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What is the difference between Coaching & Therapy?

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

A lot of people are confused between coaching and therapy. I am a hypnotherapist and a NLP Master Coach. I use a mix of Coaching and Therapy in my sessions.

The two are very different with some similarities. First the differences-

1. Coaching views clients as they already have the resources they need to reach their goals, whereas therapy looks to resolve a past pain and help with trauma and negative emotions.

2. Coaching looks towards the future, whereas therapy often looks to the past. Coaching is about a client starting from where they are, and receiving support as they do the inner work necessary to create that outer transformation. On the other hand, people seek therapy to cope or come to terms with something that has happened in the past. They are often seeking for tools to handle emotional issues that stem from a past trauma.  

3. Coaching empowers the client to solve her own problems, whereas therapy offers

guidance and direction. Coaching enables people to find their own answers and the solutions to their problems with the assistance of the Coach. The Coach gives non-directional feedback, often in the form of asking questions. On the other hand, people who seek counselling are often looking for a professional to give then advice and direction on how to cope with something.

4. Coaching focuses on taking action with results that can be measured, whereas counselling focuses on the conscious and subconscious mind. In other words Coaching is action orientated, vs counselling is coping orientated.

The Coach will be working in collaboration with the client to achieve goals goal and will support clients in making specific changes.

On the other hand, counsellors often help their clients identify and gain a deeper understanding of the conscious and subconscious reasons for their behaviors. Change is not necessarily the goal, here.         

5. Coaching takes place over the short-term, whereas the therapist-client relationship is often a longer-term one. Typically a client will have an average of about 8-10 Coaching sessions. On the other hand will when it comes to therapy, a client will often seek long-term support for an indefinite amount of time.

6. Coaches are not trained to diagnose; Some therapists and other mental health professionals are.  Coaching helps identify current behaviour and thought patterns in their clients and ask questions to help their clients change those patterns and move forward. On the other hand, counsellors and other mental health professionals often look to diagnose their clients with conditions that explain why they behave a certain way.  


Coaching and Counselling have similariltes too and are similar because of the following reasons :

  • Both coaches and counsellors help to find and create a better life.

  • They create an atmosphere of trust, non-judgement, and support

  • They help you identify why you are feeling stuck and what is holding you back

  • Counsellors and Coaches focus are good at listening and asking the right questions

  • They can both help you build Resilience

  • They can both help you identify and work towards life goals.

  • They both help you identify your core beliefs and help change your perspective.

  • They both have the goal of helping you reach your potential

Coaching is an effective and well known way to support you in making the changes you want to make in your life. If you want to work on present issues and get the support to break through your limiting beliefs, then coaching may be right for you!  On the other hand, if you feel like you carry around past trauma that you want to unravel, then therapy is likely a better fit. 

I use the coaching approach mixed with therapy as I feel that any individual needs to take the responsibility for change and needs to come up with the solutions themselves. I am however, there to guide them to make the right choices that fit their values and on the possible ways they can achieve the desired result. I work with people of all ages, children, young people, adults, boys, girls, men or women. I use NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Hypnotherapy(Hypno-CBT), Mindfulness, Relaxation , that they will benefit from for the rest of their life.

Namita Bhatia

Hypnotherapist & Coach


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