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Coaching vs Therapy

Understanding the Right Fit for You:

It’s crucial to differentiate between coaching and therapy, as they are not interchangeable.

In Canada, to be a counselor, psychotherapist, or psychologist, one must undergo specific clinical training, with the misuse of these titles leading to legal repercussions. Psychologists, holding a Master's Degree, represent the pinnacle of this hierarchy. Similarly, licensed mental health therapists and clinical social workers are required to have a Master's Degree and clinical training.

Coaches employ various tools, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Therapeutic Art, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), hypnosis, and other psychological techniques, aiming to enhance overall wellbeing. While these tools are beneficial, they do not equate to the “therapy” provided by a clinical therapist.

Delineating Coaching and Therapy:

Life Coaches utilize therapeutic and psychological tools to:

  • Alter thinking patterns

  • Boost emotional wellbeing

  • Transform limiting beliefs

  • Reinterpret past experiences

  • Set and accomplish goals

  • Facilitate life changes

  • Enhance motivation

  • Acquire new skills

  • Shift self-identity


Predominantly focusing on the present and future, Life Coaches guide clients in understanding their past solely to comprehend current beliefs and life situations, aiming to navigate from the present to desired future states.


Conversely, therapists may address similar life aspects but also specialize in:

  • Treating mental illnesses and severe emotional disorders

  • Healing past traumas

  • Assisting with traumatic losses

  • Addressing abuse and addiction

  • Managing relationship conflicts and violence


Therapists, with their extensive clinical training and knowledge in psychology, biology, and human behavior, are adept at handling complex mental health issues.

Coaches, recognizing the boundaries of their practice, have a duty to refer clients to therapists when issues surpass the coaching realm. Notably, coaching and therapy can concurrently contribute to a client's personal development and wellbeing.

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