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What’s the Difference Between a Life Coach and a Therapist?

Some people think of therapists and life coaches as the same type of professional. However, there are differences in the manner in which these professionals do their jobs to help people. Therapy, which can also be called psychotherapy or counseling, is a process through which clients work together with health care professionals to diagnose and manage problematic behaviors, beliefs, feelings, relationship issues, and physical responses. It is a long-term process that focuses on past traumas in order to change self-destructive behaviors and to work through painful emotions.

Life coaches help clients by providing them with processes that may be short- or long-term instead of setting up ongoing, regular sessions over a lengthy period of time. Clients work with life coaches to help them to clarify goals and to identify problem behaviors. This allows them to create plans so that they can achieve measurable results. Life coaching begins with a client’s current starting place as a neutral ground and is action-based. A life coach from Premier Life Coaching works to help people to take control over their lives and to actively participate in working to reach their goals.

Life coaches vs. therapists

Life coaching has fundamental differences that distinguish it from therapy. A life coach will not diagnose people with whom they work. By contrast, therapists diagnose pathologies and illnesses so that their patients may be clinically treated. Life coaches identify and describe problem behaviors so that the clients can act to modify them. Therapists conduct analyses of their clients’ pasts to understand problem behaviors. Life coaches focus on how their clients can work towards their goals while therapists focus on why the problem behaviors occur.

Therapists assist clients in understanding and exploring their subconscious minds. The goal in therapy is to arrive at a thorough understanding of behavioral patterns. Life coaches instead focus on clients’ actions and the results that occur. They measure success by using performance indicators and specific behavioral goals.

Whether you opt to work with a therapist or a life coach, both professionals work to help their clients to make better choices that allow them to become more productive. However, while the two fields sometimes overlap, the processes and work of life coaches and therapists are different.

Should you choose a life coach or a therapist?

Choosing to seek help from a life coach or therapist is a personal decision. You will want to choose based on which type of professional you believe will be the most helpful to you. If you are unwell, you might want to choose a health care professional since you need to have a baseline of healthfulness before attempting an action-based approach that is more challenging. If you are healthy and simply need someone to assist you with strategizing, a life coach may be a better choice.

How a life coach can help

A life coach may help clients to do the following types of things:

  1. Clarify and accomplish both professional and personal goals

  2. Improve communication skills

  3. Create business plans

  4. Gain better work/life balance

  5. Achieve financial security and independence

  6. Grow a business or start a new one

Life coaching is generally a much faster process and works to help clients to identify their goals and then to take steps to accomplish them.

What does a therapist do?

Therapists focus on different things then life coaches do. They may help clients to recover from traumatic events. They may also help their clients to analyze why their relationships have been dysfunctional. Finally, they might help people to work through conditions such as anxiety or depression that hamper their ability to function. Therapists may also help people to process grief following the loss of a loved one or a divorce.

While life coaches and therapists sometimes work with people who have similar problems, the work that they do is different. It is important for you to know which approach will serve you better. It is important to understand that life coaching is not simply another form of therapy. Instead, it is a motivational and dynamic approach that helps people to achieve more than they believe that they can.

Contact Premier NLP Life Coaching

If you believe that life coaching is a good choice for you, the professionals at Premier Life Coaching can help you to identify and work towards your goals in an efficient and productive manner. To learn more about life coaching and how it can benefit you, contact Premier Life Coaching today by calling us or by filling out our online contact form.

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