The differences between
Psychotherapy and Life Coaching
Both parties are viewed as naturally creative, resourceful, and whole
Does not diagnose or treat
Work with higher-functioning clients
Work with clients who are able to form an alliance and have common goals
A co-active model
Coach and clients work on a peer basis
Alliance designed by coach and client together
Focus on evolving and manifesting potential
Emphasis on present and future
Action and being oriented
Explore actions and behaviors that manifest high self-esteem
Regard and coach negative self-beliefs as saboteurs or temporary obstacles
Coach and client ask: “What’s next/
Work mainly with external issues.
Discourages transference as inappropriate.
Accountability and “homework” between sessions are held as important.
Expected contact between sessions to
promote accountability and “wins”
Uses coaching skills
More apt to view clients from a medical model
Diagnoses and treats
Trained to work with major mental illness
Works with clients with entrenched
Therapist is the “expert”
Assumes a hierarchical difference between therapist and client
Treatment plan largely designed by therapist
Focus on healing and understanding
Emphasis on past and present
Explore genesis of behaviors that create low self-esteem
Analyze and treat origins and historical roots
of negative self-beliefs
Therapist and client ask: “Why and from where?”
Accountability less commonly expected
Contact between sessions less commonly expected
Uses therapy techniques
It should be acknowledged that the difference between some types of psychotherapy and personal coaching aren’t always obvious. Many therapists are “coach-like” in their orientations and the two do share some common ground.
Both disciplines can involve working with fully-functioning individuals/couples who are facing difficult situations.
Both professionals focus on helping people make changes and accomplish goals that really matter to them.