Choosing between a professional life coach or a psychologist? Still wondering about their similarities and differences? Keep reading if you’ve ever asked yourself the question “What is a life coach?” This article will help you differentiate a life coach from a psychologist.
Professional Life Coach vs. Psychologist
1. Differences in Focus
Focus is the main difference between life coaches and therapists. The former looks at future possibilities. They consider a person’s goals and dreams. They think of action plans for how these can be ticked off and achieved.
On the other hand, therapists take a more hindsight approach. They study past experiences with a sense of introspection and analysis. They deal with past traumas and how these may have led to present behaviors and habits.
2. Client vs. Patient
Life coaches have clients, while therapists have patients. The terms used show a massive difference between the two professions. Therapists have the authority to diagnose their patients. This means they can provide clinical treatments for their patients as well.
3. The Main Question
Life coaches ask the question “How?” They are eager to attain results and follow through with action plans. They determine key performance indicators when dealing with their clients.
Therapists lean on the question of “Why?” They want to understand the reasons as to why a patient is behaving the way they are. They aim to navigate through their patient’s subconscious and unconscious mind. This allows them to proceed with their proposed diagnosis.
4. Accountability vs. Emotional Wellness
— Dr. Frank Gaskill (@DrFGaskill) September 27, 2017
Life coaches focus on accountability. They tend to become an accountability figure, since they help clients set action plans for their goals. They also provide their clients with support in career-related or goal-related roadblocks.
Therapists dwell on their patient’s emotional wellness. They understand that even everyday tasks can be incredibly hard if people are not emotionally well. They offer feedback on their patient’s feelings and provide valuable insight into how their patients can take control of their life. That way, they can move forward instead of being consumed by their past.
5. Duration of Help
Life coaches can work on both short-term and long-term projects. It simply depends on their client’s needs. Therapists, however, prefer a more long-term approach. They need time in order to get to know their patient. This longer duration also provides patients a chance to warm up to their therapists. After all, sensitive matters will be discussed. Plus, building trust takes time.
Ready to be a professional life coach? Press play on the video below for tips on how to get started:
It’s common for many to feel confused about the two professions. Ultimately, the best way to determine which person to go to is to recognize your main question. Are you more inclined in knowing your ‘how’ or your ‘why?’ Once you’ve figured that out, you’ll have a clearer idea of which professional can help you.
What questions would you ask a professional life coach? Share them with us below!
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