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What is Coaching?

Life Coaching is a rapidly growing profession that is profoundly different from consulting, therapy, or counseling. The coaching process addresses your specific goals in relationships, career, or personal transitions, by examining what is going on right now, discovering what your obstacles or challenges might be, and choosing a course of action that will lead to successfully meeting your goals.


A coach doesn't have to be an expert at what you want coaching for. A successful coach does need to be an expert at:

  • Providing a safe, ethically sound environment.
  • Listening intuitively without judgment or personal agenda.
  • Asking profound thought-provoking questions.
  • Recognizing patterns of avoidance and resistance.
  • Skillfully keeping you on track.
  • Understanding when you're ready to stretch your capabilities and challenging you to do so.
  • Assisting you in learning how to tap into your own intuitive wisdom.
  • Helping you formulate effective Action Plans.
  • Acting as your accountability partner.

A skilled coach also knows how to assess whether or not a client is coachable or if another form of assistance may be required, such as therapy. An ethical coach will gently recommend therapy as an option and even have referrals available.

General Differences Between Coaching & Therapy



Assumes the client needs healing Assumes the client is whole
Works to achieve emotional healing Works to achieve higher functioning
Focuses on feelings and past events Focuses on actions and the future
Explores the roots of problems Focuses on solving problems
Works to bring the unconscious to consciousness Works with the conscious mind to tap into intuitive wisdom
Works for internal resolution of pain and to let go of old patterns Works for external solutions to overcome barriers, learn new skills, and implement effective choices


Coaching can work well for functioning clients who are in therapy and want to add working towards practical goals as part of their growth.