By Renata Andrade, Oct 01, 2017

Ok. You’ve decided to get professional help to change something that is not going the way you want in your life. So, should you go see a therapist or a life coach? What is the difference?


I wrote this blog inspired by a client’s question: “Where is the line that separates life coaching and therapy?”

Having practiced and being a client of both, my experience is that it isn’t a really a clear line. Instead, it is a big fat grey area where both can help and the single major predictor of a successful process in either is to choose a professional you feel comfortable with, safe and stimulated by. Tip: use your thoughts, feelings, and gut here.

Sure, at the extremes it is crystal clear: if you are clinically depressed or hearing things other people don’t, you should see a therapist. And most probably a Psychiatrist too. If on the other hand you are already excelling at something and want to get even better, a coach is the best way to get there. But more often than not, people are in between. They are going through a transition or a relationship difficulty, they feel lost, or overwhelmed, or stuck. Sometimes a slight change in alignment of thought, challenge on limiting beliefs might be enough, other times deep rooted work is needed.

Life Coaching is part of the wellness trend of our time. In my view, it’s a specific application of Psychological body of knowledge aimed at improving wellness, not mental health conditions. Take Nutrition, for example, it can be applied to help the body heal from a physical disease. On the other hand, it can also be used to improve focus, energy, lose weight, better sleep quality, etc, which would improve wellness. Different applications of the same body of knowledge. It is getting clearer, right? But I’ve gotta say, therapy can certainly help your wellness too. Oh, shoot!

For the Love of God, which one should I choose?

I thought a scale might help.

The Therapy – Life Coaching Scale


Still not sure?

I’ll be happy to chat about this important choice. Just click here and book a complimentary coaching call.

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