Sometimes clients ask me to define the difference between coaching and therapy. Seemingly similar, they want to know if there really is a difference and determine which is best for them.
To put it bluntly, there are. These differences usually depend on the experience, education, and skill set of each professional. There are clinical psychologists offering Life Coaching services, and Life Coaches trained in Psychology offering therapy services.
It is important to understand a Licensed Clinical Psychologist can diagnose mental disorders. At the same time, they can also treat mental disorders, as can therapists and counsellors. Often, these professionals are licensed and regulated to ensure they provide service that is in accordance with a particalar standard of practice.
On the other hand, a Life Coach helps individuals achieve goals aligned to certain areas of their life that they wish to improve. This may include the intention to have better relationships, climb up the career ladder, improve overall health, and master emotions.
In general, Life Coaches are more focused on the present (where an individual is now) and future (offering solutions to improve future outcomes). They are the accountability partner who will encourage individuals to find their own answers and take personal responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings.
SO WHAT IS A THERAPIST EXACTLY?
- The treatment of physical, mental, or social disorders and disease Source: Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 ©
- Treatment of illness, injury, or disability. Source: American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition
- Types of Therapists relating to mental health care include: Clinical Psychologists , Psychotherapists, Cognitive Behavioral Therapists and Councilors.
SO WHAT IS LIFE COACH EXACTLY?
- A person who counsels or motivates others in the achievement of personal objectives such as choosing or changing careers, improving relationships, communication skills, setting goals, and determining priorities. Source: American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition
- A person who can help you make changes and improve areas of your life such as; Relationships, Love, Friendships, Attraction, Personal Growth, Communication and Leadership, Career Progress, Managing finances, Losing weight, Health and Fitness, and Confidence.
- Examples of Life Coaches include me and more famously, Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy.
As you can see, Licensed Therapists tend to focus on treating mental disorders by looking at the past. They navigate to an individual’s previous experiences to fully understand what triggers these mental disorders. A typical practitioner will often be educated to a degree level while Clinical Psychologists are required to have a PhD educational level and be licensed.
Of course academic qualifications don’t always equal experience or competence, it is suggested that you do your research and have an initial consultation before choosing.
Some life coaches such as myself are trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and can therefore help you manage mild to moderate levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. This is extremely helpful for individuals who are held in back in life by these negative states. (Which is most of us)
Infact most of us most us fall into the latter at some stage in life and thus a Life Coach will be a great choice. Stigma can be often related to receiving ‘therapy’ in the sense that something is wrong with you. It is essential to understand & overcome any emotional problems in order to achieve a specific goal, such as negotiating a payrise, & standing up for yourself. If someone is stuck in the negative state of mind, achieving even the most basic goal can seem to difficult,
Life Coaches extend guidance over different aspects of an individual’s life by evaluating where one is now and where the client wishes to go. Guiding them on how to move forward without feeling overwhelmed. Like navigating life with a reliable partner, they ensure that you thrive to be better and more importantly, that you reach your goals as well.
For this reason I am trained in Life Coaching & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neurolinguistic Programming Techniques this gives me plenty of tools to utlise depending on the client and their objective.
CHOOSING WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?
What do you need help with specifically?
Do you have mild to moderate levels of Anxiety, depression or lack confidence ? A Life Coach trained in Cognitive behavioral Therapy will be a good start,
Take a look at the above scale to help answer this question.
Do you want to master your emotions and become psychologically stronger and resilient?
Choose a Life Coach + Therapist trained to deal with emotional problems and also, guide you to a better and more mindful take on life.
Do you have a diagnosed mental disorder or issue?
- Clinical Depression
- Drug addiction
A Licensed Clinical Psychologist would seem like the appropriate solution. Talk to me for more clarification and if necessary I will refer you to a top Psychologist.
Do you want to heal a mental disorder and achieve any specific goal listed above at the same time?
You can do so by choosing a Life Coach + Therapist trained to understand you and help you manage your emotional problems and anxieties. Besides this, they can also coach you to take a look at where you are and take necessary steps towards your goal.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We all need help at some point in life and that’s okay. Infact the most successful people in the world have had a coach or therapist to help guide them through a problem and to higher levels of success.
Utilise The Therapy vs Coaching scale to determine what you need to overcome and what you want to achieve. From there, you can then check the skills and experience of the suitable practitioner to help you best achieve what you need and want specifically.
What will you do next?
To discuss further contact me Christopher Wayne, your Life Coach and CBT Therapist for a FREE 20-minutes consultation to discuss further.