"A coach must be able to recognize when he/she is being asked to 'step into the realm of therapy — or healing and uncovering — rather than the realm of discovering and creating.' It must be clear therapy is not being offered." Pat Williams, PhD Becoming a Professional Life Coach and Therapist as Life Coach, founder the Institute for Life Coach Training As a fully trained and licensed New York State therapist, I pay close attention to resistance and conflicts as well as important emotional and psychological problems such as anxiety disorders and depression among others, that will interfere with the coaching process. Trained mental health professionals are naturals to move proactive clients to a status they so desire. Because they have the training to diagnose  and access both clinically and holistically, mental health professionals can access history, environmental, social, economic, spiritual, physical and ethnic influences that shape their clients. A mental health professional in the role of a coach is trained to pay attention to boundary issues because they understand the repercussions of crossing lines and adhere to strict ethical obligations. Furthermore, a mental health professional is less likely to do things that inadvertently interfere with people’s emotional vulnerabilities.  Some individuals seem quite together and function well, but can easily unravel in the coaching process.  Coaches who are also therapists can and do discern when coaching is not enough and when therapy may be more helpful. Perhaps in the future, coaches will be required to have specialized training in the assessment of depression, suicide, abuse, personality disorders and even grief-related issues in an effort to know when clients should be referred for therapy and not coached.

Relationship coaching is not therapy. Relationship coaching gives clients the tools needed to resolve disagreements, personality clashes and other difficulties that arise in the context of important relationships.  Ask yourself these important questions:

  • Is there a relationship in your life, colleagues, siblings, lover, past or present, that is causing you stress and tension?
  • Do you struggle with honesty in certain relationships?
  • Do you find it hard to have difficult conversations, communicate your needs or maintain boundaries?
  • Do you get flustered, come "undone" or lose your effectiveness in the face of conflict, negative feedback or confrontation?
  • Do you feel easily controlled in certain important relationships?
  • Are power struggles or disagreements draining you or your company's energy?

Consider communication coaching and conflict resolution consulting as a way to address problematic relationships.


The ICF is the leading global organization, with over 21,000 members, dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high professional standards, providing independent certification, and building a network of credentialed coaches. To learn more about coaching standards and best practices please visit them online.Getting ‘Unstuck’: Does Your Life Need a Coach? - CNN Living “Part therapist, part consultant, part motivational expert, part professional organizer, part friend, part nag — the personal coach seeks to do for your life what a personal trainer does for your body.”    ~ Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune “Who exactly seeks out a coach?  Winners who want even more out of life.” ~ Chicago Tribune “Got a nagging feeling that your life could be more fulfilling?  Want to change direction but aren’t sure how to do it?  Here’s how to jump start your new life today … Hire a personal coach.” ~Modern Maturity


So why would a psychoanalytic psychotherapist coach clients on the side? Because it's really fun! Many individuals would prefer to leave the past where it belongs and focus on goal attainment and solutions to move their lives in the direction they desire. Life coaching can shine the light on any obstacles that may be blocking progress and leverage client strengths to build a life more aligned with one's true nature and vision. I give clients the tools and tricks as well as a map of how to reach those often elusive goals. I have a special interest in coaching and working with clients who have health challenges such as autoimmune disorders or other chronic conditions and are motivated to make the necessary lifestyle changes to feel well. Good health and healing is an inside job.

Kim Seelbrede uses creative, effective coaching as well as evidenced-based therapies to help her clients become effective and powerful in their lives which leads to the results they desire, including: personal growth, success and deep, lasting satisfaction in life. Her work involves an intelligent fusion of coaching, psychology, EMDR and mind-body wisdom and the creative integration of these elements to support client growth and transformation. Kimberly's past and current clients include CEOs, top athletes, entertainers, celebrities, writers, creatives, speakers, salespeople, managers, executives, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, parents, adolescents and therapists.

Kim Seelbrede is a former Miss USA and a licensed New York City Psychotherapist, Coach and EMDR Therapist who specializes in an integrative approach to therapy and coaching, working with adults, adolescents and couples. She has a special interest in celebrity mental health and enjoys working with gifted and talented individuals who struggle with self-doubt, perfectionism and performance difficulties . Her intuitive gifts, compassion and eclectic training enables her to work with a range of personal and situational difficulties. Kimberly is trained to collaborate with her clients in developing enhanced self-awareness, personal insight and adaptive coping skills to address many concerns including: relationship and interpersonal difficulties, anxiety, depression, panic disorder, OCD, personality disorders, self-esteem, self-harm, shame, ADD, ADHD, adolescent challenges, family of origin issues, underachievement, identity and sexuality concerns, addictions, compulsions, eating disorders, PTSD/trauma, transitions, health concerns and stress management. Integrative therapy sessions can address concerns related to spirituality, life-purpose, work-life balance as well as providing meditation and mindfulness support. She conducts couples intensive workshops, groups and consults with organizations on stress reduction and mindfulness. Please email her to arrange a consultation in her Manhattan office or online via Skype.