The Difference Between Coaching and Therapy

If you want to make changes in your life, congratulations on taking the first step!  The next step often involves the question:  Which is right for you—therapy or coaching? 

Therapy is deep inner work for resolving mild to severe psychological problems. If you have addictions, trauma or difficulty functioning day-to-day, therapy is the right option. Therapists take insurance; most coaches do not. 

Life coaching is for people who are already functional and want more. Another way of explaining the difference between therapy and coaching is that therapy takes people from ‘bad’ to ‘so-so,’ or from ‘so-so’ to ‘good.’  Coaching picks up where therapy leaves off, and takes people from ‘so-so’ or ‘good’ to ‘great.’ 

Life coaching can be divided into two main types:

1. Targeted Life Coaching is about goal setting and achieving specific outcomes, and does not involve intensive emotional processing. Targeted life coaching helps you plan out strategies and keep you accountable each step of the way; it uses the power of laser focus to help you to achieve your goal! So if you want to lose weight or find a date without delving too deeply into your inner world, then hiring a weight loss coach or a dating coach is your best bet. I’m not that kind of coach!

2. Transformational Life Coaching is about transforming WHO you are at the core, so you can access your true Self, giving you more clarity and clout in all areas of your life. Like client-centered therapy, transformational life coaching involves serious personal growth work and challenges you to face emotional issues in your life in the service of becoming a more powerful person. Unlike therapy approaches which emphasize recovery, safety and achieving functional mental health, the techniques used in transformational life coaching ask you to dream and dare beyond a merely ‘good’ life. 

Transformational life coaching invites you to do the inner and outer work it takes to become who you are most deeply meant to be in the world.  It’s advanced personal growth work for people who want to live more consciously and mindfully. It involves a combination of inner insight techniques AND real-world actions to move you forward towards your most rewarding life. This is the kind of coaching I offer! 

To learn more about my holistic, mindfulness-based transformational life coaching, please click here.

I work with teens, individuals, and couples in Chicago or anywhere via Skype or phone.

Learn more about Melissa here