WHAT IS A LIFE COACH?

Think of them as an action-oriented mentor who can help you reach your goals.

We all need a little help sometimes, especially when it comes to journeys of self-discovery. Whether your goal is to be more confident, change career goals, or to find fulfillment in a passion project, it can be pretty tough to figure out how to get from point A (identifying a goal) to point B (actually going after and achieving that goal). That's where a life coach comes in.  A life coach is someone who can help you identify strengths and weaknesses and overcome obstacles holding you back. But whom you should see depends on your issues and what you're hoping to achieve. 

WHAT DOES A LIFE COACH DO?

A life coach definition can vary depending on what your specific goals are. A life coach encourages and counsels clients on a range of professional and personal issues. Life coaching is distinct from therapy.  Life coaches do not have the clinical background, education, or experiences as professional therapists therefore, they are restricted from giving advice, consulting, counseling, mentoring, and administering therapy. You would hire a coach to help you with specific professional projects, personal goals, and transitions. A coach helps you grow by analyzing your current situation, identifying limiting beliefs and other potential challenges and obstacles you face, and devising a custom plan of action designed to help you achieve specific outcomes in your life.

The relationship between a client and their coach is a creative partnership that seeks to:

  • Identify, clarify and create a vision for what the client wants

  • Use a coach’s expertise to modify goals as needed

  • Encourage client’s self-discovery and growth

  • Nurture and evoke strategies and a plan of action based on what fits best with the client’s goals, personality, and vision

  • Foster client accountability to increase productivity

These aspects of the process all work together to allow the client to maximize his or her potential.

A life coach is a broad term. You can also find business coaches, executive coaches, leadership coaches, and health coaches, but a life coach is typically most helpful when you’re thinking about your overall future.

How is a Life Coach different from a Therapist?

Coaching can be therapeutic, but there are some major differences between life coaching and therapy.  One primary difference is education and training.  Therapists are required to have advanced degrees in psychology, counseling, or social work as well as several years of clinical post-graduate internship and/or supervision in order to work with clients independently.  Therapists are healthcare professionals trained on emotional, behavioral, and mental health care.   Life coaches, on the other hand, are not.  Currently, there are no state and/or federal requirements for one to work as a life coach nor regulation or standards thus, anyone can self-identify and work as a life coach.  But, great life coaches must possess the right blend of expertise and skilled delivery. This ensures that they can properly encourage clients while determining and resolving the core issues that merit attention in each case.  Thus, several life coaches do attend 3-6 months of life coaching education to secure a life coach certification.  Some expand their career overview by engaging a 250 hours post-graduate supervision to become board certified coaches.  The second difference is the approaches.  A coach looks at your present to help you create the future you desire, while a therapist looks at your past to help you manage your present.  So while coaching is action-oriented, therapy is insight and action-oriented.  

 

A session with a life coach will feel a lot different than one with a therapist; one provides structure and accountability while the other is more open-ended. You’re also not going to go to a life coach and get a diagnosis. As stated, a licensed and/or certified therapist is someone who has been trained, gained clinical hours that were supervised by professionals, and have been vetted by a board.  They diagnose disorders, have the skills and tools to work with traumas and work with short-term behavioral modifications.  That’s not to say life coaches don’t have tools and skills for specific aspects of life but, there’s no healing and/or clinical work.

Choosing between a Therapist and a Life Coach.

Actually, you don’t have to choose.  It’s fine to see both.  A good rule of thumb is that if your issues are disrupting your personal or professional life, you should consider working with a therapist, but, many people seek coaching after or alongside therapy, as it builds upon the healing that can take place in the therapy process.  At Psychtegrity, we value your wellbeing and your treatment thus, our life coaches are equally therapists thus, they are clinical trained in counseling/therapy.

Why Would you work with a Life Coach? 

People choose to hire life coaches when they want to improve their output and see more growth, and they want to do those things quickly and to the best of their ability. Clients seeking life coaching, on average, usually identify a gap between where they are and where they want to be and turn to a coach when they want help reaching their goals. When you ask yourself what is a life coach and why should I work with one, you’re asking yourself do I have a goal I need help achieving? 

The definition of a life coach is a professional who can help you excel in all areas of life. Some of the most common steps clients take while working with life coaches include:

  • Identifying goals and defining a vision for success

  • Creating professional and personal growth plans

  • Identifying limiting beliefs

  • Working toward financial independence

  • Obtaining work/life balance

  • Learning to communicate more succinctly and effectively

  • Fostering more powerful connections professionally and personally

  • Getting promotions

  • Achieving weight loss and/or fitness goals

  • Starting a new business or growing an existing one

  • Managing an important life or business transition

  • Articulating core values

  • And much more