When Is It Life Coaching Versus Therapy That I Need?

Life coaching versus therapy. Most people are not sure which one they’re looking for, or which one they even need when they’re in distress. Do I need help with setting boundaries, or do I enact my boundaries with others, but need help getting clear about the relationships I really want to have? Am I seeking accountability in developing healthy lifestyle habits or am I dealing with undiagnosed depression? These are just a few examples of the things that a credentialed and trained professional can help you get clear on. However, which one do you go to for which, and when? Good questions. Well, either one can determine if you need to stop procrastinating and strengthen your goals, but how quickly will you do that and would you be able to do it without it requiring a lot of mental processing is what you need an answer about. I have compiled a short list of the different areas between life coaching and psychotherapy that each provide support with:

Are you a coachable client? Yes, if…

      1. You are motivated for immediate and long-term change
      2. You don’t make excuses about being committed to growth and development
      3. You accept and work on the assignments you and your life coach agree to
      4. You communicate any barriers that arise which might set you back or limit you in reaching your goals within your agreed upon time frame
      5. You don’t allow people, places or things to interfere consistently and continuously with goal attainment

Should I be in therapy? Yes, if…

      1. You often feel sad, irritable, or angry
      2. You ruminate about things in the past that you regret or cannot change
      3. You worry a lot about the future and are disconnected from what you feel, or think
      4. You have difficulty setting boundaries in your relationships
      5. You experience low self-esteem
      6. You excessively do things that hurt yourself, your loved ones, or your future plans such as spending money excessively, eating compulsively or doing risky things with your body
      7. You are self-harming
      8. You feel under-valued at your workplace and do not feel confident that you can do anything to change it

Asha Tarry
Asha Tarry, Life Coach

If these things seem like ideas or behaviors you’ve thought and noticed or someone’s pointed out to you, then it’s a strong possibility you need therapy. But, if you have a therapist and you’re making progress in these areas, finding a good life coach for the other areas that you feel stuck in, which I shared above might signal that you are ready to go the distance with those short-term goals you have been waiting to accomplish. Sometimes, people need both a life coach and a therapist. Sometimes, people simply need accountability, strategy, and a model of how to maximize their strengths and do what they love or need to feel well, and that’s where a life coach would be more suitable.

If you’ve ever thought about either take your time, do your research and have a couple of consultations with providers to inquire about best practices, and the ways in which these professionals offer their care and consideration to those in need. I hope this gives you at least a foundation for what to consider before you begin the process. And remember, I’m here if you need support!

*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*

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