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Do You Need Therapy or Life Coaching?

Do You Need Therapy or Life Coaching?

Life Coaching or Therapy: Which Approach is Right For You?

I have both a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in counseling, and been a therapist and marriage counselor in Denver for over a decade. About five years ago I also went through a life coaching program and became a board certified life coach too. These days, I practice both therapy and coaching, and have spent a lot of time educating people about the difference between the two.

I know that many people often wonder what the difference is between therapy and life coaching. The fact is that there are significant differences between them, as well as similarities. [Read all about “The Difference Between Counseling and Coaching.”] But the bottom line is that both approaches can be very effective in helping people get unstuck, and move forward in their lives. However, both therapy and life coaching have serious limitations for helping people with certain kinds of issues and goals.

The Problem With Therapy

For example, while therapy can be an extremely powerful and life changing experience for some people, therapy can be a huge waste of time and money for others. In fact, “therapy refugees” come into our practice all the time feeling incredibly frustrated and put-off by their previous experiences in therapy. They don’t need someone to “hold the space,” help them connect the dots of self awareness, and “work through feelings.” They are ready for change, and looking for answers and action. Life coaching will give them that.

The Problem With Coaching

Similarly, we work with people all the time who have been traumatized by past experiences with uneducated, self proclaimed “life coaches.” (Not-so-fun-fact: Life coaching is not a recognized, regulated or licensed profession. There are zero educational requirements to be a life coach and absolutely anyone can roll out of bed one day, decide to be a life coach, set up a burner website, and start taking clients. Buyer beware.)

Beyond that, coaching strategies are not going to be helpful at all for people who need to heal and grow before they can start making big changes in their lives. In these cases, life coaching is just going to make you feel badly about yourself and increasingly hopeless. In the very worst cases, people with legitimate clinical issues such as depressionanxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, etc. risk wasting months and years of ever-worsening (and sometimes life-threatening) symptoms without the effective treatments that will set them free.

But unless you have a counseling degree, you may genuinely not know what you’re looking for or what approach is going to work best for you. In order to help you understand the differences between counseling and coaching, and which one is right for you, I’ve put together a free, online quiz. I hope that it helps you learn about yourself, and which option will be most effective in helping you move forward.

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Do You Need Therapy or Life Coaching? Take the Quiz.

Get The Scoop on Online Counseling and Coaching

Get The Scoop on Online Counseling and Coaching

Online growth work: Because your life is too big to put in a box.

Our online coaching clients are high-achieving, vibrant people living full and active lives. They are go-getters, on a quest to bring out the best in themselves, their relationships, their careers, and in the world around them. They want to live at their highest potential. Our job is to support them on their amazing journey — on their terms and on their time. And in service to our clients we’ve been carried to some interesting places!

Our online clients are often buzzing around the world. I’ve personally had coaching sessions with people who were sitting on a beach watching the waves, in a gorgeous verdant park in California, overlooking a volcano in Guatemala, lounging around a pool in Mexico, on a balcony overlooking Manhattan at night, sipping coffee in a Spanish plaza, and once even on a chair lift! One of my colleagues recently shared that she had an incredibly powerful session with a person who was sitting on a dock at sunset, watching dolphins frolic in the water. Our clients are in the process of creating lives without limits, so that’s where we meet them.

All Your Questions About Online Counseling or Online Coaching, Answered.

Online counseling and coaching is taking off in a major way. When I started doing it back in 2010, it was a rarity. I was pleased to recently learn that there is now actually a podcast all about counseling and coaching online: The Online Counseling Podcast, with Clay Cockrell.

When he asked me to share my experiences with online counseling, of course I was honored. You can listen in on our conversation and learn some new things about online counseling like:

  • What kinds of people does online counseling or coaching work really well for?
  • What are the advantages of bringing your growth work online?
  • When is online marriage counseling actually NOT a good idea?
  • What kinds of personal work should you AVOID doing online?
  • What are some essential questions to be mindful of when you’re looking for an online therapist or coach?
  • What kinds of approaches work really well in an online format, and which don’t?

I answer all these questions (and many more!) during my interview with Clay. If you are considering exploring online counseling or coaching, I hope you check it out! Click here to listen now:

The Online Counseling Podcast, with Clay Cockrell and Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

xo, Lisa

online counseling online coaching online marriage counseling podcast with dr lisa marie bobby and clay cockrelll



Growing Self Counseling & Coaching
Growing Self