APRIL BRASWELL Life & Business Coaching: Orange County Life Coach
With Life Coaching booming recently and more firmly establishing itself in the mainstream after thriving for over 20 years in niche personal and business coach markets, the question of what is the difference between Life Coaching and Therapy needs to be addressed for clarification purposes.
Difference between Life Coaching and Therapy in Southern California, LA, and Orange County
Here in The OC, as a Life Coach in Orange County, coaching California, especially in SoCal in the LA Los Angeles area it can become the butt of a joke. There was a terrifically funny episode of Major Crimes in which actor Michael Weatherly puts in a sardonic performance. They portray it as a SoCal insider’s joke profession that he is a “Life Coach.”
Difference between Life Coaching and Therapy in Orange County, CA, Newport BeachBecause Life Coaching is completely unregulated and non-licensed, theoretically, anyone can put out a shield and call themselves a Life Coach. So, it can always get some popular television media news coverage riffing on labeling oneself a “Life Coach.”
If you do a search over at Yelp for “Newport Beach Life Coach,” you’ll find quite a number of Psychic Readers, Psychic Mediums, and Astrologists, bless them, cite their additional business category as “Life Coach.” You’ll need to sift through the results quite a bit to pinpoint the folks there with actual Life Coaching businesses.
Pondering the Difference between Life Coaching and Therapy: What to Look for an Orange County, Newport Beach Life CoachThe Professional Life Coaches cite it, as do I, that our qualifications include Coaching certifications from well-established and recognized professional bodies such as ICF International Coach Federation approved Life Coach institutes.
I actually recently saw an ad over at Facebook for a PDF about Life Coaching and snagged it. Then, sadly and laughably, the author proceeded to pitch me in an Internet Marketing inspired series of automated email responders to get me to purchase his $10.00 training by which I could then cite myself, et voila, as a “Certified” Life Coach.
So, you can see, the Marketers, and I have that background, so I recognize it, have grasped Life Coaching’s popularity and are trying to cash in on the boom by bargain basement selling “Certifications” just for the sake of certifications.
Both those seeking to become a Coach and those potential clients looking to hire a Life Coach need to know about the quality of the training and the authority of the certifying body. ICF has long enjoyed leading the pack as one of the top two professional associations, truly the gold standard in Coaching as a profession.
Some of the Similarities between Life Coaching and TherapyBoth the quality vanguard of professional coaching bodies, the International Coach Federation and the Therapist licensing boards require the professional to do a certain number of hands on hours directly with clients. This ensures that both professionals have hand-on experience with actual clients and not just “book knowledge” to recommend them.
Additionally, both professions, the person often has a psychology, communications, or other interpersonal skills academic education.
Some Core Distinctions in the Education of a Psychotherapist versus a Professional CoachHowever, the licensed therapist’s education is over 90% focused on psychological disorders, assessing those, diagnosing those, and managing them. That is in alignment with state licensing board course requirements for becoming a counselor or therapist. They cannot typically prescribe medications, but more often, they have a business relationship with a medical doctor psychiatrist who can write prescription script needed for therapy patients.
In fact, that very term is precisely one of the core distinctions between Coaching and Therapy.
The person seeking the work is termed and defined differently.
In Therapy, you are a Patient.
In Coaching, you are a Client.
This truly is a key distinction, in mindset, legality, and approach.
Difference in a Life Coach’s Professional Focus, Interaction, and Work with Clients. Whereas a coach’s training and education is more around Positive Psychology. Additionally, the focus of a Life Coach’s work in to be proactive for the present and geared towards Envisioning and Imagining What Could Be, Determining What the Client Desires, Goals Determined and Selected by the Client, Different Perspectives, Life Balance, Actions Steps, and then achieving Desired Outcomes: professionally, personally, and inter-personally.
Core Difference Between Coaching and Therapy: The Element of Time. Another way to understand the distinction between therapy and coaching is the concept of Time.
Picture a simple visual representation of your life.
Anything, any of the Challenges of Life which arise, your psychotherapist will at some point ask you to reflect on that and connect with other similar instances and experiences from your past, and, in fact, your deep past. The Past and analyzing The Past is the very focus and purpose of therapy, in order to live a better life in the present day at some point.
With Life Coaching, you start with Now as well. “How was your week? How did your homework go?” And then the focus is on Now, your starting point, and The Future and The Future you want to create. The focus and the goal is on your desired Outcome. Hence the name of my practice: Outcome Based Coaching.
The tension is between where you are Now and The Future you want to create and actualize.
In Life Coaching, yes, the Past is touched on, most often most extensively in the first few sessions while your Life Coach is still getting acquainted with you and your backstory. But after that, the Past is only touched on periodically, not deep analyzed.
Using that visual picture again, in Coaching, you might only go a few inches or so to the Left to touch on the Past. Whereas, in Therapy, you’ll go to the Left by massive inches and feet to dwell on, reflect, and analyze your Past. And a Therapist might touch on your Future, but only a few inches. Their training and skill set is on the Analyzing of the Past.
Whereas a Certified Professional Coach’s training and education is around goals, visualizing those, setting them, and useful action steps which will get you to your desired future outcome.
What kind of life do you wish to live and actualize?