Coach vs. Therapist: What is the Difference?

Coach vs Therapist

There is a large market for people who need professional help with mental health and life challenges. Skilled therapists and life coaches are the foremost experts providing this assistance. Both therapists and life coaches are easy to find and offer great help to those who need it. Yet, the question arises: “Do I need a life coach or a therapist?” Answering this question means understanding what therapists and life coaches do for people. Finally, it is essential to explain how each professional fulfills their role so you can determine if you need to call a therapist in Barcelona. This article will discuss all these topics in detail.

Seeking Professional Help from the Right Source

Many people think of a therapist when they feel they need help with mental health. Interestingly, that is not always the case. Life coaches can help an individual who needs guidance gain control of their lives. They focus on helping with emotional wellness, self-motivation, and structure in their life.

Therapists can also help patients gain control of their lives. They do so by assisting them to overcome personal issues. These issues may include trauma, depression, or something similar. Therapists on get trained in psychotherapy techniques to help an individual overcome mental blocks. If you require sessions with a professional, look for one in your area and book a session.

The Differences

A person has to know the problem; they have to see if they need a therapist or a life coach. If you need help getting free from mental blocks to fulfill goals, your situation calls for a life coach. On the other hand, a person might want to seek treatment for an issue related to their mental health. In that case, they would be better served with therapy and counseling. The following points differentiate therapists from life coaches:

Differences in Focus

The primary distinction between life coaching and therapy is its emphasis. Life coaches concentrate on helping people learn to set and accomplish their goals. Therapists focus on mental well-being and emotional rehabilitation.

Therapists get licensed as psychological specialists. Their training makes them subject to the highly restricted medical sector. Life coaches are not trained in the same way. They rarely have experience with treating mental illness. So, they lack the necessary skills to identify or handle issues related to mental health. The only exemption is a life coach with background training in therapy. Life coaches with backgrounds in therapy may offer the most help.

Difference in What They Aim to Achieve

Therapy is designed to help the client gain control over past experiences. The belief is that making peace with the past starts the healing process. Therapists assist clients in overcoming ingrained problems by analyzing how they come from things that have happened in the past. The aim is recovery and freedom from the shackles of those past experiences. Therapists use various treatments to help the client make progress.

Coaching teaches clients to think and act correctly, allowing them to accomplish life goals. Life coaches aim to help people be their best selves today, taking advantage of the present opportunity for a better tomorrow. Coaching equips clients with the means to achieve goals and break free from ruts.

Differences in the Way of Defining Success

In therapy, the professional and client deal with psychological and emotional challenges. The therapist frequently makes an effort to assist the client in picking up coping skills. A therapist provides tutoring to help the patient heal and overcome clinical mental challenges. The therapist seeks a happier, more contented attitude, reduced anxiety, and healthier eating habits. These are indicators of effective therapy sessions.

On the other hand, a life coach will assist their client in identifying their passions and formulating a plan to pursue them. A common goal of coaching is to support the client in developing an optimistic outlook that will give them purpose. The goal of most life coaches is to assist the client in escaping stagnation. Success in this instance occurs when the client shows proficiency in handling their daily decisions and actions with forward thinking.

Differences in Methods of Application

While coaching concentrates on the future, therapy looks to both the past and the present. The most common type of therapy offers a chance to examine internal processes, such as those related to emotions, upbringing, or interpersonal relationships. The client is frequently urged to confront emotional events head-on during treatment sessions. They learn how to look for patterns in the trauma while the therapist offers support to help them overcome it. It all comes down to unlearning the attitudes and actions of the past.

This is somewhat comparable to life coaching. Coaches also have an interest in the life experiences that led a person to their current state of development. The purpose of coaching is not always to revisit the past or attempt to mend or alter the situation. The past is merely referenced. The main questions in coaching are: where is this person now, and where do they want to be in the future?

Difference Based on Session Structure

The kind of treatment required determines the format of any session. In therapy, an intake is a longer first session that usually precedes a treatment visit. During intake, therapists and clients can learn more about one another and determine their compatibility. The following sessions involve piecing together life events to determine how they have influenced the individual.

The format of coaching sessions is designed to promote constant improvements. Life coaches frequently start with a longer first session to learn more about their client’s life goals. They are also interested in knowing about any roadblocks that may be hindering progress. Coaches determine whether a client’s thoughts and actions are beneficial or detrimental. The goal of subsequent sessions is to draw attention to the client’s capabilities so that they can serve as a basis for progress. Future sessions teach the client techniques for developing purpose and assist them in visualizing their future.

There is no basic template of strategy concerning taking care of yourself and getting help. One person may not benefit from what bears fruit for others. Fundamentally, life coaching and therapy involve treating psychological issues at their root and promoting recovery. 


In conclusion, the choice between seeking the support of a life coach or a therapist hinges on understanding one’s unique needs and circumstances. Life coaches are instrumental in propelling individuals towards achieving their goals, offering motivation, and instilling structure for future success. They are well-suited for those looking to overcome stagnation and manifest their ambitions.

On the flip side, therapists delve into the emotional and psychological depths, aiding in the healing of past traumas and mental health challenges. They are the go-to professionals for individuals grappling with deep-seated issues that impede their mental well-being. Recognizing the distinct paths offered by therapy and life coaching is crucial in making an informed decision that aligns with one’s personal journey towards growth and recovery. Ultimately, whether it’s achieving life’s aspirations with a life coach or embarking on a healing journey with a therapist, both avenues offer profound opportunities for transformation and self-discovery.

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About the Author: Kabbyik

Kabbyik Mitra, a voracious reader and health writer. He is a health & lifestyle journalist. Kabbyik is a yoga enthusiast practicing yoga for last 7-year. He is a certified yoga therapist, a science writer, communicator and journalist. He has been practicing yoga and training people to live a healthy and happy life. Get in touch with him via email: for any yoga related queries.

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