DEFINING TERMS: LIFE COACH VS. THERAPIST

What is therapy?

Therapy, also called counseling or psychotherapy, is a long-term process in which a client works with a healthcare professional to diagnose and resolve problematic beliefs, behaviors, relationship issues, feelings and sometimes physical responses. The idea behind therapy is to focus on past traumas and issues to change self-destructive habits, repair and improve relationships and work through painful feelings. In this sense, therapy focuses on the past and on introspection and analysis, with the hope of resolving past issues and creating a happier, more stable future.

What does a life coach do?

The difference between a life coach and therapist is that a life coach sets clients up with a process that may be long or short-term, instead of regular sessions. In life coaching, a client works with a coach, who is not a healthcare professional, in order to clarify goals and identify obstacles and problematic behaviors in order to create action plans to achieve desired results. The process of life coaching takes the client’s current starting point as an acceptable neutral ground and is more action-based from that point onward. A life coach enables the person receiving treatment to take control of their life and take action to steer it toward their goals.

SHOULD I SEEK OUT A THERAPIST OR A LIFE COACH?

Naturally, the decision to seek out a therapist or a life coach is a very personal one. It might help to imagine yourself getting ready to climb a mountain. You could either hire an expert sherpa and guide for your expedition or a doctor. Which should you choose? Which one will be most helpful during your specific journey?

If you are physically unwell, or would be in danger if you even attempted the climb, a sherpa and guide wouldn’t do you any good. You need to be at a baseline level of good health before you can make the climb at all, so if you’re not, you might need to see the doctor before trying something that challenging. However, if you’re healthy and just need someone to help you with climbing strategy, carrying the load of supplies and finding the best path, the sherpa and guide is the best bet.

In this example, the therapist is the doctor. He or she gets you well enough to take on major challenges in your life by exploring your mental and emotional well-being. The life coach is the sherpa and guide. He or she has an expert knowledge of your climb and can help you reach the summit.

A LIFE COACH WOULD BE ABLE TO OFFER GUIDANCE BY:

  • Clarifying and achieving personal and professional goals
  • Creating plans
  • Working to improve communication skills
  • Achieving financial independence and security
  • Achieving a work/life balance
  • Starting a new business or growing a current business

A THERAPIST, ON THE OTHER HAND, FOCUSES THEIR CONVERSATION ON WAYS TO:

  • Recover from past traumas
  • Explore why past relationships (business or personal) have been destructive
  • Work through depression or anxiety that affect your ability to function at home or work
  • Survive a divorce or loss of a loved one

Key Benefits of Coaching

GAIN CLARITY IN YOUR PURPOSE

Get clear and focused on the goals and objectives that will radically change your life this year.

BECOME A MORE EFFECTIVE LEADER

Gain new tools and confidence to break through limitations, and skills to inspire and empower others.

ACHIEVE YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS GOALS

Renew your energy, improve your psychology and reach your goals with a coach that pushes you.

IGNITE PASSION IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

Master of your emotions. Tap into courage, strength, passion and confidence in the face of challenges.