Do You Need a Therapist or a Life Coach?

therapist talking to clientIf you aren’t quite happy with where you are at in life or how you are feeling, maybe you are struggling to lose weight, even with all the information on how to do it at hand, or your fitness and sports training is not progressing as expected due to motivational issues, then acknowledging this is a problem is the first step to overcoming your struggles. In today’s world, it is becoming ever more acceptable to reach out for help, which is an extremely important step forward for society. It is easy to get started, just do a search for a Life Coach near me and 

There are many different types of professionals that can help you get to where you want to be in life. The most common of the two is therapists and life coaches. While both of these professions have some crossovers, they are very different in terms of how they operate and what they can help you with. 

Here’s what you need to know about therapists and life coaches so you can find the right professional for your needs, and make that hunt for life coaches near me more relevant.


All of us go through difficult patches in life, but sometimes the challenges are so great we cannot face them alone. Friends and family aren’t always best equipped to help either, no matter how well meaning they might seem. 

Therapists help people deal with past issues or recent events that they are struggling to overcome. Therapists must be qualified to practice, with some also being medical doctors who have moved into the field of psychology. 

Therapists use hundreds of techniques from CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming), depending on their client’s needs. 

A person would choose to see a therapist when they would like help moving forward from previous events that have caused significant distress to their lives. Therapy offers a confidential, non-judgemental space that can provide support to help you overcome or re-think your approach to be able to find peace in your life. 

Therapy can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it is not designed to help you create future plans, especially relating to business or personal goals. Instead, sessions are there for you to voice your feelings to a comforting ear. So, a therapist isn’t going to suit those who are already at peace with their past and are ready to work on their future. 

What can a therapist help with?

  • Abuse
  • Addictions
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Bullying
  • Childhood issues
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Motivation
  • OCD
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Positive Thinking
  • Relationships
  • Sports performance
  • Trauma
  • Weight management

Life Coaches

Life coaches are there to support people who are currently feeling stuck in their lives and lack the tools, knowledge or confidence to get to where they want to be. The struggles may be as a result of a job loss, relationship breakdown, self-esteem issues or simply a lack of direction. 

It could well be the case that any of the issues a therapist can help you with are the result of why you feel stuck, and are seeking the services of a life coach. However, in a therapy session, the work involves revisiting these issues so that they don’t weigh you down in your present life. Your therapist cannot advise your next steps in life, especially in relation to career or personal goals as a life coach can.

Anyone can become a life coach, though those with motivational skills and success in business tend to do so. Some life coaches also have a background in therapy and will conduct personality assessments to help you figure out the right path for you. 

In a life coach session, you will work to identify stumbling blocks and set goals so that you can overcome them. At every step of the way, your life coach will be there to support you. So compared with therapy, life coaching is about carving out your future self rather than concentrating on previous traumas. 

What can a Life Coach help with?

  • Becoming a better parent/employee/friend 
  • Becoming more accountable
  • Being happier in your everyday life
  • Career goals
  • Confidence issues
  • Developing your purpose
  • Feeling more motivated
  • Focus on the future not the past
  • Gain independence
  • Life changes

The bottom line

Reaching out for help or support is one of the best things you can do to create a happier, healthier and stronger you. Everyone’s needs are different, so what you have to consider is where you have past issues that need professional guidance, as in this case a therapist is the right person for your needs.

On the other hand, if you are looking to create a better future for yourself by overcoming personal doubts and challenges, and need some motivation and support to get there then a life coach can certainly help.

It may also be the case that you decide to seek the services of both a life coach and a therapist, to cater for the different requirements within your personal development. That’s totally fine too! 

If in doubt, speak with your chosen professional first or have an introductory session with them. See what issues they can help you with based on their experience. Compared with continuing as you are, your future self is going to be grateful you took the leap of faith. 

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