Maria Connolly, LPC

Coaching Vs Therapy: Know What Option Is Best for You!

s coaching vs therapy the right option for you? Learn how to make the best decision for you and how you ensure you benefit fully from the choice you make.We are interdependent beings; we can’t go it alone. So, it’s only natural that we highly value having someone who allows us to freely express our feelings and thoughts, without judging us. Too often, we hold back, because we have to be careful about what we reveal and to whom. For example, you probably don’t want to discuss your love life with your business partner, nor discuss a business option with your mother. There are definitely times when reaching out to an impartial, objective professional can be very helpful.  

I’m so happy to see more people taking advantage of this invaluable resource for bettering their lives. That’s a courageous step! However, hiring someone to help you get past your comfort zone or mental and emotional roadblocks is a highly personal choice, and it can be overwhelming. When you start looking for someone who can actually help, you’ll find a wide array of life coaches, business coaches, executive coaches, counselors, therapists, psychotherapists, mentors, consultants, and the list goes on. Some are licensed and regulated by the state, others are not.

The big question is: How do you choose between coaching vs therapy?

Firstly, it’s important to identify your goals and desired outcomes. Then you can match these with the professional who can help you achieve them. No matter who you hire, know that ultimately you’re the one who can do the work that will create the change you desire. No one can do that for you. If you have courage and commitment, that’s more than half the battle.

To simplify your choices, let’s narrow the above list down to two categories: life coaching vs therapy. Coaches work on helping an individual excel — this can include life coaches, business coaches, executive coaches, and mentors. Consultants give very specialized advice on specific situations. Therapist often focus on healing or on treating mental illness — they can include mental health counselors, therapists, and psychotherapists.

The communication skills used by these professions are similar – such as asking questions, active listening, and summarizing. Yet there are very distinct differences in their approaches. Here are some of the differences between life coaching vs therapy…

Life Coaching

  • Focuses on helping you reach your full potential.
  • Motivates and inspires you to achieve more than you believe is possible.
  • Helps you clarify goals, identify obstacles and problematic behaviors.
  • Assists you to create an action plan or systems to achieve desired results.
  • Keeps you accountable by measuring your progress through set key performance indicators and specific behavioral outcomes and goals.
  • Enables you to take control of your life and make mindful choices.
  • Empowers you to get what you want by thinking and acting resourcefully.
  • Poses questions that reveal new realities and opens new opportunities.

Therapy…

  • Focuses on healing emotional and mental wounds to bring you to a healthier  state.
  • Analyzes the past as a tool for understanding present behaviors.
  • Diagnoses and resolves problematic beliefs, behaviors, relationships, feelings and physical responses.
  • Changes self-destructive habits.
  • Gives you a sense of how you’re presenting yourself to others.
  • Offers insight on how your emotions affect your everyday life.

This traditional approach focuses on healing first, then excelling later. Therapy identifies the “why” certain behavioral patterns occur, while coaching works on “how” to attain a specific goal.

I believe this traditional approach can cause a disconnect that slows a person’s progress down. Because we are connected beings — our emotions and thoughts cannot be separated from our body sensations or beliefs. Therefore, I suggest it’s important to work on your whole self, mind, body and spirit, at the same time. Time after time, I’ve seen clients improve their emotional, mental, physical health, while attaining specific professional and life results beyond what they believed to be possible. You can too!

My coaching services provide the best of all worlds. I bring together a number of therapeutic approaches and unify them into a unique working model just for you. My approach to somatic coaching is very holistic, as I help you channel your inner driving force in a harmonious direction.

If you’re committed to living a meaningful and purposeful life, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to partner with you as you finally achieve the future you’ve always dreamed of.

Benefits of life coaching, Mentorship


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