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Referring a Client to Therapy: A Set of Guidelines

A Hullinger, J DiGirolamo 2018

This guide is a resource for coaches to understand when and how to refer a client to a mental health or other helping professional when the client’s needs are outside a coach’s competencies. The goal is to help coaches recognize and know how to manage a client who has a mental health issue that goes outside the scope of coaching. The role of the coach is to co-create with the client opportunities for seeking professional help when appropriate. The following guidelines are based on the expert opinions of mental health professionals and coaches from Australia, Canada, South Africa, the Netherlands, and the United States about how to know when someone may be developing a serious mental health issue and how to refer the person to a mental health professional. These guidelines are a general set of recommendations about how you can help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. Each individual is unique and it is important to tailor your support to that person’s needs. These recommendations will not be appropriate for every person. The guidelines are designed for providing assistance in developed English-speaking countries and may not be suitable for other cultural groups or those in countries with different health systems. We are launching this first version set of guidelines as a pilot, and your feedback is important. As a way to engage the global community and to improve the guide for coaches, we invite feedback from users. You can submit feedback online at Refer to Therapy Guide Feedback. To access the form, enter the code: Guide_Feedback The copyright for these guidelines is owned by the International Coach Federation (ICF), however, they may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes along with an acknowledgement to ICF.

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