What is the difference between Life Coaching and Traditional Therapy?

I am a practicing psychotherapist for more than 20 years and a certified life coach for over seven years; this has afforded me a wealth of knowledge on the subject of human behavior and human nature that I am able to draw upon in my practice as a life coach and as a therapist. There are some important key principles that both disciplines share such as unconditional positive regard for the client and an empathetic approach toward the client – but there are three key differences:

Orientation: In coaching, the focus is taking the client from where they are to where they want to be. When you feel you cannot move forward because of something from your past, therapy is a great option. As a therapist and a life coach, I do focus on moving you forward but if something from your past is affecting you now, I am able to explore that with you so that you can remove any obstacles and move forward.

Goals: Therapy aims to analyze behavior and help the client figure out “Why?” In coaching, the client moves forward and creates new opportunities for their life by asking “How?” My focus remains on the “How” but when you feel stuck in the “How?” I work with you in analyzing the “Why?” so that you the “How?” becomes clear.

Relationships: The therapist-client model can feel intimidating because it is often an expert-patient model. The coaching relationship is more of a partnership or an alliance. My approach is to partner with you in your process of moving forward and rest assured, I am an expert.

I am able to navigate between being action-oriented and insight-oriented in working with my clients so that they can move forward feeling in control and purposeful.