Professional Coach or Therapist?

In our previous blog, we clarified what a coach is and discussed many of the benefits of hiring a professional coach. We touched on the difference between a coach and a therapist, so in this blog, we will dive a little deeper so you can determine whether a coach or therapist is best for your current situation. 

Here are some signs that you need a therapist instead of – or in addition to – a coach:

  • Mental imbalance – you have frequent mood swings, frequent conflict, or misunderstandings with people.
  • There is difficulty paying attention, focusing, or staying on task.
  • You are unable to hold a coherent conversation and absorb new ideas, a tendency to ramble on during conversations, and not listen to what the other person is saying.
  • You are constantly revisiting and not able to let go of past issues or traumas or just feeling stuck in the past.
  • You are suffering from depression or anxiety.
  • You tend to become overly defensive, not able to accept constructive feedback or criticism. 
  • You are reluctant to place trust in others or have a mostly negative view of humanity. 
  • You are in an abusive relationship, or there is a pattern of attracting abusive or negative people.
  • There is a tendency to self-sabotage or frequent feelings of unworthiness.

If any of the above resonates with you, and you feel that these are preventing you from living a full, healthy functioning life, then seeing a therapist may be best for you. There are many forms of therapy available, the most popular being psychotherapy. Therapy will help you gain insight and self-awareness by identifying the roots of your issues and any problematic thinking. A therapist has the background, licensing, and professional expertise to diagnose and treat any underlying causes for your condition. They will work with you to help you discover and heal from any past traumas or negative messaging received in childhood so that you can eventually move forward from a place of balance, strength, and confidence.

When you should hire a coach

A coach can help identify and work on mental roadblocks that prevent you from achieving your goals but they are not trained or qualified to provide mental health diagnoses. The main role of a coach is to help focus on the present and future. Coaches work with people who are not able to reach their full potential. While a coach can help look at an individual’s mindset and attitude by uncovering conditioning and self-limiting beliefs, the person being coached is assumed to have all the answers they need within them. So, the coach’s job is to help a client discover all of the answers by asking the right questions. As we discussed in our previous blog, coaching involves guidance and support but also places a great deal of emphasis on accountability. If want someone who will push you to move toward your goals, then a coach is probably the best choice for you.