Sybil Shaibu column: Life Coach or Therapist? Part one

Coach or Therapist

Now more than ever people are in dire need of help. When it comes to seeking help, the source of help determines the resulting help you get. Recently there’s been a surge in the search for Life Coaches and therapists, some have even used the two titles inter changeably. Life coaches and therapists both offer help but perform distinct roles. It’s imperative to understand their roles so as to guide you in your quest for seeking help.

A life coach is a professional who helps you achieve personal or professional goals. Though the approach to life coaching may vary, most focus on personal empowerment, motivation and strategies to define and reach your dreams.

A life coach encourages and coaches clients on a range of professional and personal issues. Life coaching is distinct from giving advice, consulting, counseling, mentoring and administering therapy.

Life coaching is designed to help ambitious achievers meet the outcomes that will bring them success and fulfillment, in their life. Life coaching is based on the principle that the client has the intrinsic ability to determine and achieve their goals.

Life Coaches work with clients to help them achieve goals, overcome obstacles and make changes or shifts in their lives. The coach works with the client, as a partner, knowing that the client has answers to create the changes they desire.

Coaches help you focus, provide direction, challenge you, support you, motivate you and celebrate with you. Also life Coaches help you create a plan, detail action steps and hold you accountable for following through. They use skills such as observing, listening deeply as well as asking empowering questions.

Life coaches are responsible for guiding people that are confused on what to do with their lives. They support goal setting, personal growth and behavior modification of their clients. These professionals help people achieve their goals by improving different actions necessary to take control of their future plans.

A life coach is someone that looks to empower others by helping them make, meet and exceed goals in both their personal and professional lives. Life coaching sessions are most commonly conducted face to face however it has been known for them to take place over the phone or even via video chats skype etc. Three words that best sums up what a life coach does are; Guidance, Empowerment and Improvement

Difference between Life Coach & therapist

Life Coach enables the client to take control of their life and take action and steer their themselves towards their goals.

  1. Life Coaches do not diagnose clients, therapist diagnose psychological illness and help their clients to overcome such illnesses.
  2. Coaches simply identify and describe current problematic behavior so the client can work to modify them. Therapist analyze their clients past as a tool for understanding present behavior.
  3. Life Coaches works on how to work toward a goal. Therapist goal is to explore deeply, exploration is a deep understanding of behaviors and patterns.
  4. Life Coaches focus on an individual’s actions and results. Therapist focus on the “why” certain behaviors patterns occur.
  5. Life Coaches measures their clients success with key performance indicators and specific behavior outcomes and goals. Therapist work with specific results in mind such as the cessation of a particular problematic behavior.
  6. Coaches do not counsel or analyze the past. Everything is based on the present and what you want to achieve moving forward. Whereas therapist focus on the past, as it’s imperative in helping the client make progress in their present circumstances.

Both life coaches and therapistshave one goal in common, that is to help make their client’s life better. So do not hesitate to reach out to either a life coach or a therapist once you sense that you need some form of help. Even if you end up with one thatisn’t in the position to provide the help you need, being the professionals they are, trust that they would refer you to the appropriate person.

In some cases, both the life coach and therapist take turns in working with the client. This New Year, make it a point to seek help, don’t suffer in silence

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