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Coaching vs. Therapy

Often, clients ask the difference between therapy and coaching. Both can be useful in different ways. Coaching is more present-focused than therapy. It is designed to teach you skills and different ways to think about situations you are struggling with. Generally, coaches do not look deeply into your past and upbringing, but focus on the here and now. They are trained to help you deal with specific areas where you feel stuck, and take a more proactive and time limited approach.

Therapists are trained in a range of modalities and are licensed to provide mental health care. They are designed to have a longer relationship with clients, and to assess and treat disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, OCD, addiction, and more. They frequently take a more in-depth perspective, looking back at your life patterns and sometimes discussing your family of origin (this is based on the approach of the therapist). Therapeutic approaches include Cognitive Behavioral, psychodynamic, interpersonal, insight-oriented, EMDR, and more.


Coaches have not been trained to treat mental health disorders. When mental health issues are at play, coaching is not appropriate and therapy is necessary. If you would like to see a coach and you have mental health issues such as those mentioned, you will need to see a therapist concurrently.


Lastly, as coaching is not a health service, you cannot submit coaching receipts to your health insurance. Coaches cannot diagnose or treat mental health disorders, and if they become aware that you have an issue that would be better served by therapy, they will refer you to a therapist at Best Life or elsewhere.

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