Coaching vs Therapy

If you’re interested in improving your life, speaking to someone external can be very helpful. Both coaching and therapy can both make huge positive impact to someone’s life, but what’s the difference?

The Top 5 Differences

Here are the top 5 differences between a therapist and a coach (and something you should consider if looking to invest in one, or both!).

  1. Timeline Orientation

    Generally speaking, coaching is more focused on helping you achieve your future goals, while psychotherapy tends to have more of a past and present focus. That being said, many coaches should be able to help you understand how the past contributes to your present, and alternatively psychotherapists can help you achieve your future goals.₁
  2. Focus

    One of the main, if not most important differences, is that psychotherapists are trained to help people who are facing mental illnesses (such as depression, suicidal thoughts etc), and coaches are not.
  3. Model

    Therapy tends to be a top-down model where the therapist is seen as the expert. Comparatively, coaching works on a more collaborative relationship between the coach and the client (where the client is the expert on themself).
  4. Payment

    Because psychotherapy is often used to treat a mental illness it may be covered under health insurance. Coaching is not typically covered under insurance as it is not treating an illness.
  5. Services

    Psychotherapists face more restrictions than coaches in terms of where and how they are able to offer services. They must be licensed in the state or country in which they practice, where as coaches can work internationally₁ (allowing more flexibility).

Whilst both therapy and coaching are great, it’s best to understand which one works best for you. As a health coach my job is to work with you to empower you to be the master of your own health and help you create long-lasting sustainable health changes.

Work with a health coach

If you’re ready to make a change to your health, find balance, and live a happy (and of course healthy) life, my coaching might be right for you. I take a personalised approach to coaching as my coaching methods are tailored to your individual needs (everyone is different after-all). Click the button below to find out more about my private coaching or book a free consultation with me to discuss your needs.

Love Emma x

Disclaimer: Coaching is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or any other mental challenges, always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Coaching does not replace therapy, however, it can be a great add-on to therapy.


  1. Cadell, 2020, Online,

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