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Coaching vs Therapy

News | September 16, 2019


Coaching vs Therapy – What’s the difference?

I’m often asked by people what the difference is between life coaching and counseling or therapy.

While there are some commonalities, we get to know your intimate details of your life, therapy and coaching are for the most part quite different.

Therapists typically work with individuals to help them process painful memories or events, reflect on past and current problems and help them develop ways to cope and cultivate positive thinking. Therapy is typically routed in how past behaviors and experiences, shape our present. Therapy helps to understand behavioral patterns – which are not always apparent to the individual – and work on new ways of dealing with problems & feelings as they arise.

Coaching is very much focused in the future. It’s taking an individual from where they are, to where they want to be. Coaching is unique service provided to individuals to help them to create a plan, set and achieve goal and outcomes, and bring fulfilment which enriches their lives.

Coaching is carried out by looking the individual’s current circumstances, their hopes and dreams, and encouraging them to explore possible outcomes and take ownership for their actions.  A coach will ask open, focused questions which promote thinking and empowered decision making.

Similar to how a Sports Coach would work with an athlete, a Coach will help an individual meet their goals in life, by gently guiding them in the right direction.  The aim of Coaching is to help the individual break free of limiting beliefs, feel empowered to make life changing decisions and confidently walk the path to achieving their goals and dreams.

In short

  • Therapy usually involves looking at the PAST to understand the PRESENT
  • Coaching as taking the NOW and focuses on the FUTURE

I’d like to dispel some much-asked questions and myths around the two approaches.

What Coaching isn’t:

Coaching is not a replacement for therapy

Coaching is not therapy in disguise

Coaching will not diagnose mental health conditions

Coaching is not for anyone experiencing depression or having suicidal thoughts

Coaching is not about looking back at the past or ‘fixing’ anything

Coaching is not mentoring

Coaching is not consulting, advising or telling you what to do

So what IS Coaching?

Coaching is centered in the present, it’s about creating a plan, taking action and making progress

Coaching will focus on your wellness, wellbeing & mindset

Coaching will help you understand what’s important, and what your definition of success is

Coaching will help you create the life YOU dream of

Coaching empowers you to step into your best-self as a human-being…As a business owner, as an employee, as a parent, as a partner

Coaching is about results and forward progress.

Coaching will focus on the What, Why & How

Coaching will help you challenge fear, and consider a life where your default mindset sees no problems or challenges, only opportunities and the question ‘why not?’