Therapist or Coach?

Counseling, or therapy, has been around a long time. It has gotten a bad reputation at times, but is very beneficial for people wanting to heal from past trauma.

However, with so many “coaches” coming out of the woodwork these days, how do you decide whether to hire a therapist or a coach? And how to you know if you are hiring a professional?

There is one main difference between therapy and coaching. Therapy helps to heal a person from the past and coaching helps people toward a better tomorrow. In either case, the person you hire needs to be more committed to your mental health than they are toward their profit margins. There are therapists and coaches out there that count on you coming back, with debit card in hand, consistently. A professional counselor/coach will help you develop techniques so you can start to help yourself. If you are working with a professional who is not helping you to develop your own coping skills, it might be time to ditch them and look for someone new.

Determining if a therapist is a professional is not too difficult; counseling certificates are controlled by the government. A person cannot call themselves a professional counselor without holding valid certificates. That is not the case with coaches, however, so do your homework. Make sure any coach you hire is certified or, even better, has degrees in coaching. The best scenario will be a coach who has both.

Finding a good coach is a bit less expensive than finding a good therapist. Most professional coaches offer a free first session. This is a benefit to both of you. You don’t have to shell out a lot of money before determining if they can help you, and it gives both of you a chance to see if your personalities mesh.

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