What is the Difference Between Life Coaching and Therapy?

What is the difference between life coaching and therapy? Glad you asked. There are actually quite a few significant differences that you should keep in mind whether you are a life coach or a client of a life coach.

Want to know the answer to the question; What is the difference between life coaching and therapy?, It’s merely a matter of timing. The principle difference is that life coaching is geared toward the present and future, while therapy is oriented toward the past. Life coaching sometimes takes lessons from the client’s past and applies them to the present and future, but not much time is spent lingering on past events.

What is the Difference Between Life Coaching and Therapy – Examples

To better understand the difference between life coaching and therapy, here are a few examples of when life coaching works best, and a few examples of when therapy is more applicable.

Therapy works best:

  • For people in abusive relationships who need support and assistance.
  • For individuals with unresolved childhood issues or trauma.
  • For people battling addictions.
  • For people suffering from severe depression.
  • For individuals who live on an emotional roller coaster
  • For people who have diagnosed mental conditions.

Life coaching works best:

  • For people who may feel as if they are stuck in a rut.
  • For individuals who are poised to move to the next level in life but unsure how to get there.
  • For people who want to learn how to take action.
  • For individuals who are ready to make changes in life to ameliorate their current position.
  • For people who want to find meaning and purpose in life.
  • For individuals who want to improve a specific aspect of their lives – career, wellness, financial, etc.

Here is another answer to the question, “What is the difference between life coaching and therapy? Life coaching is about finding a solution, or to put it more appropriately, helping the client find their own solution. It is goal oriented, and often more short term than therapy. How to lose weight? How to start a business? How to change careers? How to improve the quality of your life? These are a few of the questions for which life coaching seeks answers.

Therapy generally delves in to the darker side of human nature, and is more of an existentialist journey in to the mind and soul of a patient. It also seeks solutions, but is often more long-term as it uses deep inner work to resolve psychological problems.

What is the Difference Between Life Coaching and Therapy – More Examples

  • Life coaching encourages, equips, and empowers, while therapy examines.
  • Therapy originates from a medical model while coaching does not – therapists usually take insurance, coaches do not.
  • Therapy heals old wounds or discovers inner traumas, while life coaching is all about the manifestation of a client’s future.

You asked the question, “What are the differences between life coaching and therapy.? Now you have the answer!

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article… Thank you

Fred Philips
Business Coach
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community

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  1. Toni Nelson says:

    I like the way you described the differences so that anyone will be able to clearly differentiate the two.

  2. Sherill says:

    If you have past issues that you want to address then go to therapy, when you have addressed these issues its best to get a life coach to make your present and future a success!

  3. Marlon says:

    Therapy is for those who are dealing with past problems and cant seem to move on. Life coaching is for those who are moving forward and want to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

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