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Coaching vs. Therapy: Knowing the Difference

Are you confused or lost trying to figure out the difference between coaching and therapy?  You’re not alone!  Coaching and therapy although different, can be complimentary to each other as you take a deep look at your life - past, present and future- during the development process. 

Coaching and therapy both are a partnership between you and a professional who can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.  Coaches and therapists are trained in understanding human behavior and motivation, but most often have very different tool kits.  Both help clients set and achieve their goals.

Key differences:

• Therapy aims to heal and treat, while coaching is orientated towards health, potential, and wholeness

• Therapy emphasizes healing the past and releasing pain, while coaching helps you focus on the future, your passion and dreams

• Therapy offers insights and intervention, while a coach is a guide, an advisor and sometimes a teacher

• Therapy helps reinstate functionality and stability in your life, while a coach helps you progress, both personally and professionally, as you actively discover your values and purpose

So which one is right for you?  Do you need both? 

Only you can answer that question.

Some things to consider:

A coach is the right choice when: 

you are generally healthy

you are ready to make changes in your life and/or work 

you are ready to invest in yourself and your future

you are willing to engage in a process that will require reflection, reading, worksheets/journaling, in additional to the live one on one discussions with the coach 

A therapist is the right choice when:

you are experiencing depression, anxiety or extreme emotions 

you are experiencing regular conflict with others

you are easily triggered or upset 

you often find yourself taking things personally or feeling like you need to defend yourself 

you feel taken advantage of 

you feel powerless 

Whether you are looking to improve your confidence in business or social settings, change careers, lose weight, change your diet, become more productive, build your character or reduce anxiety, the right professional can help you chart a path forward. 

Whichever you choose, prepare to be open and honest and ready for change.


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