A. You can think of the three on a continuum, and you could even add sport/fitness coaching to that continuum.


Psychotherapy is diving deeper, often not just understanding how the past affects you now, but also emotionally working through this difficult stuff. Counseling can overlap with therapy but is often very present focused, directive, and action-oriented. For simplicity, Tim lumps these approaches together and uses what feels most appropriate at the right time, and therapy/counseling is often insurance reimbursable. Mental performance coaching can include some light counseling to overcome barriers to performance, but it is often centered directly on learning mental skills for enhanced performance. Tim is experienced in providing counseling, mental performance coaching, and mentoring by videoconference or phone; in-person services will become more available as the pandemic subsides. Sport or fitness coaching involves directly training physical or technical skills associated with performance, the stuff we typically think of as ‘coaching’. As a former college coach, Tim knows sailing and can coach when that makes sense for sailing clients, but he doesn’t know other sports to that degree.

For a deeper exploration, check out an academic article that Tim and his colleague, Dr. Kate Hays wrote on the topic: Therapist or Mental Skills Coach? How to Decide  published in the Sports Psychologist.