Updated: Dec 30, 2018
It is understandable that you may be wondering what the difference is between a life coach and a therapist, but there are quite a few key distinctions that separate the two. Mainly, life coaches do not treat issues like depression, anxiety, or mental illnesses. It’s really important to realise that when you sign up for life coaching, you will not be getting a therapist.
Future vs. Past
A life coach will focus mostly on looking toward your future, rather than dealing primarily with your past. While they may offer you suggestions, new ideas or action steps, they are not advice-givers. Instead, they listen to you and ask you the right questions to help you find your path, your truth, and your answers. Then they help you to align your life with who you are and what you want.If you come into a life coaching session without having resolved, or at least started to deal with a past issue, it is likely that the life coach will refer you to a therapist or request that you look into this issue more. Life coaches can help you deal with mental blocks but many past issues are beyond their realm of expertise.
Solution Focused vs. Problem Focused
Another key difference between life coaches and therapists is their focus. A therapist tends to be more focused on a certain problem you are dealing with and what got you there in the first place. This is why many people go to therapy: to solve a problem or work through an issue.
A life coach on the other hand, is going to be more focused on solutions that get you from point A to point B.
You should sign up for life coaching if you want to figure out how to get to where you want to be in life. Although your coach will help you deal with problems along the way, the focus of the coaching sessions will be on finding new ways of acting and thinking that will help you reach your goal.