Coaching or Therapy; What is the better fit?


Have you found yourself rifling through my Instagram/website and wondering what the hell is even the difference between coaching and therapy? Why on earth should I be working with a coach if my insurance covers therapy?

Oh man, the questions are endless and confusing, well lucky for you I am here to clarify all the things!!!

Before deciding what is best fit for you let us break down what the key differences are for these two supportive roles!!

A therapist is someone who can perform clinical assessment, diagnose, and are licensed treat with DSM V mental health diagnosis using evidence based interventions (addressing symptoms and behaviors that are a direct result of your diagnosis). Therapists are educated with a minimum of a master's degree in psychology or counseling, in the states they offer services in.


Therapists complete 3,000 hours of supervised practice and are bound by ethical codes that govern their conduct. If a therapist behaves inappropriately or makes a mistake, there is recourse through filing a complaint with the state licensing board.


They can assist you using hundreds of science and research-proven methods like cognitive behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, dialectical behavior therapy, and cognitive processing therapy, just to name a few.


Coaches often work with a very specific population or demographic of people based on their own education or experiences. They don’t offer insurance coverage and they typically adopt a practice of working with a specific client base. The client selects their coach based on an approach developed by the coach, that attracts specific people and their needs. “Little more niche” ooohh lala. Therapists typically develop a niche practice after specialty training and certifications (if they desire to).


Therapists are well-versed in coordinating with doctors when necessary and work with other professionals they can refer you to when needed. Therapists are also bound by ethics and state and federal law to maintain your privacy and confidentiality.


Coaching is an unregulated profession. At present, there are no state licensing boards or universally accepted standards of education or training for coaches. A coach may or may not hold an advanced degree or any certificate in coaching (make sure you ask). Since life coaching is unregulated, it is not a profession with a minimum acceptable standard of ongoing education or training for its members. Coaches can't be paneled with health insurance companies, and so the cost of coaching is up to the client.


Wellness coaches shouldn't work with individuals experiencing severe mental health diagnosis. However, they can help you with coping/management strategies when appropriate to improve performance, develop your potential, help you with solutions, provide direction, and with assistance in goal setting.


This is where you may consider a cross over between the two professions...