Coaching vs. Psychotherapy

The Difference

Coaching is different from Psychotherapy or Counseling in significant ways.  “Coaching” is a future orientated process designed to guide a person to achieve the things she/he identifies.  


"I try my best to do an exemplary job at work, yet I am consistently being overlooked for important promotions.  I don’t understand why."

"I want some one in my life, but it seems that no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to meet anyone of substance."

"I’ve been rejected so many times I feel I ought to stop trying and accept the fact I will be alone."

"It seems that all my relationships end up the same; I get hurt and feel terrible about myself.  Why does this happen to me?"

"I keep making promises to get into shape by watching what I eat and working out, but somewhere in the plan things go wrong and I’m back on the couch watching television and snacking up a storm.  I feel so defeated."

In a traditional counseling session, the Counselor may ask, “Why do you think that is?”  In Coaching we ask, “Has it reached the point that you are actually ready to do something significant to remove the barriers that are keeping you from what you want?”

Coaching is self-directed, which means although the Coach guides the process, the “Coachee” owns it.  You may work at your own speed, yet you are accountable for your actions or inactions to yourself through your Coach.

Psychotherapy, by contrast believes that in order to move forward you must understand your past.  The process may mean the Counselor and Client going back to the past in order to identify behavior that provides “insight” into your present behavior.  More than trying to understand why this or that happened to help explain behaviors, Coaching relies on the Coachee’s level of self-awareness and commitment to DO something to change those behaviors that are holding the person from the things she themselves or to become the person they wish to become.