• Coaching or Therapy?

    What’s the difference between coaching and therapy?

    Of all the questions I am asked, and as a coach I am asked lots of questions, this is the one that comes up more than any other.

    Here’s my “cliff notes” response:


    Is a process that focuses on the present and future.  Coaching assumes that clients are essentially emotionally and psychologically healthy.  Typically, coaching clients are motivated to make changes in their personal and/or professional lives, often through a process of considering current circumstances and thoughts, exploring alternative possibilities, setting goals and taking action.  The coach serves as a partner, an observer, teacher, and sometimes a “mirror”, helping the client get clear on his/her own thoughts and wishes.  Coaching can happen in a variety of settings:  by phone, on a walk, in an office, over the internet.  Coaches often touch base with clients between sessions in order to support, pass along relevant information, and provide encouragement. 


    Is focused on identifying, diagnosing and addressing root causes of psychological or emotional distress.  Therapy is often a long-term process that deals with issues from the past in order to heal emotionally.  The therapist serves as an expert and there are very firm boundaries during and in-between session, which are held in the therapist’s office.  Typically, there is only contact between therapy sessions in the event of an emotional crisis. 

    Are you ready to consider making changes in your life?  Would you benefit from partnering with a person who can help you get clear on what you want? 

    Contact me.  I love the coaching work that I do with my clients, and I’d love to help you!

  • Here Comes 2014!

    Ready or not, here it comes!  There’s actually very little in our lives that we truly have control over.   The passage of time is a perfect example of this, and I don’t know about you, but it feels like the Earth is spinning faster on its axis than it was a year ago!  What we do have control over, however, are the intentions we set and the choices we make.  In the New Year’s related parlance, setting intentions is what we do when we make New Year’s resolutions. 

    So what about those resolutions?  Are you a person who has a long track record of maintaining your resolutions, or are you someone who hasn’t been very successful at achieving your goals?  If you are in the latter category, take a deep breath and feel comforted.  You are in good company! In the Journal of Clinical Psychology (2002), we learn that although 45% of Americans usually make resolutions, only 8% are successful in achieving their resolutions.  The promising news, however:  People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

    How do we tip the scale toward better outcomes with our resolutions?  It’s a complicated question with no single answer.  In my professional and personal experience, the clearer we can be with ourselves about ourselves, our joys, disappointments, desires, needs, etc., the more likely it is that we will set intentions (resolutions) that we will be able to achieve.  That’s the first step—getting clean with ourselves.  It may seem tedious and awkward, but without this critical step, the odds of succeeding are not in our favor.  Other success factors include not biting off too much at once, sharing our resolutions with others (accountability), getting specific and measuring outcomes regularly, asking for support.

    You might want to check out the FREE Reflect and Reset!  Your 7-Day Life Review” program.

    And as always, contact me if you want coaching help.

    Happy New Year!

  • Next Chapter:  BRING IT ON!

    Next Chapter: BRING IT ON!

    I often think about my life in chapters:  Childhood, university and graduate school, beginning family and professional life, community building and leadership, “empty nest”…

    About a year ago, I was spinning myself into a deep rut:  What am I going to do now?  The kids don’t need me on a regular basis.  My community leadership obligations are coming to an end. I’m honestly ready, since that chapter has fulfilled much of my time for the last 18 years, and I’m itching to do something new, but what?  I’m losing my sense of self. 

    Husband:  Go be a CEO of a company.  You’d be great!  Friends:  Go teach at the university or start another school.  Colleagues:  Go run a non-profit organization.  You’d be so good at it.  But all those positive, loving, encouraging voices only added fodder to my mental spin cycle:  I don’t know what I want to do.  They seem to know what I should do, so why don’t I know?  I feel inadequate.  Why can’t I figure it out? I don’t know what my passions are, so how am I supposed to follow them? I know I’m strong and smart, but I feel so unmoored.  And so on, and so on, and so on…

    It was over a cup of coffee with my friend Lynn that I realized I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but just hadn’t yet figured out the details.  And in fact, it’s work I’ve been doing for years, decades:  I want to help people get un-stuck in their lives, personal and professional (yes, I know…ironic!).  I want to help women find their strength, power and voices at home and in the workplace.  I want to help parents learn how to slow down, pay attention and learn to really listen, so that their children can teach them how to be the best parents they can be…for each of their children. I want to work with young adults, as they begin to craft lives of purpose and meaning for themselves. I want to work with organizations to help them understand the power contained in their human capital and how to support it, rather than chip away at it by unfortunate and, most often, unintended negative interactions.  I want to be a coach. 

    With enthusiastic urging from Lynn, I researched a few remarkable coach-educators, and my fast and furious journey to becoming a certified life-coach began.  I enrolled in the Life Coach School, learned from extraordinary teachers, got coaching, coached others, explored my self-limiting thoughts and decided to wish them well and sent them on their way.  I was ready to replace those thoughts with a new story, a positive and powerful one that would define the next chapter of my life. 

    Title of new chapter:  Dana Baruch:  Life Coach and Organizational Consultant. 

    The story itself is just beginning to unfold, but I know it’s going to be a good one, because it already feels fantastic!  I love what I do.

    My mantra for the coming year:  Where the mind goes, energy flows.   

    Here comes 2014…Bring it on!