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Therapy vs. Coaching

The goal of both therapy and coaching is to help individuals address behavioural patterns, beliefs, and coping mechanisms. 


Both therapy and coaching assist individuals to "unpack." Unpacking is a way of processing and expressing one's experiences. Therapists and coaches are receptive and listen to better understand and support their clients.  The client will be presented with possible perspectives for options to pivot, move forward, or grow through.


Therapists (psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed professional counselors) are the first line of defense, such as firefighters who douse a burning home, and coaches are the ones who build the home back up. In all, both therapists and coaches provide a place to examine unprocessed patterns, emotions, and situations that have occurred, and highlight how it may be affecting their lives. Themes and patterns of behaviours addressed may be helpful and/or harmful to the client's best interest.


Therapists use a medical diagnostic approach in care (finding out how the "fire" started, the damage, what needs remediation or repair, and avoiding the rekindling). Coaches take on a support role model of care, establishing a new foundation to rebuild the house that "burned." Both contribute to the "mental health" hygiene of care.


Coaches work with clients as peers to rebuild their life. The client takes ownership and responsibly of setting goals and the coach champions the clients to exercise the muscles to recover from trauma, and overcome life's setbacks. In trauma recovery, many clients have normalized disconnection from both self and others.  They have been isolated, shamed by their friends and/or family support systems, and live in a state of abandonment. Coaches provide a safe place, and over time, establish new  connections.

In general:

  • ​Coaches support the current and future strategies and implementation of healing​.

  • Coaches do not treat, nor diagnose, mental health illnesses. It is not uncommon for clients to be involved in both coaching and psychotherapy at the same time, if warranted. 

  • Coaching tends to be more collaborative, working with clients as peers. Often, goal setting is client directed. 

  • Coaches do not operate from a traditional medical model. 

  • Coaches may assign homework or have contact with the client outside of the scheduled appointment. 

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