It comes as no surprise that life coaching has gained popularity in recent years. Coaching can be more accessible than therapy or even a preferred modality. Coaching is typically offered outside of the insurance system, and nowadays helpful information can readily be found via social media, books, podcasts, videos, and live/streamed events. Coaching can offer a pathway to healing and personal growth, but its outcome can also be varied and dependent upon who you choose to work with.
What does a life coach do exactly?
Under the umbrella of coaching there are a myriad of modalities utilized to help you on your journey. Some coaches focus on mindset, others on healing trauma, and yet still others take a more movement, body-centered approach. Ultimately a life coach’s goal is to give you the tools to reach your goals– whether they be emotional, mental, career-driven, or interpersonal.
How is a life coach different from a therapist?
There is a clear line between coaching and therapy, and the most significant difference is that licensed therapists are capable of diagnosing any possible mental ailments as well as providing referrals to psychiatrists if need be. Additionally, therapists are often licensed professionals who have gone through the traditional academic system, acquiring a bachelors, a masters, and possibly a PhD.
Coaches can go the traditional route. Others, like myself, can get certified, while others still may hone their skills through a non-traditional route or through previous career experience. Coaches can specialize in a variety of areas, not all of which are related to mental health. There are a plethora of financial coaches, business coaches, and career coaches. Therapists, however, focus solely on mental and emotional health through the use of various psychological lenses.
Another key distinction is that coaching often focuses on accelerated results. Where therapists rely on unpacking past trauma and present challenges, coaches often gather the context of your situation but focus on strategies and steps to guide you to your desired outcome.
Is a life coach worth it?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: it depends on the coach you decide to work with as well as what you are looking to work on. During my discovery calls, part of my intention is to determine if what I offer is compatible with what the other person on the call wants to work on. There have been a few times when I’ve determined that it was not a good fit or that they would perhaps benefit from seeing a licensed therapist first. From the client standpoint, it’s important to look for a coach that specializes in the area you are looking to work on as well as someone you feel comfortable being completely honest with.
A coach is someone who creates a safe environment in which you can be your most authentic self and vulnerable enough to face deep-seated fears and limiting beliefs. Being comfortable enough to share these parts of yourself is of the utmost importance when working with a coach.
Life coaching can be an extremely helpful modality when we are looking to grow and heal. Simply remember to look for someone who is a good fit and with whom you feel comfortable opening up to.