(The below article is from my experience and is just to give you some idea of if a life coach or therapist would be right for you. I highly respect both options.)
As a certified life coach for the past 10 years, sometimes someone isn't sure if they would be better off working with a life coach or a therapist.
After talking to a potential client, sometimes the answer is clear, and sometimes not. Alot of it depends on what's going on in the persons life at the time. Of course for me, as a certified Law of Attraction life coach, sometimes someone wants to be coached on how to "use" the Law of Attraction in their daily life so they can attract what they want, and feel happier. This person would obviously choose my type of coaching.
The other option that helps some people is working with both a coach and a therapist. It just depends on what areas of life they want to improve. Obviously if they have a condition like ADHD, Autism, PTSD, etc., working with a therapist would be the way to go.
The other thing to keep in mind is that from a life coach perspective, our goal is to move the person forward in life toward what they want, and how they want to feel. Coaches don't delve into the past of a client and try to "fix" something from the past. We work with a client to move them forward in life towards greater joy, happiness, and helping the person to become the best version of themselves.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that I give my clients tools each session to practice between sessions. Whereas at the end of a therapy session when the 50 minutes is up, the therapist will typically stop the session, and say they will continue on at the next session. No tools or processes are usually given to help the client between sessions.
A few clients I have had have told me that they got more out of coaching than therapy because of that. It's important to keep in mind that some people like the more passive approach of therapy. During coaching, the client agrees to practice various processes, ideas, and techniques. They have to put the time in to have positive results.
This is interesting :
According to Google here's what the search came up with on how a therapist can help someone :
"A psychologist can be a helpful tool in your proverbial health kit. By helping you keep a clear mind and manage any stress, anxiety, phobias, and other problems you face, a psychologist can help you get the most out of life and keep you free from symptoms of depression and other mental health problems."
Here's what Google says about working with a life coach :
"The life coach definition is someone professionally trained to help you maximize your full potential and reach your desired results. They are like a supportive friend and a trusted adviser rolled into one. They’re someone who will push you to identify your goals, hold you accountable and provide encouragement throughout your journey to become a better version of yourself."
Though the above definitions are not everything someone would gain from either option, it gives some idea.
The other important thing to keep in mind is that many psychologists have added "life coach" to their bullet points of what they do. This is fine IF they are certified as a life coach. The same goes for life coaches. They should be certified by a reputable coaching academy that offers at least a 6 month program. My coaching certification was from a year long program which had classes two times a week. Believe it or not I've seen adds that said "Become a certified life coach in 3 weeks!" Three weeks - really??? I don't think so.
I hope this article gave you some idea of how to choose. Sometimes you have to work with a life coach and see a therapist to determine which option is better for you.
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If you're considering me as your life coach, I offer a free mini phone coaching session. Just contact me through my website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll be glad you did!