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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 designed to teach you skills and different ways to think about situations you are struggling with. Coaches may discuss your past and upbringing, and often discuss attachment and family of origin, but also 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.


Coaches can go very "deep;" it is a myth that coaching cannot move beyond the surface/practical level. Many clients report transformational change in self understanding due to coaching.

Therapists, unlike coaches, are licensed to provide mental health care. They assess and treat disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, OCD, addiction, and more. Therapeutic approaches include Cognitive Behavioral, psychodynamic, interpersonal, insight-oriented, EMDR, exposure therapy with responsive prevention, 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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