Do You Need a Coach or a Therapist?

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How can you tell if you need a life coach or a therapist? While both can be very helpful, it’s important to know the difference! See if you can tell which statement is fact and which is fiction.

  1. Coaching is just therapy in disguise!


A life coach and a therapy have very different roles. The work of therapy focuses on helping you with what happened in the PAST. It deals with mental health and emotional healing of events. A life coach focuses on setting and achieving goals with a focus on the FUTURE. They help you to upsize your life and give you new ways of thinking about your feelings.

2. Coaches are licenses mental health providers.


Therapists are trained mental health professionals who are regulated by state boards. Coaches are not. There is actually no state licensure nor mental health training required and therefore they ARE NOT equipped to diagnose or treat mental health conditions.

This is why it’s important to ask questions of your coach. Check into their training and credentials. Make sure you are with a life coach that aligns with you.

3. A coach can help a client set and achieve goals.


A coach can help you clarify goals and identify unhelpful thought patterns and problematic behaviors. They can also help you create an action plan to achieve your desired results. They are a coach!

4. Coaches are future-oriented.


Coaches are more focused on helping you achieve future goals, while a therapist is focused on helping a client resolve past trauma or issues.

5. If I see a coach I don’t need a therapist.


Coaching assumes you are in a good mental space. You should NOT pursue coaching if you are still struggling with anxiety, depression or disordered thinking. While a coach can work in conjunction with a therapist, it is always the therapist who calls the shots.

Julie Martella Avatar

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