A friend on twitter asked me to explain what the difference is between life coaching and therapy or counseling.
Here is my take about the differences, along with some interesting data I gathered online.
Coaching does not focus on “why,” but on “what now?” The life coaching process shifts obstacles into plans and goals. Always looking forward instead of analyzing the past.
Coaching is a good fit for a goal-oriented person who prefers to take responsibility for their processes and outcomes. Coaches work with “highly-functioning” people. Meaning the assumption is that the client is healthy, willing and fully capable of achieving their goals. Clients who are looking for guidance and motivation.
Clients who do NOT perceive themselves in need of therapy may be more inclined to see a Life Coach, preferring a coaching model to a therapy model.
A Life Coach works closely with you to map out a game plan for creating what you want in your life. A Coach stays with you throughout the process to guide you, create actionable plans, break down what holds you back and motivate you to move forward. With life coaching, you will not analyze the past, but looks toward the future to figure out what to do next.
With a Life Coach, you will:
- Develop a Step-by-Step Plan of Action
- Focus on Future Goals, Not Past Issues
- Explore What Holds You back
- Celebrate Results
Differences Between Therapy and Life Coaching
- Assumes the client needs healing
- Roots in medicine, psychiatry
- Works with people to achieve self-understanding
- Focuses on feelings and past events
- Explores the root of problems
- Works to bring the unconscious into consciousness
- Works for internal resolution of pain and to let go of old patterns
- Assumes the clients is highly-functional
- Roots in business and personal growth venues
- Works to motivate people to a higher level of functioning.
- Focuses on actions and the future; goal-orientation
- Focuses on solving problems
- Works with the conscious mind
- Works for solutions to overcome barriers, learn new skills and implement effective choices
Comparison Source: Hayden, C. J., and Whitworth, L. “Distinctions Between Coaching and Therapy.”
Shann Vander Leek is the Founder of True Balance Life Coaching and Co-founder of Seize True Success. She is a Coach Training Alliance certified professional coach, and certified yoga instructor. Shann is a prolific blogger, published writer and co-author of the Best Selling Book – Wake Up Women BE Happy Healthy & Wealthy. Shann’s personal style and direct approach have guided and inspired many in overcoming personal and professional challenges. Her background in sales, marketing and client development, along with leading a talented sales force for many years prepared her for the business of professional coaching. Shann inspires women in transition to create balance in their lives through personal coaching, yoga and creative expression. Telephone and email consultations make her accessible to clients all over the world. To find out about her Coaching Programs for Women, call Shann at 231.668.111 or visit www.truebalancelifecoaching.com