This is one of the most frequent questions I receive from clients: what’s the difference between coaching and therapy? 

First off, I believe they can coexist.  There are situations where therapy and coaching can serve clients at different seasons of their life. 

In this episode I share 5 reasons therapy is different from coaching from my perspective and why coaching is a POWERFUL way to reach your full potential.

I want to pre-frame this with the understanding there is a place for both…most importantly that investing in your mental health is HUGE

If nothing more, I hope you walk away with that today.

The goal is to help you decide is a therapist or life coach best for you?

I have experienced both in my life…as a client of course too.

This episode was spurred on by a recent client chat:

“I think I have to fire my therapist. I have gotten so much more from you and this program!

Similarities of coaching vs. therapy: Both help us become aware of our thinking/behaviors to create change in our life.  

amanda walker business life health coachTherapy:

There are so many forms of therapy and they can’t all be thrown into one BOX.  Super important here.  CBT—more traditional therapy here that many people refer to when speaking on therapy.

IN Therapy—there is a diagnosis and typically the goal is to help someone

Psychotherapy: Spend time investigating past traumas and allow them surface to the conscious mind for resolution.

Psychologist vs psychiatrist:  Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have the ability to prescribe medications.  This is huge—there are times when someone is just unable to function and a helpful medication can literally save their life and put them in a position to begin to receive therapy and or coaching.

The BIGGEST issue I see with therapy is that because there is a diagnosis it presupposes there is a “problem” with you.  I think for many of us though—you are amazingly successful humans and yet still feel day to day struggles.  Coaching gives you that boost to help you with the day to day struggles

In a recent article by Bill Cole, he explains how therapists and coaches differ:

“Keeping in mind that contrasting lists such as these can be overly sweeping and not entirely explanatory of the subtleties that exist, here are some of the differences between coaching and therapy: Coaching is an educational, discovery-based process of human potential. Therapy is based on the medical model that says people have psychiatric maladies that need to be repaired.”

Some other important aspects of coaching include:

  1. Ongoing accountability
  2. Community
  3. Empathy—we can use our own personal journey as a coach and create a deeper connection with our client.
  4. Future focused-while the past does matter—coaching QTT moves past the past faster.  Things where clients have been stuck in the mind can get resolved so fast but our energy is put on tasking.
  5. Coaching is a co-created relationship

Another important aspect of coaching is helping clients identify their goals and designing their life from there. 

Coaching has changed my life. 

Coaching is a neutral party in our life that can help us see what we don’t see.  You can’t read the label from inside the bottle.

There were many therapists and doctors in my coaching certification because they see the value in coaching as well.  They also are limited by regulations that prevent them from supporting clients outside their state.

What do you think: coaching vs. therapy?  Which is best for you?

Catch this week’s episode:

The Feel Amazing Naked Program doors open soon and the Fall Cohort kicks off October 4th.  To be first to get a spot to join visit:

amanda walker business life health coach