Many people question the differences and some similarities between therapy and coaching. There are some differences and similarities and I hope to help you gain a better understanding. First difference is accreditation - therapists are licensed mental health practitioners and coaches are certified.
Therapists are trained to focus on how the past affects the present and learning how to gain coping skills in the moment and future. Coaches focus on the present and create goals for the future which can vary from short or long term. Therapists work on the why and coaches work on the how. Coaches are future-oriented.
Therapy can be covered by your health insurance carrier or out-of-pocket. The therapy process can be dictated by your insurance carrier. Insurance carriers mandate a mental health diagnosis and it becomes part of your permanent medical record. Insurance carriers can dictate the length of appointments (for example, 30 - 45 minutes), type of therapy and the number of covered appointments. This also helps therapists work with clients for longer periods of time. If you are covering for your therapy out-of-pocket, similar to coaching, you and I have more control over your course of treatment.
Coaches work with client’s for shorter periods of time, hence being able to be goal driven. No diagnosis is required and the best treatment is driven by you and your goals. Another example is if you walk into a therapist's office with symptoms of crying spells, isolative behaviors and periods of sadness, your course of treatment will help you in reducing these depressive symptoms. A coach on the other hand would help you in problem solving, rather than focusing on the symptoms.
As a therapist and empowerment coach, I focus on your healing and growth by working on the “why” and the “how”. Both therapy and coaching can provide you with the direction and solutions you need to live the life of your dreams.