Therapy and Coaching – What is the difference?

It took me a long time to get my head around the difference between therapy and coaching, so I’m hoping this explanation will help if you’ve been wondering too. The first thing that is important to know is that neither therapy nor coaching are regulated professions. It’s really important to make sure any-one you are thinking of working with has recognised training and qualifications, because technically you don’t need these to set yourself up. There are professional bodies that therapists/coaches can belong to, and I would highly recommend making sure your therapist or coach are members of one of these. The main ones in the UK are the BACP, UKCP and XXX for therapists, and the ICF for coaches.

To me the terms counsellor, therapist and psychotherapist are interchangeable. I prefer the terms therapist and therapy. Therapy tends to be longer term, focuses on the past and the present and is usually helpful if you are struggling in some way.

Coaching is more focussed on the present and the future and implies you are ok, but want to be even better.

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