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The Difference Between Therapy and Coaching

James Peters is a Transformational Mindset Coach and a Jay Shetty Certified Coach. He helps those suffering with depression get back their passion, purpose and joy for life without medication, years of regression therapy or getting stuck in the past.

The world of coaching and therapy is one that is often misunderstood. There are many similarities between the two, but there are also important contrasts. 

In some ways they work at different ends of the spectrum – therapy to help people overcome their fears while coaching to help them take action aligned with their desires. In other ways, however, the two overlap; for example both involve a therapeutic relationship and an exploration of thoughts and feelings. With these differences in mind, I’d like to share my perspective on what makes up this wonderful universe!

Similarities and Differences in coaching and therapy

In many ways, coaching and therapy are the same. However, I see them working at different ends of the spectrum of human potential, with some overlap in the middle. That spectrum runs from a 100% fully fear-based reality to the other end, which is 100% essence-based or fearless reality. The biggest difference is that coaching requires the client to take action – practicing new thinking and actions in alignment with their desired outcome. Therapy does not insist on the client taking a specific course of action, but instead explores thoughts and feelings surrounding these desires.

Both coach and therapist distinguish and empower, and both coach and therapist work to expand the client’s comfort zone to include greater capacities to be their greatest contribution to themselves and to the world. The coach is as committed, and sometimes more committed, to the client’s desired outcome.

The role of therapists

Therapists empower people to heal the emotional wounds that seem to cause the fear-based interpretations and actions that have been developed by the client. Therapists work with clients who are stuck in fear-based thinking, interpreting, and acting, and help them heal the underlying emotional wounds that keep them there.

Therapy is a process of exploring and unearthing deeply buried feelings that are often the root cause for our current challenges. Therapy does not require the client to take action or responsibility over their situation; rather it explores where those feelings come from in order to heal and release them so they no longer impact us negatively. It’s about  bringing consciousness to our unconscious, and finding peace with the self.

The role of coaches

A coach assists people to expand their comfort zone from a purely fear-mechanism based reality to one where they can freely act on more of their essence or fearless self. Coaching is a specific set of skills and tools, with the specific objective of getting clients to their desired end results. It is action based, in that clients have to self-empower themselves to take specific responsibility and accountable actions in the directions they say they want to go.

Coaching is about specific objectives to be achieved in a short-time frame (usually not months or years) with measurable results. It involves the client taking responsibility for their actions and decisions, as well as requiring that they take accountability for achieving those goals. The coach provides guidance on how to do this through tools such as setting healthy boundaries, creating new beliefs so you can create possibility. Discover what truly drives you so you are never stuck. Implement a simple decision-making system that destroys procrastination so you can level up and make your future your reality.

A good therapist and coach will let you know what they offer, so that you can choose what’s right for your needs.

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