Life Coaching vs. Therapy: What’s the difference?


Life Coaching is a steady growing field and market, that is in higher demand everyday. At the same time, it’s so interesting because most people have NO IDEA what life coaching is all about. Many people have some idea what therapy is about, but still need more information on what life coaching is exactly, how it’s different and what are it’s benefits.

So, I put together this list. I hope it helps!

Life Coaching is mainly about:

  • Developing a vision and purpose for ones life, business or both – getting clear on where you are and where you want to be
  • Dealing with the present and planning for the future – creating a map and plan for the future
  • Setting and reaching meaningful goals – set goals that excite you and elevate your performance
  • Performing at higher levels – operate at higher levels with greater clarity and intention
  • Creating solutions together (coach and client) – collaborate with your coach
  • Held accountable by the coach – constant reflection and measurement of progress
  • Developing a better communication, self talk and self esteem
  • Sessions are held over the phone or on Skpye

Therapy is mainly about:

  • Dealing with past issues and trauma
  • Learning how to let go from the past
  • Focused on achieving emotional balance and understanding
  • Gets solutions from the therapist
  • Sessions are held in person
  • Deals with crisis

Both have the potential to add tremendous value to your life. I would argue that the biggest difference between the two is that Life Coaching deals with the present and focuses on moving forward with clarity, purpose and intention; while therapy deals with resolving the past.

How could life coaching benefit you? How could having a coach help you become more focused, productive, confident and aligned?

As always, share your thoughts on how this could fit into your life!

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16 responses to “Life Coaching vs. Therapy: What’s the difference?

  1. Pingback: Life Coaching vs. Therapy: What’s the difference? | Stephen Halpin Life Coach·

  2. I have a master’s in clincial psychology and I was going for the docorate, therapy also deals with changing behaviors and thoughts to help relieve some symptoms, its not necessarily always going back to the past.

  3. Jeff, while thanking you today for this, I must admit I have some more questions. Well just one for here and the others we will face when I start my sessions with you in 16 days oh I can’t wait. Ok back to my question, do you mean a life coach wouldn’t care about the past of his or her ‘client’? Thanks once more and please add more you tubes to your channel and work on your g+ page too for other audiences go that way too.

  4. Some people have problems moving forward because of their past. Would you say that in such cases someone would need both therapy and life coaching or does life coaching make provision for such individuals. I know of Positive Psychotherapy which is similar to your description of life coaching. So how does one become a life coach anyway? Do you need a degree in psychology or just life experience. Thanks for the great post.

    • Every person is different and you are going to get different things from a coach and a therapist. The goal (I believe) is to function from possibility, desire and love – and not just past experience.

  5. Had to read it, since I do both and spiritual teaching and coaching besides. Well done. Very informative. Love your blog, and thanks for stopping by mine.

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