What Is the Difference Between A Therapist And A Life Coach?

Many people are unsure if they should go see a life coach or a therapist when they have problems in their life. First, it would be important to understand what each does.

A therapist is required to have a masters degree in therapy as well as practice 3000 hours as an intern before being able to sit for the licensing board exams .A therapist is bound by laws and ethics of their profession such as: they are not supposed to mislead their clients regarding expertise or education and they are not supposed to guide a client based on their own agenda A therapist is supposed to ask questions to help the client figure out what is best for them. WHY can’t a therapist just tell a client what to do: Because not every person lives their life the same and would agree on the same life choices as someone else. If all of my clients were encouraged to make the same choices as me, they might not feel authentic and genuine to whom they are. It might feel good at first, but after a while, they might discover that they are living someone else’s life.

A life coach is not restrained by laws and ethics and there is no official accreditation or training for professional coaches. So they can tell you directly what they think and how you should live your life, as they would live theirs. They do not necessarily have to make sure this is the right decision for you; it just makes the right sense to them. I am not trying to slam life coaches (my best friend is a life coach), there are many great reasons to see them, such as: helping to make a calendar (and set priorities for that calendar) to provide structure in your life or checking in with them on a “to do” list that you want to accomplish every week.

Second, it is important to understand what you want. If you are looking to get certain tasks done in your life (e.g. improve public speaking or organize my life), a life coach might be an option for you. If you are looking to improve happiness, improve communication in your relationship, or get to the root of why you are not organized or having trouble with public speaking (for example anxiety), then a therapist might be a better option for you. For more information about therapy, you can check out my blogs: “What is an MFT (therapist)” and “Will Therapy Work?” You can also call to set up a free consultation so that you can ask questions that are not addressed on this blog.

The final decision is yours based on what your goals are and what connection you feel with the therapist or life coach that you interview. You need to do what feels right for you. If you are looking for an individual therapist or couples therapist in Long Beach, please give me a call to ask me a question or to set up an appointment.

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