Life Coaching versus Therapy

Life Coaching versus Therapy


A life coach can use therapeutic and psychological tools to help people:

  • Change their thinking
  • Increase their emotional wellbeing
  • Change a limited belief system
  • Reframe past experiences
  • Set and achieve goals
  • Make life changes
  • Increase motivation
  • Learn a new skill
  • Change their self-identify

In general, life coaches are PRESENT AND FUTURE FOCUSED.  Life coaches help their clients explore their past only as a means of understanding their current life experience and belief systems.  Their primary goal is to help a client look at where they are, where they want to be and how to get from point A to point B.

Life coaches often use “therapeutic” tools such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Therapeutic Art, and other psychological techniques, with clients.  The word “therapeutic” means that it benefits the body or mind and increases wellbeing.  Using these tools can be helpful to clients but it is not the same as conducting therapy.


A therapist may also help clients with these areas of their life, but they also help their patients:

  • Treat mental illness or clinical anxiety and depression
  • Heal past trauma
  • Cope with traumatic loss
  • Cope with abuse
  • Treat addiction or substance abuse
  • Cope with relationship turmoil or violence.

In general, therapists are PAST AND PRESENT focused.  While a therapist may work with clients to set goals and make changes, primarily client come to them seeking assistance with healing trauma, overcoming abuse, treating addiction, or treating mental illness.  Because therapists have a specialized graduate degree and clinical training, they have an extensive foundation of knowledge about mind, body, and human behavior.  They are qualified to help clients to these sensitive areas and more importantly they are professionally trained on how to handle the volatile nature of these situations.

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