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What is the difference between Coaching and Therapy?

17 Mar

Often people can’t tell the difference between brands, I am often asked what the difference is between coaching and therapy.

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When we are faced with a life crisis, often we look for help outside of ourselves. A divorce is one of those times, and having the right support is crucial to navigating your way through this.  A question I am often then asked is what is the right support and, more to the point, what is the difference between coaching and therapy? My answer is below, helpfully broken into subject areas. : 


Therapy analyses the past and gives you the chance to air your feelings. It allows your subconscious to relive events and often can enhance self-limiting beliefs. Coaching focuses on the future and the actions needed to achieve your aspirations and goals. It helps you move forward to achieve the life you want to lead.


Often people find themselves in therapy for long periods of time, sometimes years, as they change therapy approach but still find themselves committing the same old mistakes. Coaching is time-boxed to give you the tools and mindset to take control of your own life without becoming reliant..


Therapy sessions usually last 1 hour with no contact in between. Coaching includes regular contact and support in between sessions, which vary in length from 30 minutes to 1 hour.


Therapy usually does not insist on work in between sessions unless specified by the therapist. Coaching requires the client to do mindset exercises and take action in between the meetings usually on a daily basis in order to embed the new habits and behaviours.

How it works

Therapy works to analyse feelings and for the client to work out the actions to take. Coaching works to re-programme the subconscious through mindset exercises and definitive action.

Measuring success

Within therapy there are no measured goals, therefore it’s harder to determine progress. Coaching measures where the client is with regular checkpoints to ensure they are on track to meeting their goals. 

Comfort levels

Therapy talks about uncomfortable issues but the client decides whether to take action. Coaching pushes the client to step out of their comfort zone and take action within a safe environment. 


The outcome is determined by you and how you feel with no definitive conclusion. Coaching is focused on achieving the goal defined out at the outset, within an agreed time period.

Choosing a professional to work with is a personal choice. It is vital that you connect with them, after all you will be sharing your most personal thoughts and feelings. Approaching it with an open mind and investing in the process is key to its success.

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