Coaching VS Therapy: What's the Difference?
I wish everyone could experience Coaching.
Coaching is deciding to walk the path with someone who has been there before. Not because you need to. Because you desire to.
It's taking ownership for your own self-development; your own inner work; your own quality of life; your own vision of who you truly are.
Coaching is you making a decision. It's saying: "this is what I'm ready to work on" and allowing your coach to witness and guide you.
It's a weekly meeting with yourself where you commit to keep practicing ruthless honesty with yourself, so you can shed the layers of fears/blocks/beliefs that no longer serve you.
In case you couldn't tell... I'm a big fan. How could I now be? This photo of me chatting wit my client is a pretty good depiction of how happy coaching makes me :)
Now, a question that I am asked fairly often is: what's the difference between coaching and therapy?
Coaching and Therapy are two completely different things and serve different purposes. In fact, coaching and therapy complement each other tremendously well - a lot of my clients work with a therapist in parallel to working with me!
To help you determine if coaching or therapy would be most beneficial for you (or perhaps both!), let's take a look at some of the main differences:
DIFFERENCE #1: PERSPECTIVE
>> Coaching focuses on the present and future: a coach is not a mental health professional and as such is not competent to explore past traumas and/or childhood. Likewise, a coach does not have the ability to diagnose anything. Coaching is goal oriented: A coach will give you a step-by-step framework to reach your goals and keep you accountable to the positive change that you want to create in your life.
>> Therapy focuses on the past: therapy helps you to explore the why behind your behaviours. It helps you to analyse your past in order to inform your present and your future. A therapist might help you to revisit past trauma in order to understand how it impacts your present self. A therapist has the ability to diagnose. Usually, a therapist will not give you "homework" and there is no accountability component.
DIFFERENCE #2: DIRECTION
>> Coaching has a specific goal and direction: a coach will help you work on a specific theme. For example, I help my clients release chronic stress & anxiety. A weight-loss coach will help with weight loss. A confidence coach will help with self-confidence, and so on... Of course, broader topics can be explored in the context of the specific theme but, generally, you go to coaching with a specific goal in mind.
>> Therapy is usually more general: the goal of therapy is usually to work towards overall mental health. You might explore a wide array of themes with your therapist in order to reach a deep understanding of your behaviours and patterns.
DIFFERENCE #3: STRUCTURE
>> Coaching is structured and strategy-driven: a coach will structure each session in a way that helps you reach your goals. For example, if you want to work on stress, the structure might look like: Session 1: what are the sources of your stress; Session 2: how do you respond when these stressors occur; Session 3: changing your response to the stressors. The coach has a strategy to take you from point A to point B.
>> Therapy is less structured: usually, a therapy session will be guided by the client and/or by the type of therapy used.
DIFFERENCE #4: DURATION
>> Coaching has a specific container: because it is goal-oriented, coaching will usually have a specific duration. For example, my program is a 12-week program.
>> Therapy is open-ended: therapy is traditionally a long-term process. It is very common to go to therapy for years!
DIFFERENCE #5: PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
>> Often, a coach will personally have gone through what you are going through: most coaches become coaches because they have been through a challenge that has given them a specific set of skills that they are ready to share with the people who are going through the same challenge. A coach's personal experience is their strongest credential!
>> A therapist's personal experience is irrelevant: normally, a therapist will not share their own personal experience and that is irrelevant. A therapist is trained to help their clients explore a wide array of themes.
As you can probably tell, both therapy and coaching are tremendously beneficial. You might turn to one or another depending on your goals and on the time of your life or, you might find that doing both therapy & coaching in parallel would be appropriate.
Ready to start coaching? Eeek I'm so excited for you!! Check out my coaching programs right here and let's connect!
Currently, I offer 2 different programs: nourish., which is all about making peace with your body and letting go of emotional eating and binge eating, and the Balanced-Achiever Method which is all about stress & anxiety release for high achievers.
And if you have any questions at all, I'm always available for a chat: shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get back to you!