What is the difference between a coach and a psychologist?

The main difference between a therapist and a coach is that, generally speaking, therapists tend to focus more on the past or the present, while coaches tend to focus more on the present and the future. Therapists tend to focus more on cognitions, while coaches tend to focus more on behaviors. There are a few key differences between coaching and therapy. Therapists are licensed and provide mental health treatment to people with diagnosed mental illnesses.

Coaches provide goal-oriented services that are not related to health care. Unlike therapy, which is highly regulated, there are currently no regulatory guidelines that life coaches must comply with. While many life coaches seek specialized certification and training, anyone who wants to use the title of “coach” can do so. Essentially, a life coach might have little or no formal training.

That said, the goal of coaching isn't necessarily to go back and address it, heal it, or change it. Some people, if they can afford it, choose to see a therapist and a personal trainer, but the goals are different. If you want to work on something specific, such as changing the way you think about money or achieving milestones in your business, coaching is probably the right answer. While therapists are trained mental health professionals who are in the regulated field of health care and require a license, life coaches have no mental health training and are not equipped to diagnose or treat mental health conditions (unless a life coach has previously received training as a therapist, which is also common).

The goal of coaching is constant progress, so the sessions are aimed at encouraging your strengths and using that learning to move forward in an effective and practical way. While coaches receive some training and are certified, therapists go through years of training and supervision to become licensed in a particular state. Although both a life coach and a psychologist need to understand psychology in order to help others, there are some crucial differences between them. Since a life coach has a limited range of functions, some may think that it's best to see a psychologist right away.

In this case, a life coach can ethically intervene to offer counseling assistance in the preliminary stages of treatment. If the patient seems to have more problems or the case seems to be exceptionally problematic, the life coach may recommend seeking a qualified psychologist to treat the patient. On the other hand, most life coaching focuses on helping you pursue your passions or freeing you from stagnation or stagnation. Consider going to therapy if you want to be cured or get help with a mental health problem; try life coaching if you need help to “unplug” or develop your full potential.

However, a life coach is still valuable when it comes to problems that don't have a behavioral, mental, or emotional angle.