Coaching vs. Therapy

Coaching vs. Therapy

What’s The Difference?

Having been a practicing psychotherapist for over 10 years I get asked a lot…what’s really the difference between what you do now as a women’s leadership coach opposed to what you did as a therapist? The answer is a lot! Though a big advocate of anything that results in greater self awareness and wellbeing, coaching to me has proven to be a more effective approach to supporting others who are ready to create change. Different then therapy, coaching doesn’t attempt to label someone and have them work well within that label (i.e depressed, anxious) rather it’s a discovery-based process of human potential, taking clients to the highest levels of performance and life satisfaction.

Don’t get me wrong, as a coach it’s not all “rah-rah sis boom bah”, goal driven work. There is still a ton of powerful emotions expressed, tears and frustrations all show up. Sadness and anxiety are all a part of the coaching experience. As with therapy, delving into the past is a part of the coaching process as well, but more as a means to provide understanding as to what may be holding one back. And let’s face it, creating more of what we want in and for our lives can be scary stuff so naturally we will feel vulnerable. That’s where wearing my therapist hat still comes in handy, I’m super comfortable with the uncomfortable and there’s likely nothing anyone can say that will surprise or unnerve me. But regardless, now as a coach I believe emotions serve more to educate us rather than define us. So my focus is on self-exploration and self-knowledge in order to enhance life satisfaction and performance. Whereas as a therapist my role primarily was to assist clients in feeling less pain through healing emotional wounds or manage a mental health diagnosis. 

Now, as a coach I work collaboratively with clients. I don’t assume an authoritative role. Yes, I do educate women on many coaching concepts and tools they likely have never been exposed to. But it is a partnership where we design a program/plan based on each woman’s agenda and desired objectives. Rather then telling clients what they should do, I ask thought provoking questions that provide insights serving as a guide to help simplify how they will chose to move forward personally and/or professionally. My sole purpose is to be a complete objective party, that both challenges and supports clients. For me, it’s no longer about “curing” or “healing” clients but rather advancing their potential.

Bottomline, coaching serves a purpose therapy cannot as therapy serves a purpose coaching will not. One does not replace the other. Certainly, there have been times I have meet with people when I suggest therapy likely being a better fit for them at this time of their lives despite knowing I could easily rely on my 10 plus years as a therapist to work with them. But I firmly believe there shouldn’t be a crossover, there’s a time and a place for each profession. So if you’re trying to figure out which path would be best for you, don’t hesitate to reach out for a quick connect call. No strings attached, I will gladly help you figure that out.

Wishing You Always The Best Of Success