Lifestyle Coaching or Therapy?
What’s the difference, why does it matter, and which one is right for you?
What are the differences between Lifestyle Coaching and Therapy? That’s a tough question, especially when the two often intertwine. Coaching can happen in a therapy session and supportive therapy can happen in a coaching session. Behavioral and thought patterns can be identified and explored as well as a plan of action can be initiated. It can appear to difficult to separate the two as the edges of these two modalities can often merge.
Different therapists have different answers. In my opinion, The biggest difference is the client’s goals and how deep the client wants to dive into their psyche. A client would gain different benefits from the type of session they chose.
For example, a client may wish to better understand and work through their feelings of anger toward their mother. In this case, they would best benefit from therapy, as therapy dives deeper into the psyche and the roots of their anger. The same client may want to problem solve ways to cope with their mother during family gatherings, which can easily be dealt with by a Life Coach.
Life Coaching vs. Therapy At-A-Glance
- Lifestyle Coaching
- $- Varies/ Session
- Confidentiality – loose
- Based on orientation
- Coaching not covered by insurance plans
- Clients often motivated for change
- Clients engage on a volunteer basis
- Relationship remains a peer-like approach/same team
- Coach utilizes direct coaching skills
- Not permitted to diagnose or treat
- Focus is on external changes
- Treatment focus on moving forward
- Action-based treatment
- Treatment is solution-oriented
- Mostly deals with present and future
- Frequent contact between session
- Motivational model of approach
- $- Varies/ Hourly
- Confidentiality – Strict
- S.O.A.P. notes format
- Most often covered by insurance plans
- Clients often struggle to begin change
- Clients can reluctantly participant (i.e. court mandated)
- Hierarchal difference in relationship
- Therapist uses therapeutic techniques
- Relies on diagnosis to begin treatment
- Focus is on internal changes
- Treatment focus usually on “healing”
- Insight-based treatment
- Treatment problem-oriented
- Deals mostly with past and present
- Only emergency contact between sessions
- Psychological model of approach
Questions to Determine Which is Best for You
- Do you need someone to assist in exploring the past? Why?
- Are you seeking to understand yourself?
- Do you have a history of mental illness, harmful or suicidal thoughts, or currently suffer from physical abuse of self or others?
- Do you struggle with substance abuse?
If you answered Yes, you may benefit from Therapy.
- Do you need someone who can assist you in moving forward behaviorally to meet specific goals?
- Are you looking for help for your future?
- Are you seeking stress reduction or coping mechanisms?
- Are you hoping for specific behavioral outcomes?
If Yes, you may benefit from Lifestyle Coaching.
If you or someone you know would like to try a free introduction session to either Life Coaching or Therapy, call me at (908) 268-0724 and I would be happy to set up an appointment!
As always, if you suspect that you or someone else is in danger call 911 and have a consultation with a psychiatric professional to help you identify the next step in a treatment.