One of the frequently asked questions I receive is: “What is a life coach and how is it different than a therapy?”

Although these professions are similar, they are in fact different. I personally have the utmost respect for the therapy profession. I believe individuals can have great benefits from developing a relationship with the right therapist while investing time and energy in the therapeutic process.  As I am not a therapist, I will not give my definition or view of what a therapist does. I will, however, separate the two processes by breaking it down for you from my experiences. The simplest way to separate the two, would be: you go to therapy to deal with your past. Whereas, you go to a life coach to talk about your present and the plan for your future.

What I do

I know how devastating emotional pain can be. It can have a very negative impact on someone’s ability to live a fulfilled life. When I meet with a client, if most of the conversation is centered around emotional pain and trauma that they have suffered in the past, I will listen with empathy and understanding. I will investigate how the client is currently feeling and dealing with the impacts of past trauma. We will then discuss what the client’s plan is address these impacts as they move forward to upgrade their life.

First, we will discuss what their beliefs are about themselves based on the pain and the trauma they have experienced. We may need to explore definitions of trauma and the impact trauma has on an individual. Then, we would discuss the process of change and how trauma affects your day to day functioning and your ability to effectively plan your future.

After the understanding of trauma is established, we are able to start the process of your Life Upgrade plan.  Through this process, if we find that the majority of our conversations within the life coaching sessions are about the past and not about how to shift away from this and plan for the future, then we would hit a “pause button.” This would give us the ability to re-assess your Life Upgrade plan, your goals and where you are at in the process of change. We could explore a few options here. Often life coaching is still the right fit but we need to shift the focus back to the programming and beliefs about your past rather then remain ‘stuck’. 

The Role of Therapy

Alternatively, we may find out that the traumas from your past require further exploration. This is fine and is common within the process of change. At this point, I could help you find a therapist who has expertise in the area you need. When the time is right, you could then circle back to life coaching. Another option is to invest in both simultaneously for yourself. 

As a life coach, I always support my client in navigating the change process by creating an environment of safety, trust and options. I whole-heartedly want what is best for you and want help you help yourself. Life coaching and therapy are both helpful for anyone who wants to live up to their fullest potential, make the most of their life and be the best version of themselves possible. My life journey led me to be a life coach and in that I will always put your interests first.

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