Life Coaching vs Therapy: Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to personal growth and self-improvement, many people are unsure of whether they should choose life coaching or therapy. Both offer unique benefits and can help individuals achieve their goals and overcome challenges, but the approaches and methodologies of each are different. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast life coaching and therapy to help you make an informed decision.


What is Life Coaching?

Life coaching is a goal-oriented process that helps individuals achieve their personal and professional objectives. Life coaches work with clients to identify their strengths and weaknesses, establish clear and measurable goals, and develop actionable plans to achieve them. Unlike therapy, life coaching focuses on the present and future rather than the past. Life coaches do not diagnose mental health conditions or provide treatment for psychological disorders.

Life coaching sessions can take place in person, over the phone, or online. The coach and client work together to identify specific areas of improvement and create a personalized plan to achieve the desired results. Life coaches may use a variety of techniques and tools, such as questioning, reflection, and visualization, to help clients gain clarity and motivation.


What is Therapy?

Therapy, on the other hand, is a treatment-focused process that aims to improve mental health and well-being. Therapists work with clients to identify and address the root causes of psychological distress and emotional problems. Therapy sessions may focus on a range of issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, and relationship problems.

Therapy can take many forms, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychoanalytic therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Therapists use evidence-based techniques and strategies to help clients manage their symptoms, improve their coping skills, and develop more positive behaviours and thought patterns. Learn more.


The Main Differences between Life Coaching and Therapy

While life coaching and therapy share some similarities, there are several key differences between the two. Here are some of the most important:

Focus: Life coaching is future-oriented and goal-focused, while therapy tends to be past or present-oriented and treatment-focused.

Approach: Life coaching is collaborative and client-driven, while therapy is more directive and therapist-led.

Tools and Techniques: Life coaching uses a range of tools and techniques to help clients achieve their goals, such as visualisation, affirmations, and action plans. Therapy, on the other hand, relies on evidence-based techniques and strategies to help clients manage their symptoms and improve their mental health.

Scope: Life coaching is designed to help individuals achieve specific goals or outcomes, while therapy aims to improve overall mental health and well-being.

Sessions: Life coaching works with packages of sessions in order to encourage clients make a commitment to themselves and their results. Therapy is usually offered on a pay as you go basis – payment for sessions being due on the day of the session, rather than upfront as it is in coaching. 

Homework: Both life coaching and therapy use the concept of homework to get clients to practice things between sessions. WIth coaching, the homework “actions” are all about making steady progress towards your goals. In therapy, homework may be about goals, but are always about doing things that help support better mental health outcomes.


Which One Should You Choose?

Deciding between life coaching and therapy depends on your specific needs and goals. If you’re looking to achieve a specific outcome or goal, such as starting a business or improving your relationships, life coaching may be the best option for you. If you’re struggling with a mental health condition or emotional problem, therapy may be more appropriate.

It’s also important to consider your personal preferences and comfort level. Some people may prefer a collaborative and client-driven approach, while others may prefer a more structured and therapist-led approach.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to choose life coaching or therapy is a personal one. It’s important to do your research, ask questions, and find a qualified professional who can help you achieve your goals and improve your overall well-being.


In Conclusion

Both life coaching and therapy can offer significant benefits to individuals seeking personal growth and self-improvement. There is certainly overlap between the two, but usually one approach is indicated over the other. While they have different approaches and methodologies, both can help individuals achieve their goals and overcome challenges. By understanding the differences between the two, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

If after reading this article, you are still unsure, schedule yourself a complimentary ‘IGNITE’ session and we can discuss what is the best option for your circumstances.

Michelle xx


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