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Life Coaching vs Therapy

I’m taking time today to answer a few questions I often get asked when people find out I’m a life coach. What is the difference in life coaching and therapy? When and why should I hire a life coach?

In our society, most people have experience with or understand the concept of traditional therapy. Though it exists in many forms, therapy generally asks the patient to look into their past to find the source of their current problems. Therapy can have an amazing benefit for people, especially those who may also need medical intervention for depression, etc, (life coaching is never a substitute for therapy when treating a mental illness). Fewer people have experience with life coaching even though life coaching is appropriate for most adults. Although it is gaining in popularity, it is not as well-known as therapy. I predict that as people begin to understand the benefit good coaching can have on all aspects of their lives, it will become as popular as gym memberships, but we aren’t there yet.

Because many people don’t understand what life coaching is, they often think it’s like therapy. And I suppose it is in some ways. You sit and talk to your life coach about your goals and dreams while she/he listens and asks questions. But that’s really about the only similarity. First, life coaches are the people who made Zoom cool! We almost always meet with clients remotely, which allows us to coach clients in different time zones and countries. This is an amazing benefit because it allows you to have access to a life coach at almost any time that’s convenient for you.

The most obvious difference is that life coaching is present and future-focused. The past is behind us, and for the sake of moving forward, it is rarely useful and often holds us back. New clients often tell me they are overweight because of something that happened to them when they were kids, they overdrink because of trauma or disappointments, they don’t have the lives they want because of something in their past. But none of this is true. We overeat, overdrink, or don’t have the lives we want now because of actions or inactions we are taking right now. Our current thoughts about the past may need work, but the past is done. We aren’t victims of anything unless we decide to be. Working with a life coach helps you to understand what your current thoughts are and how they may be holding you back. What a freeing thought that we are in control of our lives!

So why should you hire a life coach if it’s all about your current thoughts? Why can’t you just figure those out and change them? A few can, but most of us need help uncovering our thoughts and deep-seated beliefs that may have us in an error loop. A life coach is a neutral partner on your journey to personal development who can point out the thoughts that are holding you back. A certified life coach can help you improve your personal and work relationships, move forward when you feel stuck in your career, lose weight, and more. We aren’t miracle workers, but we are proof of what you can do when you focus your mind on creating the life you want. Contact me at for more information on how I can help you get started on an amazing journey!

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