. The client has final decision, and the coach understands they are learning who they are due to developmental trauma, without shame, worthlessness, powerlessness and blame clouding their lives.

  • A complex trauma survivor's unconscious brain was programmed that life is overwhelming, dangerous and unmanageable. Working with a Trauma Recovery Coach helps the client to experience how life can be functional and manageable. The safety offered within the relationship changes perceptions.


  • The Trauma Recovery Coach walks alongside the client. We do not create their plan for healing on our own.   We work together, helping the client claim their power, assert themselves and speak their truth while learning how to integrate positive and healing principals into their life.


  • Trauma Recovery Coaching works with the whole person - body, mind and spirit.

​           @2022 Bobbi L. Parish, MA, CTRC-S – The International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaches   

What is TRC?
How is TRC different
Should I choose therapy or TRC
Why is TRC effective

Learn about coaching options

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