Difference Between Life Coach and Therapist

A life coach and a therapist happen to be two professionals working in a similar yet different field, guiding people in achieving something they wish to achieve.


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While these two are significantly different from one another, they can be very confusing as people tend to use these terms interchangeably.

To know the exact definition of these two terms, it is important to understand the differences that lie between these two. 

Life Coach vs Therapist 

The difference between a Life Coach and a Therapist is that the former refers to an individual who happens to be a certified person that helps people in determining and achieving certain goals or objectives related to their life. But on the contrary, the latter refers to a professional health specialist that helped people in resolving issues related to their mental health. Apart from this difference, there are several other differences that are present between these two that shall be discussed in this article further. 

Life Coach vs Therapist

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The term life coach explains itself as it gets completely clear by the meaning itself that it refers to a person who coaches someone through the ups and downs of their life.

It happens to be a person who gains certification in the relevant industry and becomes a professional in offering advice and guidance to people who are having trouble with determining and achieving the goals of their life.

In simple words, this professional helps its clients making a better future for them.  

On the contrary, a therapist happens to be a professional health care specialist who tends to help people in stabilizing their emotions and holding a grasp over their mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc.

Not just the advice, a therapist performs a certain set of activities and sometimes takes the help of medication as well.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLife Coach  Therapist 
Meaning  The term refers to an individual with certification and expertise in helping people achieve their life goals. The term refers to an individual with expertise in resolving the mental health issues of the clients. 
Focused on It focuses upon determining an outline and achieving the goals determined It focuses upon resolving issues related to the mental health of a person to provide him stability 
Duration of process The process happens to be relatively short-term. The process happens to be relatively a long-term process. 
Events happened in It focuses upon the events occurring in future It focuses upon the events that have occurred in the past 
End result  The concerned person ends up having a vision about his future The concerned person ends up having his mental health issues resolved to some extent. 
Nature  The nature of this job is to take action first and then analyze the results. The nature of this job is first to gain the information and insights about a person and then take any action accordingly. 

What is Life Coach? 

A life coach, unlike any other advisory profession, happens to be something considerably different.

This person can be referred to as an individual having relevant experience and understanding in a particular field who acts as a coach in their client’s life.  

This individual helps the person in understanding different facets of his life and how these facets can be worked upon to achieve bigger goals. A life coach not only helps the client in achieving his goals but determining those goals too.  

There are many people in the world who happen to be very confused about their life and their future. In such circumstances, a life coach aids the person and guides him through his life. 

The goal is being worked upon with the help of a life coach need not necessarily be professional goals only.

A life coach happens to be equally qualified in guiding people through their personal goals as well, such as their family and dating life. 

life coach

What is Therapist? 

The term therapist basically emerges from the term therapy, which in the simplest form means to take care of a person’s mental and emotional well-being.

Accordingly, a therapist happens to be a person who is a certified and expert in the relevant healthcare industry and helps people in resolving issues related to their mental health.  

A therapist might be involved in relieving the stress of any kind of trauma, or he might be involved in helping a person learning to control his emotions in a better manner.

All of the facets of therapy primarily aim towards the betterment of a person mentally and emotionally. 

Talking about the basic qualifications of a therapist, they might vary from state to state and place to place.

In certain countries, to become a therapist, a person needs certification along with a professional Academy course, while in certain countries, training happens to be mandatory. 

The main job of a therapist is to help their patients holding control over their mental and emotional reactions to a particular event that has happened before or is still happening. 


Main Differences Between Life Coach and Therapist 

  1. A life coach is an individual having certification and expertise in helping people achieve their life goals, while a therapist is a healthcare expert in resolving people’s mental health issues. 
  2. Life coaching focuses on achieving goals of life, while therapy focuses on resolving mental health conflicts. 
  3. Life coaching happens to be a short-term process compared to therapy which never has a definite time. 
  4. As for the events in light, a life coach focuses upon things that are supposed to happen in the future while a therapist focuses upon things that have already taken place in the life of an individual first stop 
  5. A person taking life coaching gets an idea about how he’s going to live his life, while a person taking therapy gets a vision about how he is going to manage his emotions. 
Difference Between Life Coach and Therapist
  1. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/sbp/sbp/2003/00000031/00000003/art00005
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1994-97069-006
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