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Is therapy outmoded?

Posted by >>>>> on June 26, 2009


Lorna Garano






Oakland, CA, June 25, 2009—In the last few decades therapy has come a long way. The “talking cure” which had many laying on a couch for months, years, and sometimes even decades without making any measurable progress has given way to more solution-focused and skills-building models like cognitive behavioral therapy .But according to psychiatrist and coach Joe Siegler, MD, models like CBT are now becoming outmoded. “For better or worse we live in a highly competitive world and people don’t only want symptom relief, they want to achieve goals and maximize their potential,” says Siegler. That’s where coaching comes in. At its best, coaching not only helps clients manage difficult emotions and psychological issues, but also gives them a means of achieving career and personal goals. And the data tells us that the demand for it is growing at a staggering rate. The International Coach Federation reports that its membership has increased by 645 percent since 1999, with half of the coaches in the world based in the U.S. According to Siegler this trend reflects a growing demand for a more comprehensive, results-oriented treatment.

Not all in the psychology world are happy about the emergence of coaching. Many therapists are quick to dismiss it as a superficial fad or a threat to the therapeutic tradition. For their part, many coaches see therapists as stuck on an outdated modality that too often allows them to get away with not providing real, measurable results to their clients. In his new book FIRE YOUR THERAPIST: WHY THERAPY MIGHT NOT BE WORKING FOR YOU AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT (Wiley, July 2009, paperback) Siegler dispels some of the myths about coaching, explains why coaching is a better option than therapy for many people, and reveals his unique coaching methods.

Siegler is available for interview. Here’s just some of what he can discuss:

  • Why there is so much tension between therapists and coaches and the misconceptions that each side harbors about the other;
  • What coaching can provide that therapy can’t;
  • Why he says that the much-prized “neutrality” of the therapist is actually a myth;
  • How the popular HBO series “In Treatment” reveals some of the common problems with therapy;
  • Why he believes that therapy too often pathologizes normal people;
  • Key questions to discover if therapy is really working for you and if coaching would be the better option.


JOE SIEGLER, MD, is a practicing board-certified psychiatrist, executive coach, speaker, and founder and president of Full Life®, the nation’s first coaching center. He is a frequent guest on television and radio shows, including appearances on ABC, WGN, and NBC.  He is the creator of Spheres of Life® Coaching and the Achilles® Plan, which provide clients with unique goal-setting technologies for attaining optimal individual and organizational performance.


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