Life Coaching Vs Therapy: What Is The Difference?

 Many times people confuse life-coaching and therapy, which are used interchangebly. This can lead to gross misconceptions about both forms of counselling. While the two have similarities, they help cater to self-actualisation through reflections, identifying and setting goals and overcoming past trauma, they are not the same. Here are a few crucial things to remember when understanding the differences between the two. 

Firstly therapy tackles overcoming and dealing with mental disorders, whereas life coaching focuses on achieving life goals. Therapists are trained mental health professionals; they can diagnose and proceed to treat mental illness conditions. When mental illness starts to interfere with a person's daily functioning, they may seek therapy, whereas life coaching may be sought out to get out of a rut or figure out life goals. 

Secondly, we must look at the goals of each therapy. It is critical to note that therapy assists clients in exploring and comprehending their subconscious and unconscious minds. It tries to gain a thorough understanding of behaviours and patterns to improve overall mental health. On the other hand, life coaching is about taking action and seeing results. Life coaches use key performance indicators and particular behavioural outcomes to assess their clients' achievements. They'll help you make SMART objectives, hold you accountable, and celebrate your victories along the way to realising your aspirations.

The third and last difference lies in the framework. Therapy sessions are more unstructured and are driven by the client as well as the form of therapy. Life coaching sessions are far more structured and focused on measurable improvement and concrete tactics.


Many practising therapists have at some point participated as life coaches as well. However, they need the right certification to practise as therapists. We must also understand that life coaching is very short-term and specific goals oriented. Therapy is structured to be more long-term, it is very client-centring and doesn't have a standard operating procedure.


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