Life Coaching vs. Therapists
Choosing to take your development into your own hands and achieve greater heights is a big step in the right direction. When you choose to reflect, you’re building upon the foundation you’ve already laid down. Whether solid or fragile, we are fortunate to have such a wide variety of services to choose from in our improvement. Some of the most common self-improvement avenues chosen are Life Coaching and Therapy.
When choosing among these available services, it is important to note the subtle differences in goal-achievement, standardization, the scope of work, and healthcare coverage between the two fields.
When considering a life coach or therapist for self-improvement purposes, it's worthwhile to set goals and desired outcomes before deciding on the proper coach or therapist for you. The line between goal-setting in coaching and therapeutic environments is thin but marks the difference between an accountability partner coaching you through your hardest days and a talk therapist.
In life coaching, your coach will meet with you in person or remotely and take inventory of your goals,
passions, and self-believed limits. This inventory will then be leveraged to develop a detailed path of improvement with key metrics of growth along the way. As opposed to therapy, the path to achieving your goals rides on your sense of agency and freedom. Life coaching stops when you feel the job is complete, not when your therapist feels their work is done.
A therapist will also meet with you in-person or remotely to discuss the current mental issues you’re experiencing. Your therapist will then open a dialogue, reviewing past and current life to help you move on from past strife.
State and Federal Standards:
Though life coaches and therapists share some similarities in helping you actualize and achieve self-confidence, the state and federal regulations for both industries vary in many ways.
Therapists, counselors, social workers, and psychologists aren’t allowed to carry their respective titles without continuing education, certification, and license. This regulation comes from boards in the United States depending on which area of practice each counselor or therapist decides to practice in.
In contrast, the life coaching industry is not bound by regulatory standards, as the industry is open to a wide array of experiences and vocations. This allows coaches to provide their expertise based on past experience from a variety of backgrounds, rather than solely education. That said, there are multiple life coach certification programs available for coaches to add even more to their lists of qualifications. The International Coach Federation (ICF) offers several levels of accreditation to coaches to further build their already extensive experience and serve their clients better.