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What is a Life Coach? Why It's Not Therapy

Have you ever wondered exactly what a life coach does? Maybe you've heard about life coaching and thought it sounds a lot like therapy. Although they might seem similar, coaching and therapy are quite different in their goals and methods. In this article, we'll explore what life coaching is, what coaches do, and how it differs from therapy.

Kate Glendon is a certified life coach and confidence coach from Best Ever You. She the definition of what a life coach is.

Life Coach Definition

A life coach is someone who is trained to help people figure out their goals, work towards them, and overcome obstacles. They are professionals who works with clients in identifying what they want to achieve and support them in reaching those goals. Life coaches also help individuals overcome any challenges that may come up along the way.

Unlike therapists, who often look into emotional resolutions to past problems, coaches focus on your present and future. They provide guidance and support to enhance your personal and professional life.

Roles and Responsibilities

So, what does a life coach do exactly? My definition of life coach helps you identify your goals, create plans to achieve them, and boost your motivation.

They have conversations with you to understand what you want to achieve in life. They work with you to develop strategies and action steps to reach your goals.

They also provide support and encouragement to keep you motivated along the way. They might work with you on time management, career advancement, or improving personal relationships. Their role is to offer a fresh perspective and help you move forward with confidence.

The Benefits of Hiring a Coach

Personal Development

Personal development coaching can dramatically improve your personal development. It teaches you to balance your work and life, develop self-discipline, and enhance communication skills. Many people find that coaching brings clarity to their decisions and refreshes their outlook on challenges.

Professional Growth

Professionally, professional coaching can be a game-changer. Whether you're feeling stuck in your current role or are considering a career transition, a personal coach can help you strategize and develop the skills needed for success. They provide support while you set professional goals and navigate through the complexities of career advancement.

Life Coaching vs. Therapy

Key Differences

While both life coaches and therapists aim to help people, their methods and objectives differ significantly. Therapy often involves diagnosing and treating mental health conditions, focusing on healing and emotional processing. On the other hand, life coaching offers an action-oriented and future-focused, primarily dealing with goal-setting, personal growth, and lifestyle management.

Why Life Coaching is Not Therapy

Life coaching does not involve diagnosing or treating psychological ailments. It is a supportive process meant to inspire you to achieve greater fulfillment and accomplishments in your life. Coaches are not necessarily healthcare providers; they are mentors and strategists who help you identify and reach your personal and professional goals.

Types of Life Coach Specializations

A life coaches work covers a wide range of areas, each with its own unique focus. Depending on your needs, you might choose a life coach who specializes in one of the following areas:

  • Holistic Life Coaches: These coaches look at all parts of your life, from health to spirituality, to help create a balanced lifestyle.

  • Executive Coaches: Ideal for professionals who aim to improve leadership skills and advance their careers within the corporate sphere.

  • Relationship Coaches: Focus on helping individuals or couples build stronger, healthier relationships.

Each type of coach brings their expertise to guide you through specific challenges and help you achieve your goals effectively. Whether it is a career coach or a part time coach.

Certifications and Qualifications

When choosing a life coach, it’s important to consider their qualifications. Certified life coaches have typically undergone training accredited by organizations like the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and Best Ever You (BEY). This certification ensures they have the necessary skills to provide professional guidance. Always check a coach's credentials and look for someone who has proven their commitment to the profession through certification.

Choosing the Right Coach

What to Look For

Finding the right life coach involves more than just picking a name from a list. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best coach for your needs:

  • Experience and Specialization: Ensure the coach has experience in the area you are seeking help with.

  • Coaching Style: Different coaches have different methods. Some might be more directive, giving you tasks and goals, while others could be more explorative, helping you discover answers for yourself.

  • Testimonials and Reviews: What do other clients say about them? Positive feedback from past clients can be a good indicator of effectiveness.

Choosing the wrong life coach for women or men can set you back in your journey, so choose wisely.

Cost Considerations

Personal and professional life coaching sessions costs can vary widely depending on the coach’s expertise, location, and specialization. Think of it as an investment in your future self.

Typically, coaches charge either per session or offer packages that include multiple sessions. Certified coaches often have long-term coaching packages to help build the coaching relationship. This helps their coaching clients work through major life changes and accomplish more.

Life coach prices can range from less than $100 to several hundred dollars per session. Before committing, discuss payment structures and see if they offer any packages that can reduce the overall coaching cost.

What to Do Next?

Understanding what a life coach does and how different they are from therapists can help you decide if life coaching is right for you. Life coaches provide focused, practical support to help you improve and succeed in various areas of life. Whether you're looking to make a career change, improve personal relationships, or simply want better work-life balance, a life coach can provide you with the tools and support you need to achieve your goals.

If you’re ready to take your personal or professional life to the next level, consider reaching out to a coach. Explore online courses and life coaching services to start your journey toward a more fulfilled life. Remember, the right coach can make all the difference in achieving your goals and living the life you desire.

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