Do I Need a Life Coach or a Therapist? 

a group of people in a therapy session

Just like the changing seasons, your life goes through seasons as well. You’re always evolving, shifting, and growing as a person. The highs and lows constantly flow from one chapter of your life to another. Throughout your life, you’ll inevitably encounter challenging situations and think, “Do I need a life coach or a therapist?” 

Whether you’re looking to fulfill a life-long dream, pursue a new career path, or become a healthier and happier version of yourself, it’s okay (and often encouraged) to ask for help! When you have support from a coach or therapist, you’ll be able to see things from a different perspective to spark the change you’re looking for. But to achieve your best self, you must be willing to put in the work and look within.   

What’s the difference between coaching vs therapy on your journey to reaching your full potential? While these professions have similarities, it’s important to note that they each have their own unique area of expertise.

Let’s take a closer look at each and examine how you can determine which is right for you! 

Understanding Your Needs: Coaching vs Therapy  

If you’re struggling with a specific issue or want to make significant changes in your life, consulting a life coach or a therapist can be advantageous! Depending on your individual needs, you may benefit more from coaching vs therapy or vice versa (some people seek guidance from both!). Identify goals you want to accomplish and determine the type of assistance you require—this can help ensure that you have the appropriate resources at your disposal throughout the course of your journey. 


Therapists specialize in matters pertaining to mental health and emotional healing. A therapist must have a master’s degree or higher and specific credentials that allow them to treat mental illness— they can provide clinical care for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, addiction,  and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They can also help enhance interpersonal relationships, such as those with family or significant others. Therapists often focus on your past experiences and help you identify ways to heal and overcome barriers. 

Life Coaches 

Life coaches focus on setting and achieving goals to improve your everyday life. They’ll use various coaching tools and techniques to help you build your mental fitness and stay motivated throughout your wellness journey. It’s crucial to point out that life coaches aren’t a replacement for mental health professionals—they complement and work alongside them! 

A life coach encourages the use of positive psychology to improve your well-being. They prompt you to build upon your strengths and behaviors. Their methods are science-driven and help you work towards reaching your personal and professional goals. Rather than looking to your past, life coaches encourage you to focus on your emotions, present thoughts, and future achievements. 

Benefits of Working With an ICF-Trained Coach 

While therapists have their credentials and training, so do life coaches! This is where the International Coaching Federation (ICF) comes into play! This organization provides high-caliber certification and training for life coaches. They work to ensure the coaches are well-versed in best practices and can assist clients to the best of their ability. 

So, what makes a certified coach with ICF-approved training stand out from other life coaches? 

  • They meet a high level of education and experience requirements 
  • They have coaching abilities that set the standard in the profession 
  • They must follow ethical guidelines for each of their clients  

When you work with a life coach, you want someone you can trust! Having a well-trained, certified coach with ICF training is another assurance that you’re taking the proper steps to a successful and meaningful life. 

What To Look For in a Life Coach 

Did you answer yes to the question, “Do I need a life coach or a therapist?” If so, there are certain qualities you want to look for in a life coach—each professional will have their own personal experiences, training, and expertise that led them to their current position. Now, you need to find one that aligns well with what you’re looking to achieve. 

What qualities and skills should your life coach have? They should: 

  • Utilize a non-judgmental approach 
  • Have an unwavering passion for what they do 
  • Be understanding 
  • Exhibit empathy 
  • Remain honest and trustworthy 
  • Portray a positive and inspiring attitude 
  • Have exceptional listening and communication skills 
  • Challenge and motivate clients to succeed 
  • Ask powerful and thought-provoking questions 
  • Support clients in fostering accountability 

Growing as a person and fulfilling your greatest potential starts with a desire to improve your life. The next step is finding a life coach with a mission to make this happen for you!

It’s Time to Achieve Your Best Life 

Regarding therapy vs coaching, it’s evident that there are several commonalities—they both work to create long-lasting and healthy behaviors, help you better yourself, and provide non-judgmental support. The main difference is that therapists focus on more profound and more serious mental health issues. Although coaches also work with clients to improve mental health, it’s to a much lesser degree. Coaches focus on utilizing a holistic approach to support clients in identifying and meeting specific goals, discovering their passion, and achieving the life they envision. 

Have you found your answer to “Do I need a life coach or a therapist?” If you’ve concluded that a life coach is the right option for you, this is exciting news! It’s the perfect opportunity to start making yourself a priority. Now, you’re ready to find a professional with the ideal experience and all the qualities that make a great life coach.   

Lucky for you, there’s no need to look any further! As a certified coach with ICF approved training, I work with individuals and executives to provide corporate and personal coaching. I continuously strive to be genuine and authentic with my clients to help them stay accountable for achieving their goals. As an intuitive empath, I know how to create a safe space for individuals to undergo profound and lasting transformations. 

Do you want to learn more about the intricacies of life coaching? Explore my services and discover how we can work together to help you reach your goals!

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