Let’s face it – life can be hard! The challenges that an average human needs to overcome to thrive often seem insurmountable. Everyone could use a little support sometimes, and studies show that putting feelings into words can have a therapeutic effect on the brain. So, coaching or therapy may be in your future! Getting your feelings on the table, especially when working with someone who is trained to help people work through them, is a good thing! 

One of the ways you can get this support is to hire a professional. Maybe you’ve decided that it’s time to jump in! In my line of work, I talk to a lot of people and one of the most common questions in my business is what is the difference between a coach and a therapist? 

Before you decide, it’s important to understand the difference between coaching and therapy.  

Coach vs. Therapist

So what is it? Coaching or therapy?

Let’s start with the obvious – a therapist is usually a psychologist or counselor, both of which require formal training and certification. Oftentimes the professional has a masters or doctorate degree in psychology or other related field, and is licensed by the state where they practice. It is also important to note that a therapist is considered a healthcare professional.

A coach, on the other hand, is not required to obtain certification by an accredited program (although it is possible), and therefore the profession is not regulated. Although certification can look shiny and impressive hanging on the wall, there are no degree requirements. A coach is an individual who through training, research, or experience (or all of the above) can simply help you decide what you want in life and then walk beside you as you achieve it.

coaching vs therapy

First, let’s look at a few basic definitions.

Coaching or Therapy? Let’s look at therapy.

Therapy, also called counseling or psychotherapy is a long-term approach. A client works a professional to diagnose and resolve problem beliefs, destructive behaviors, or personal and relationship issues. These problems often result in anxiety, depression and addiction.

One of the biggest defining characteristics of therapy is that usually the focus is on past traumas and repair the feelings that stemmed from them. The hope is to resolve these feelings and focus on a new healthier, emotional and physical, pattern which opens the door to a happy and healthy future. The downside of this process, however, is that a patient can spend years in therapy sorting all of this out. 

Coaching or Therapy? Let’s look at coaching.

Working with a coach (life, relationships, or otherwise) differs from therapy mainly in that coaching focuses on a plan to achieve results. When you work with a coach, you can identify your goals and subsequently create a plan of action to achieve them. 

Using her expertise, a coach will help you identify and create a vision for what future you want, set and modify goals where needed. Therefore, you will achieve that vision based on experience, and most importantly, in my opinion, nurture and encourage client self-awareness and discovery.

Finally, a coach will set time goals and hold you accountable. Your coach gives you actionable strategies to achieve your desired end result. 

Why Get a Coach?

Simply put, a coach can help you through those mental blocks that can prevent you from achieving your own happiness. The benefit of working with a mentor is that there is someone in your corner bringing you massive support and creates accountability by setting goals. Perhaps the most compelling benefit is that, when you do the work, a coach can help you reach your goals in a very short amount of time compared to traditional therapy which can take years to heal!

Here are some benefits to working with a coach:

Attain clarity

Sometimes we don’t know why we can’t be happy. A coach can help you work through what you really want – what will really make you happy. A coach will help you figure out what you could do, what you should do, what you ought to do and why!

Close the gap

If you do what you’ve always done, nothing will change. If you want something different – to reach a specific end or happiness in general – something will need to change in your life in order to do so. Coaching can help you define the actions you need to take in order to close the gap between where you are now, and where you want to be in the future. 

Strategies

By dissecting the problem, a coach will help you create a plan that will bring you from point A to point B. A coach has many tools and strategies that can quickly map out a plan for your future. 

Based on years of self-help, personal development, and inner mastery skills that I’ve practiced over the course of 22 years, I share my tools to help others who are struggling to understand themselves, find happiness with their spouse, or attract the love of their life.

Defeat

We all have conversations and thoughts swirling around our heads about our own abilities. This is self-talk. Our “self-talk” often tells our inner selves that we can’t do it, why can’t we do it and what every possible catastrophe will happen if we do! These are “limiting beliefs” and they will stop anyone in their tracks. 

These are thoughts that stem from all kinds of places – from your childhood to your adult life. The problem is, these beliefs can give you low confidence and make you insecure. A coach will help you uncover and defeat these limiting beliefs. She’ll teach you techniques to change your thoughts into more positive. Doing this will enable you to move forward.

Explore

Which options are right for you? Working through a personal or relationship problem can be really overwhelming. A coach introduces you to tools that uncover more options than you thought were possible. Then, she helps to evaluate your next steps.

Devote

The best thing about having a coach is you have someone 100% dedicated to your success. They will be there to celebrate with you, support you and motivate you to keep going!

Locale

With traditional therapy, you have to physically go to an office within traveling distance from where you live. With coaching, you can do it anywhere, from anyone, with a specialized skillset to deliver maximum results.

coaching vs therapy

Conclusion

People work with coaches for many reasons, but ultimately it’s because they want to do more. They want a better mindset, a better relationship, a better life for tomorrow…better than it is today.

Once you are able to create happiness from the inside out, you have the ability to attract your ideal partner, heal a broken marriage, or become the best version of you, personally and professionally.  Everything is possible when you courageously invest in yourself, are disciplined, focused, and hire the best coach to guide you on your journey.

Ready for a change? Book your free clarity call today.