5 ways coaching differs to therapy

How is coaching different to therapy? It's the question coaches are asked the most. There are many crossovers but the major difference lies in the acceleration of results.


The five coaching principles I bring to each session

1. Change is always possible

As a coach, I believe that anything is possible for my clients. A client will come to me with a specific issue, for example 'I don't feel I can be myself in my relationships'. In our initial breakthrough session, we will establish the pain point and I will challenge them to imagine a future where they have overcome this challenge. What specifically will that future look like? They might say 'I show up as myself in all my relationships'. This outcome will lead our sessions and I will be laser-focused on moving the client into this new reality. 

The major difference to therapy here is the commitment to the outcome. This is a key element of the initial coaching agreement - as a coach, I will be fully invested in the client's outcome and the client will agree to be fully invested in committing to their own transformation.

2. Training our minds to notice our thoughts is the foundation of change

A simple distinction that separates coaching from some other talking therapies is the coaching tools. With tools and actionable frameworks, the client will be able to self-coach independently, and these are tools that can be used long beyond the period we work together.

3. When we deeply understand our thinking we understand what’s driving our actions

The theory happens in our sessions but to accelerate change and transformation, the action needs to happen outside of the sessions. When we truly understand our thoughts and notice the thoughts that serve us and the thoughts that don't, we will become clear about the actions we need to take to edge us closer to the outcome we desire. 

Some talking therapies are not as focused on the thoughts that empower us or the thoughts that keep us caged. 

4. Small, intentional actions eventually create massive results

It sounds obvious but if you were running a 5k, you wouldn't talk about it and never put your trainers on and run. Well, the same would apply to, say, showing up authentically in your relationships. If it's something you've never done before, it's going to feel as daunting as a marathon. That's why committing to small intentional actions creates massive results.

This small action is training the mind to tolerate discomfort. In the discomfort is the growth.

A first step could be to practise saying what's on your mind five times in a week when you find yourself starting to overthink or people-please. This small action is training the mind to tolerate discomfort. In the discomfort is the growth.

5. Growth is uncomfortable and that’s something we will learn to get comfortable with

The coaching sessions will feel challenging. At times, they may make you want to scream, walk away and resist the change. It's a coach's role to push you out of your comfort zone and into a space of growth. Growth is not comfortable... remember growing pains as a kid? It's a real thing. But that's the stretch, and working alongside a coach who is both challenging and supportive, the transformation will come and the result will be the vision you have created for yourself.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London NW11 & W1G
Written by Lisa Hannelore Coaching, ICF ACC Certified Life & Career Coach.
London NW11 & W1G

Lisa Hannelore holds an Accredited diploma in Transformative Coaching. Her mission is to help brave women enjoy the power and peace of living in unapologetic authenticity.

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