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Differences Between Life Coaching and Therapy

In our search of personal growth and emotional wellness, we often encounter two vital support systems - life coaching and therapy. However, the same question remains: How are they different? In this blog, we will discuss into the differences between life coaching and therapy.

In our search of personal growth and emotional wellness, we often encounter two vital support systems – life coaching and therapy. However, the same question remains: How are they different? In this blog, we will discuss into the differences between life coaching and therapy, answering key questions such as:


      • How does coaching differ from therapy?

      • Is therapy or coaching a better choice for you?

      • Is a life coach similar to a therapist?

      • How does a life coach contrast with a counselor?

      • What exactly can a life coach do for you?

    Let’s discuss these questions to help you decide whether you need Divorce and Life Coaching or therapy in your journey.

    Coaching and Therapy

    Coaching and therapy, though sometimes dealing with similar client issues, have different focuses.

    Life coaches adopt a solution-based approach, working with clients to change and enhance their life quality, and achieve personal and professional aspirations. Life coaching pushes you from your current state towards your envisioned future.

    Therapy revolves around problem-solving, with therapists delving into your thoughts and emotions informed by your past. The therapists’ quest to understand “why” certain past behaviors transpired is crucial in interpreting present behavior – a stark departure from the coaching focus on “how” to work towards a goal.

    In essence, while a coach aids you in sculpting your desired future from your present situation, a therapist uses your past to assist you in managing your present.

    Diverse Approaches: Coaching vs Therapy

    Life coaching and therapy differ in their approaches too. Life coaches, unlike therapists, do not diagnose or treat. They assist clients in realizing their potential through goal setting and achievement. Therapists, on the other hand, diagnose and provide mental health treatment, helping patients uncover the origins of emotional difficulties and problematic thinking.

    Therapists aim to understand and heal, while coaches strive to explore and actualize a person’s potential. In a life coaching partnership, clients undertake the ‘heavy lifting’, with the coach aiding a thought-provoking and creative process to maximize their potential.

    A Peek into the Sessions: Life Coaching vs Therapy

    Your first session with a life coach typically outlines goals and expectations, with subsequent sessions reviewing your progress, refining goals, and improving strategies to meet your end goals. Life coaches employ key strategies to foster small but impactful changes from session to session, ensuring progress towards your goals. Assigning homework and emphasizing accountability between sessions is a fundamental part of this forward-moving process.

    On the other hand, therapy sessions, usually lasting 1 to 2 hours, concentrate on discussing emotions and feelings related to specific challenges or past traumatic experiences. Therapists guide clients grappling with mental health issues, facilitating their emotional healing.

    Differences in Training: Life Coach vs Therapist

    Despite shared goals of improving client well-being, a significant difference lies in the training and education that life coaches and therapists receive. Therapists are mental health professionals with specific training and licensing, while life coaches, through education, credentialing, or life experience, are trained to work on a more personal and professional level.

    Making Your Choice: Coaching or Therapy?

    Deciding between coaching or therapy is a personal choice heavily dependent on your objectives. If your aim is to set and attain future goals, life coaching might be the perfect fit. Conversely, if you need to heal from past trauma, therapy could be a better option.

    At DivorcePlus, we offer online life and divorce coaching services, matched with an array of public resources and an engaging community forum. Explore our professional services and determine whether life or divorce coaching is the right choice for you.

    Life Coaching and Therapy: Allies for Your Well-being

    In the end, whether you choose a life coach or a therapist, remember that both are committed to enhancing your overall well-being. Is life coaching the same as therapy? No. However, both can provide you with valuable tools to face life’s challenges, depending on your specific needs. Is a life coach a counselor? No. Yet, they all have a shared purpose – to help you grow and thrive.

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