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Life Coaching faqs.

What is the Difference Between a Psychotherapist and a Life Coach? 

Coaching and psychotherapy share some common ways of working, including even some specific techniques and methodologies. Both psychotherapists and coaches usually strive to create a client centered, collaborative partnership. They both form a trusting, respectful relationship that fosters deep listening and active communication.

They both believe that clients can best find their own unique solutions to issues, rather than having them come from someone else. Both use questions that raise personal awareness and increase personal insight.

Both psychotherapists and coaches ascribe to high ethical and professional standards. Both place the needs of their clients first, above their own. Both operate on the principle of confidentiality. Both strive to practice only within the scope of their training and effectiveness, and know when to refer a client to another professional.

One of the biggest differences between psychotherapy and coaching is the focus. Therapists help you work through past issues while coaches focus on helping you build an ideal future. Read below for more insight.​

How Psychotherapists and Coaches Differ?

Keeping in mind that contrasting lists such as these can be overly sweeping, and not entirely explanatory of the subtleties that exist, here are some of the differences between coaching and therapy.

COACHING focuses on self-exploration, self-knowledge, professional development, performance enhancement.
THERAPY seeks to heal emotional wounds.


COACHING takes clients to the highest levels of performance and life satisfaction.
THERAPY seeks to bring clients from a dysfunctional place to a healthy functioning level.


COACHING rarely asks about your childhood or family life.
THERAPY continuously explores early-childhood, family and relationship issues.


COACHING focuses more on the present and future.
THERAPY focuses more on the past and present.


COACHING is used by people who already are succeeding, but who want to succeed even more and at a faster rate.
THERAPY is used by people whose lives are not working.


COACHING focuses more on thoughts and behavior and how the client acts and thinks about things.
THERAPY focuses more on emotions and how the client feels about things.


COACHING focuses on solving problems in the now.
THERAPY explores the historical roots of problems.


COACHING works with the client's conscious mind.
THERAPY focuses on bringing the patient's unconscious mind into awareness.


COACHING focuses on creating the future.
THERAPY seeks to heal the past.


COACHING seeks to bring more power, control and joy to the client.
THERAPY seeks to remove the client's pain.

COACHING has strategies and objectives.
THERAPY has a treatment plan.


COACHING asks "What is next?"
THERAPY asks "Why"?


COACHING helps clients design their lives.
THERAPY resolves issues.


COACHING focuses on what is possible.
THERAPY focuses on what is the problem.


COACHING is goal-oriented, solution-focused and results and action-oriented.
THERAPY mainly seeks to increase patient insight, yet some therapists are solution-focused.


COACHING takes the client from where they are and helps them move forward.

THERAPY examines unfinished emotional business from all stages of life.

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Fairmont, WV 25664

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