fbpx

Therapist vs Coach: What’s the real difference and who do I pick for myself?

June 10, 2022

The importance of mental health and wellbeing has recently come to the forefront especially post-Covid. There are rising cases not only in Malaysia but globally across all ages. Superior mental health and well being truly is a catalyst for a better life and more healthy relationships.

 

When seeking help, who should you see? There seems to be a misconception that therapists and coaches are one and the same. However that is not the case. There may be some overlap and similarities but the role of a therapist and coach is vastly different. We break it down for you.

Therapist VS Coach

Therapist

Coach

Follows your trail of fears and tears

  • Focus is to heal from the past to tackle feelings of stress, depression, anxiety etc

Follows your trail of dreams

  • Focus is on your life goals, potential and future dreams.

Tackles the WHY.

To understand your emotions, triggers, boundaries and improve mental health..

  • Creates a safe space for you to release your pressures and burdens.
  • Improve your coping skills.
  • Focus on – FEELING BETTER

Tackles the HOW.

To identify  and achieve your life goals and dreams.

  • Provides strategies and tools to achieve your goals.
  • Overcome your personal challenges
  • Focus on : DOING BETTER

     

Therapist

Follows your trail of fears and tears

  • Focus is to heal from the past to tackle feelings of stress, depression, anxiety etc

Tackles the WHY.

To understand your emotions, triggers, boundaries and improve mental health..

  • Creates a safe space for you to release your pressures and burdens.
  • Improve your coping skills.
  • Focus on – FEELING BETTER

Coach

Follows your trail of dreams

  • Focus is on your life goals, potential and future dreams.

Tackles the HOW.

To identify  and achieve your life goals and dreams.

  • Provides strategies and tools to achieve your goals.
  • Overcome your personal challenges
  • Focus on : DOING BETTER

Duration

Years of formal education.
Masters or PHd in Psychology.
Wide spectrum of methods, therapy and treatment.
Able to prescribe medication.

Most coaches are certified, accredited.
Niche and specific areas of expertise.
Not allowed to prescribe medication.

Approach

One way : Expert to patient
Open Ended. Work on emotions & past experiences
Action plan is based on your effort and judgment.
Impassive/indirect support.
Individual decision making
Limited accessibility

Collaborative: Coach and client
Definitive. Work on clear measurable goals.
Action plan is made together. You are accountable.
Direct high level of emotional support.
Guided decision making
Easily accessible. Always available.

Duration

Long Term
Months to Years depending on current mental state

Short term
3- 12 months depending on personal goals

What is right for me ?

Start by asking yourself these 3 questions.

1. What do I really need? To feel better about myself emotionally, improve my depression and anxiety or support to achieve specific goals i.e. improve dating skills or increase business acumen?

2. Do I need help understanding my emotions and healing from my past trauma or am I looking for tools and strategies to overcome a particular challenge?

3. What is my ultimate goal/expectation from each option?

It is common to have both a therapist and coach to support you in a parallel manner. It is a matter of choice and personal preference. Either way, your decision to seek help and support is one which will enhance, improve and enrich your life- a decision which truly deserves a round of applause.

You May Also Like

Share This