“Therapy can be an interpersonal laboratory. It’s a way of working with cognition, emotion and interpersonal relationships in a way that helps you manage your emotions and learn to see it in a different perspective.”
– David Spiegel, Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Center on Stress and Health, Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Past President of the American College of Psychiatrists and the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
“Life coaching is truly its own unique service designed to help ambitious achievers meet the outcomes that will bring them success and fulfilment.”
–Tony Robbins, Author, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Life Coach
When you handle life’s challenges, whom do you confide with?
When you have habits or addictions that you want to put an end to, whom should you discuss solutions with?
When you have big goals that you want to achieve, whom should you plan with and strategize?
If you want to seek a professional, should you consult a life coach or a therapist?
What are their similarities? How about their differences? Which one is right for you? Why is it necessary for you to seek a professional help in the first place?
Therapy vs Life Coaching
According to Counselling Today, “Life coaches aim to motivate, offer emotional support and create confidence in their clients. … Many life coaches focus on creating a new life path in order to achieve goals, whereas therapists sometimes look into emotional resolutions to past problems in order to move forward.”
Therapy is a process in which a client works with a professional to resolve problematic beliefs, behaviors, relationship issues, feelings and sometimes physical responses. The idea behind therapy is to focus on past traumas and issues to change self-destructive habits, repair and improve relationships and work through painful feelings. In this sense, therapy focuses on the past and on introspection and analysis.
Life coaching is a process in which a coach works with a client in order to clarify goals and identify obstacles to success and problematic behaviors in order to create action plans to achieve desired results.
Therapists help clients explore and understand their subconscious and unconscious mind. Their goal in this exploration is deep understanding.
Life coaches focus on results and actions. Their goals can be measured with key performance indicators and specific behavioral outcomes and goals.
Hence one of the differences between the two is that therapy focuses on the past while a life coaching focuses on the future. A therapist analyses the client’s history, his past experiences and behaviours in order to explain why a client may encounter anxiety, depression or addiction at present. A therapist deals more with the client’s issues and problems and tries to resolve them in order for the client to become a more productive individual.
On the other hand, a life coach is more concerned about the future and creates the necessary changes at present so that the client will be able to generate results.
Another difference can be best explained through this quote by Dr. Bill Tollefson, “A therapist helps you to understand why you are not the person you want to be. A coach teaches you to be the person you want to be and be accountable to do it.”
A therapist answers the question WHY as he seeks to discover and correct misperceptions and erroneous beliefs while a life coach answers the question HOW as he works with healthy individuals who strive to improve their performance in terms of their relationships, career, and their personal well-being.
The biggest difference between coaching and therapy is that the theory that guides a therapist can explain how life coaching does or does not work, while theories that guide life coaches can’t do the same about therapy.
Therapy and life coaching do share certain common traits and aims.
Both therapists and life coaches are trained professionals. They both work to enable clients to make positive changes in their lives and become more productive. Therapists may at times work with specific results in mind, such as the cessation of a particular problematic behavior.
Many people wisely seek the services of both therapists and life coaches, as they are able to talk to those professionals about problem they are currently facing and the goal that they wish to pursue and receive experts’ advices.
The therapist deals with the past and then the life coach takes care of the future. So, perhaps you need BOTH.
Mindlife Consulting International LLP provides complete one-stop service offering the best of both Hypnotherapy and Life Coaching in Singapore.
“Let us help you reclaim your freedom to realize your fullest potential”
Call us at +65 9785 6255 for a FREE Consultation. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mindlife Consulting International LLP also regularly conducts hypnosis