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Life coach vs. therapist: Learn the difference

If you are in dire need of help with life’s highs and lows, there are more options than ever. For decades, psychotherapy has been the traditional option for many people, and this technique has an excellent track record, no doubt. Meanwhile, Life coaching has emerged as a viable alternative in the last 20 years, and it has been growing rapidly ever since its emergence. Both therapists and professionally trained life coaches can help individuals make the right changes in their lives. If you are struggling with a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety, it might be best for you to consult a therapist who has the right knowledge, and licensure about your specific condition, whereas coaching tackles the stigma that keeps people from consulting a therapist. One of the most prominent misconceptions about life coaching is that it is nothing more than a therapy in disguise – or, even worse, therapy from an unlicensed professional. This is far from being accurate because life coaches are certified professionals too. Many of these coaches get their certifications from highly accredited institutions, such as the iNLP Center life coach certification. Life coaching is a unique profession in its own league, designed to help ambitious individuals meet the outcomes that will help them achieve their desired success.

The difference

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A therapist, also called counselor or psychotherapist is a professional who works to diagnose and resolve problematic issues, behaviors, beliefs, relationship issues, and sometimes physical feelings and responses. What a therapist does is that he/she focuses on past problems and traumas to alter self-destructive habits repair and improve lifestyles.

A life coach, on the other hand, sets individuals up with processes that may either be long-term or short-term, instead of regular sessions. A life coach helps achievers design their lives. The process of life coaching takes the individual’s current position as an acceptable condition and is more action-based from that point onward.

Coaching sees individuals as whole

While therapists look to resolve past pain and struggles, a life coach views clients as already whole. Many life coaches, who have undergone NLP Style Life Coaching, convince their clients that they are already whole and well-equipped with everything they need to reach their targets.

Life coaches look towards the future

The therapist looks at past traumas as a way of handling present predicaments. When people look towards therapy, they are seeking tools to help them handle psychological and emotional issues that arose from past events. Coaching, on the other hand, is a method for creating a new future. It involves the client starting from wherever standpoint she is and working towards a more stable future.


A life coach will empower an individual to solve their problems themselves, whereas a therapist would offer directions and guidance. Since therapists are also counselors, they can provide advice, guidance, and sometimes administer drugs. Life coaches empower their clients by giving non-directional feedback, mostly in the form of questioning. This is a great way to build a self-sustaining habit in an individual.

Coaches change lifestyle

The goal of life coaching is to identify current behavior and thought patterns in individuals. A life coach asks questions to help the clients change those thought patterns and move forward. Counselors, on the other hand, diagnose and resolve issues based on their knowledge of the condition, and the past trauma that caused the condition.

Life coaching doesn’t give you a break

Therapists and counselors would give you drugs, listen to you, and put you in a circle of other sobbing individuals who have not even recovered from their past. They simply give you a break and allow you to play small and hide. A well-trained life coach spots your B.S. before you even open your mouth to explain. They will not stop until you step up with them and leave behind those childish behaviors that are preventing you from moving forward in life.

By and large, a life coach will let you know that they understand where you are coming from, and they can help you grow from this challenge. He/she will tell you: I have solved this problem for myself and many others before without any drugs, or time in a healthcare facility. They will listen to you, and speak to you frankly.