Nowadays, going to therapy is becoming more mainstream. This is awesome, seeing how more and more people are starting to put more emphasis on taking care of their mental health.
Once in a while, I will have people asking what’s the difference between therapy and life coaching, and which service should they choose?
Here is my short answer:
It depends on what you’re looking for.
Therapy (aka. counseling) focuses more on the past. It is about working with a person’s past, healing wounds, trauma, childhood experiences, etc.
Life coaching, on the other hand, is more about working on the present and the future. Life coaching works with where you are right now, and how to get you to where you want to be — whether it’s in your relationships, career, personal goals, health, money etc. Coaching is about how to improve your current life right now, and setting and achieving goals for the future.
Another way to look at it:
Therapy has more to do with helping you go from not being able to function daily (dysfunctional) to functional.
Coaching takes you from functional to thriving.
Therapy is more about healing, whereas coaching is about going to the next level and moving forward in your life.
Now, there’s definitely variations to this explanation. For example, there are specialized life coaches out there who specifically work with trauma (ex. Trauma coaches – so they definitely deal more with the past). There are also career counselors that focus on your current job and how to help you get ahead in your career.
Ultimately, I would say it really depends on what you’re looking for and what type of help and guidance you are seeking.
It depends on what resonates with you and your current position right now in your life.
As well, you can also be working with both at the same time.
I personally have clients who are also working with a therapist to heal their past, while also working on where they are now — advancing their careers, business, relationships, health, money all of that stuff. That’s what life coaching can help you with.
Here’s the thing. I believe that every one of us all have some sort of healing that we can work on. We all have some sort of trauma. We all have our own imperfect past that we can work on.
But that doesn’t have to stop you from moving forward, if you choose to.
CLIENT AND COACH & THERAPIST RELATIONSHIP
Therapy has more of a doctor-patient relationship. you are being diagnosed for your problems, and the therapist tells you what’s wrong and provides tools/ expertise for you to heal.
Life coaching functions more like an equal partnership, where we’re co-creating solutions and ideas together, holding you accountable to your Highest Self, and help you achieve what you want.
LIFE COACHING IS FOR EVERYONE
As a Certified Life Coach, my personal view on life coaching is that it’s for everyone. I am of course, slightly biased.
I like how life coaching assumes that how you’re feeling is normal, and there is not necessarily anything wrong with you. You are a human being, just like everyone else, and you have a human brain that has been conditioned and programmed a certain way up to now.
Even with all of your flaws, imperfections in your own unique way, you’re still completely whole and enough.
Life coaching functions on the condition you are already whole and you don’t need to be fixed. Therapy looks at what is wrong with you, and diagnose your symptoms to “fix you.” So personally, I feel like life coaching helps to normalize your experiences and your emotions.
However, if you are struggling with diagnosed illnesses or symptoms (ex. diagnosed depression, bipolar, severe Trauma etc.) and can’t move forward, then seeking a therapist or even a psychologist will be more helpful.
PICK SOMEONE YOU CAN VIBE WITH
Different therapists/ life coaches also have their specific style, modality, and method of working with you.
If you’re thinking about finding professional help, look for someone who you can vibe with. Find a container that you can feel safe, seen, loved, and comfortable to just be yourself.
Ultimately, you just get to decide what works for you, who and what type of service your looking for.
Hope you find this post helpful! And if you’re thinking about working with a life coach and you like my vibe and my way of teaching/ explaining things — then I’d invite you to jump on a chat with me and experience for yourself the shifts/ transformations that you can have in this one hour session.
Learn more about working with me at this link HERE.