Unlike psychotherapy, coaching aims to help people who are already functioning at normal or even higher levels overcome emotional distress and gain additional benefits. A coach can help you perform better physically, emotionally, professionally, socially, or athletically, depending on your specialty. It is usually of short duration, three to 12 months. The therapist's job is for the life coach to take the client's current starting point as an acceptable neutral ground and, from that point on, to rely more on action.
In general, therapists and life coaches have many different aspects and approaches to their line of work, however, one thing remains the same: their goal is to help improve the lives of others. Nor do life coaches diagnose the people they work with, while therapists determine diseases and pathologies so that their patients can receive clinical treatment. After completing a six-month training program years ago, psychologist and leadership coach Carol Kauffman, PhD, ABPP, PCC, said she realized that therapists focus on helping people heal, while life coaches focus on helping them achieve their goals. Therapy focuses on talking about emotions and feelings related to a particular challenge or memory, which could stem from trauma or a difficult time in life.
Although the International Coaches Federation certifies coaches with a certain level of training, many high-quality coaches don't have a license. Customers can expect to be asked questions about their current living situation and the direction they would like their life to take. This partly explains why the coaching industry is known for charismatic, business-savvy professionals with questionable skills. Currently, personal coaching can be considered an unregulated field of work, in which people can offer personal coaching services without any regulated qualifications.
There are no educational mandates in any state, but completing an accredited life coach program is highly recommended. However, a life coach who believes that a client may have mental health problems can refer that person to a mental health therapist. While life coaches don't have to be technically qualified to operate, people choose to conduct a study to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and skills. While a therapist focuses on the reasons for the patient's behaviors and thinking patterns, a life coach focuses on how his clients can overcome current problems.
As in psychotherapy, training approaches that are based on ACT, CBT, DBT, and behavioral sciences should be fundamental to the practice of a good coach. The main difference between a life coach and a therapist is the way the sessions are divided and planned.