I’ve been in therapy. And I’m a coach. Actually, for over half of my life I’ve been committed to healing through various therapeutic approaches: homeopathy, metaphysical healing, talk therapy, kinesiology and the like.
I’m often asked what’s the difference between coaching and therapy?
I’m grateful that I can speak from experience about the value and deep healing available in both coaching and therapy.
At one point, after profoundly positive changes in my life as the result of working with a life coach, I believed I had outgrown therapy. Yet, when I need help unraveling old patterns and unpacking traumatic life events, therapy continues to be appropriate. Therapy can be especially useful in further understanding one’s past. Therapists and counselors can guide you through a grieving process.
So what have I learned? Good therapy, coaching, and other emotional healing work have more in common than not and this becomes more true as the fields evolve…
Some differences can include:
- Therapy is often sought during crisis or emotional turmoil
- Coaching is often sought after you have already done some therapy and are ready to build on strengths
- Therapy examines the past to understand the present
- Coaching focuses on the present and relies on the wisdom of your future self
- Therapy can focus on the therapist’s wisdom and analysis
- Coaching focuses primarily on developing your wisdom
- Therapy operates mostly with the mind and memories
- Coaching includes and integrates cues from the body and your kinesthetic experience
Both (good) therapy and coaching:
- promote emotional healing
- require deep listening
- encourage adopting a different perspective
- help you in making a shift
- accept you exactly as you are
- see you as whole and capable of healing
I have a profound respect and reverence for any work that helps me feel more alive, experience more freedom, and allow more joy. Both types of work require courage, strength, vulnerability and an open heart.