Life Coaching vs. Therapy: How to Know What You Need

From time to time, we can all use a little help. Whether you’ve just been through a big life transition, such as empty-nesting, or you’re feeling like your work environment has gotten dull, speaking to a professional can help you sort through your feelings. While therapists and coaches both set out to help their client, there are several key differences between life coaching and therapy that you may consider before deciding which professional to contact. 

What will a life coach do for me?

A good coach works with a client to help them find clarity within their plans and long term and short term goals. A life coach facilitates the growth necessary for their clients to reach their desired successful outcomes. They do this by asking insightful questions designed to reveal unused inner resources. These questions also help the client come to answers and realizations on their own, and take initiative in their own transformation process. A chief difference between life coaching and therapy, is that coaching holds the client accountable. When a client works with a life coach they are making a commitment to themselves to follow through with the created plans that resonate with them during each session. You will find the emphasis in a coaching relationship is on action, accountability, and follow through. If life coaching sounds like the right fit for you, browse Allison’s expertise and background here

What can therapy do for me? 

Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or a relationship. The focus is often on resolving difficulties from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional state in the present, improve overall psychological functioning, and help the client cope with present life and work circumstances in emotionally healthy ways. If a person is dealing with depression, anxiety, trauma, painful relationships, unfinished business with the past, or addiction, seeking out a licensed therapist is the right option. If you need help finding the right therapist for you, we would suggest referring to Psychology Today

In the end, therapists and life coaches keep their clients’ best interests at heart. Should you choose to work with Allison and through your collaboration, discover therapy would be a better avenue, she will help you transition to working with a therapist.  


By Abby Cole

Abby is the Blog Editor for Larkspur Wellness and is a freelance writer living and working in Bend, OR.