Life Coaching vs. Therapy

Teens are often hesitant to see a “therapist” to address or help them with their issues. In many cases, they are much more comfortable and open to the idea of a life coach, as it feels less intimidating.

Life coaching provides clients with a balance of practical, solution-oriented tools and strategies, in a therapeutic safe place in which exploration, change and growth can occur.

Coaching is future-focused: A coach and client collaborate to set intentions to create change for the client’s future, rather than looking back at the past.

Our personal history can provide clues and answers as to why we are in our current life situation. They are therefore acknowledged in the coaching process. However, the purpose of life coaching is to move forward, rather than utilizing sessions to analyze, undo and fix past experiences as one may do through a counseling or therapy process.


Life Coaching

The therapist is in charge. The “mental health professional” diagnoses and sets the agenda.


The client is in charge. Coaching works for the client and the client determines the agenda.
“Fix what’s broken”


Develops strengths
Feelings and Past Events


Actions and the Future
Heal dysfunction and pathology; Improve the “being”


Focuses on actions and the future
Core beliefs

Depth of Work

Behaviors and skills
Explores the root of the problems


Focuses on solving the problems
The client needs healing


The client is whole
Works to bring the unconscious into the consciousness

Path to Success

Works with the conscious mind
Works for internal resolution of pain and to let go of the old patterns


Works for external solutions to overcome barriers, learn new skills and implement them
Therapists deal primarily with answering the question,
“Why do I…?”

Questioner and Questions

Coaches ask the questions, “Who are you?” “Where do you want to go?” and “What do you want your future to look like?”
Life Coaching vs. Therapy