The importance of incorporating a mental health component to athlete training programs, outside of sport psychology & mental toughness training, is often overlooked & misunderstood. Give yourself, your athletes, team, camp, club, or organization an added competitive edge by promoting a holistic approach to your training program & coaching.
Working with Division 1 athletes to Olympic hopefuls has given Brynne a deep understanding of the athlete mindset. As a result of this work, it is clear that athletes are screaming for more comprehensive, qualified, specialized, & effective mental health support.
Whether you have a vision in mind or need professional recommendations, Brynne can tailor her offerings & services, curate a specialized curriculum, & develop programs to meet your needs & help you achieve your goals.
See examples of offerings & services for individual athletes, teams, clubs, organizations, coaches, trainers, etc., below.
Book a consultation or email Brynne directly
for details on pricing, logistics, & more.
the difference between
The specifics & nuances of psychotherapy & therapeutic coaching can be complex & in-depth. Below is a cursory explanation & broad overview.
While there are some similarities between coaching and psychotherapy, they are very different activities. Psychotherapy is a healthcare service and is usually reimbursable through health insurance policies. This is not true for coaching. Although both coaching and psychotherapy utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation and behavioral change, and interactive counseling techniques, the two activities have very different purposes, approaches, tactics, goals, areas of focus and emphasis, and levels of professional responsibility, training, and credentialing.
Psychotherapy focuses on identifying, diagnosing, and treating mental health issues within a professional relationship designed to help clients alleviate symptoms, understand motivations, and change behaviors that may interfere with effective emotional, social or intellectual functioning. Specifically, Brynne conducts psychotherapy by incorporating elements of psychoanalysis with evidenced-based practices, such as cognitive and behavioral therapies. In summary, Brynne utilizes interventions drawn from these therapies to facilitate an exploration of the root causes of a person’s suffering related to their mental health issues, help clients develop effective coping skills, and change undesirable/inefficient behaviors exacerbating and/or contributing to their emotional suffering. Psychotherapy generally involves lengthy discussions of intimate personal information over long periods of time and may lead to feelings of vulnerability on the part of the client. This vulnerability often leads to a power differential between the therapist and client, which creates a fiduciary duty on the therapist's part to protect the client's safety.
The main purpose of a coaching relationship is to enhance a client’s performance, learning, and/or fulfillment based on their goals and aspirations over a shorter period of time and requiring less invasive approaches, techniques, interventions, and explorations. Discussions may focus on specific goals, projects, life balance, job/sports performance and satisfaction, or general conditions in your personal or professional life. Discussions specific to sport may focus on “mental toughness” skills, “mental blocks” in sport, team & coach dynamics, injury recovery, performance/competition anxiety, retirement, sport/life balance, relationships outside of sport, general life stressors, etc. Coaching utilizes personal strategic planning, values clarification, personal definition, identity exploration, brainstorming, motivational counseling, and other counseling techniques. However, in contrast to psychotherapy, coaching does NOT involve diagnosis, testing, assessment, or treatment of mental health disorders. In addition, the relationship between the coach and client in the coaching context is specifically designed to avoid the power differentials that occur in the psychotherapy relationship. Instead, the relationship is designed to be a relationship among equals – the client provides the information about their goals, interests, and issues to be addressed, and both the coach and client work together to create a plan for achieving those goals and addressing the issues. While psychotherapy for athletes can incorporate coaching, coaching cannot incorporate psychotherapy.
the difference between
& sports psychology
You can think of psychotherapy as digging numerous holes in various locations, deep and wide enough to expose the entire root system below in order to understand how and why the things on the surface came to be. Therapeutic coaching is similar; however, you only dig into specific areas, and you don't dig quite as deep. Brynne strategically uses her skill set as a psychotherapist in both capacities to effectively navigate a path toward achieving the client's desired outcomes. Essentially, sport psychologists do not incorporate a deeper exploration into their work so that they can dedicate their focus and efforts exclusively to enhancing performance.
Sport psychologists' area of expertise is centralized around improving athletic performance. Areas of focus include increasing, improving, and maintaining motivation, well-being, confidence, focus, mindfulness, self-talk, concentration, quality practice, mental recovery, resilience, and composure. They teach clients mental exercises designed to strengthen their ability to adjust their mindset in order to manage their emotions and overcome mental challenges inhibiting optimal performance. Sport psychologists excel in helping clients pinpoint precise goals and the most effective and efficient avenues to achieve them. Additionally, their ability to recognize issues that would benefit from psychotherapy improves the likelihood of a client accessing supplemental mental health care.
There are two primary differences between psychotherapy and sport psychology; scopes and skill sets. Sport psychologists, who are not licensed psychologists and have not pursued a post-doctoral specialization in sport performance, are bound by a more limited scope of practice to which their educational requirements and skill development is tailored. Psychotherapists are required to participate in supplemental education, such as master's level clinical internships, post-masters clinical supervision, and specialized continuing education, to develop the essential skill set demanded of psychotherapists, which qualifies them to make formal mental health disorder diagnoses and treat mental health disorders. The deeper exploration that occurs in psychotherapy identifies pervasive subconscious cognitive and behavioral patterns that significantly influence and impact all areas of a person's life.
These patterns are important to recognize because they often contribute to and exacerbate emotional suffering and can evolve into diagnosable mental health issues like anxiety, depression, other mood disorders, and personality disorders. The scope of psychotherapy is broad and deep, allowing psychotherapists to cover a lot of ground. The scope of sport psychology is strategically directed, enabling sport psychologists to target specific grounds.
Neither profession nor role is better than the other. Psychotherapy cannot replace sport psychology. Sport psychology cannot substitute psychotherapy. Each role serves its own very important purpose, and they both have an integral place in the life and training program of an athlete. The role of a therapeutic coach is designed to use deeper insight to inform how and why a performance issue exists on a deeper level, treating the client from a holistic perspective.
"A la carte" Services
Individual Therapeutic Coaching Session(s)
Group Therapeutic Coaching Session(s)
Individual or Group Consultation Sessions for Coaches & Trainers
Workshops & Progressive Workshop Series
(A full, in-depth needs assessment, recommendations, & referral source)
(Implementation & facilitation of recommendations, including the incorporation of regularly structured coaching services & ongoing consultation)
Designated On-Site Mental Health Professional/Therapeutic Coach
(Providing a full range of services on-location)
Book a consult for more information on offerings,
pricing, & how Brynne can tailor her services to meet your needs.
"...With athletes being channeled into specific sports at younger ages and with the associated changes in sport and life demands, mental health symptoms for athletes may begin even earlier. This is especially concerning because young athletes possess even fewer psychological coping skills...Student-athletes, in particular, have to endure the constant demands of intense practices, competition schedules, and the need to maintain or improve upon their strength and physical skills, all while maintaining passing grades to remain eligible for athletic competition. Additionally, student-athletes often have difficulty making time for leisure activities and may be less satisfied with such activities..."