Coaching vs. Therapy

The context of the relationship, condition of the client, and content of the sessions differ between the two professions. 

  • Both professions are based on an ongoing, confidential, one-to-one relationship between the practitioner and their client.

  • Clients come to both services wanting change.

  • Both professions assume that significant change will only occur over time.

  • Within both relationships, regular sessions are scheduled during which conversations occur.


Coaches work with people who are:

  • Eager to move to a higher level of functioning

  • Seeking focus, strategy, and motivation

  • Asking 'How to?' questions

  • Designing their future

  • Learning new skills

  • Seeking more balance in their lives

Therapists work with people who are:

  • Seeking self-understanding

  • Asking 'Why?' questions

  • Dealing with past issues, emotional pain, or traumas

  • Psychologically challenged in a quantifiable way


Therapists are licensed and trained mental health experts who focus on past experiences and/or traumas and work on a variety of mental health issues. Therapy is a relationship of a trained mental health professional and their client. 

The Coach instead offers expertise in the change, goal attainment, and accountability process, which is effective regardless of whether the client is seeking to lose weight, make changes in their career, learn a new skill, or stop a habit.  Coaching is an accountability partnership between the coach and the client. Coaching is focused on the present and goal attainment for the future.