What is the difference between therapy and coaching?

Both counseling and coaching are effective methods used to help individuals achieve their goals related to personal growth.

Counseling or therapy (the terms can be used interchangeably) directly addresses mental health issues that are impairing an individual’s ability to function such as trauma, depression, anxiety, etc. The focus of therapy is on healing and often involves processing past issues in order to reach a sense of resolution. Therapy tends to be an introspective process, meaning the progress and results of therapeutic treatment revolve around an individual’s inner, emotional world. In order to practice therapy, you need a master’s degree at minimum and a license to practice in the state that you are conducting therapy in.

Life coaching focuses on maximizing your potential, moving forward, and being future-oriented rather than healing or processing the past. Coaching helps individuals realize the vision they have for their lives and identify the action steps needed to achieve their vision. Coaches provide support, accountability, and problem solving strategies to help their clients move past obstacles to accomplish their goals. Although life coaches are unable to diagnose or directly address mental health conditions, the coaching process still has the ability to improve an individual’s quality of life in a powerful way. Many therapists often employ coaching techniques in their counseling work and some therapists (like me) also do life coaching work in addition to traditional mental health counseling.

 If you’d like more clarity on the differences between coaching and counseling or to schedule an initial session, feel free reach out to me through my contact page.