Life Coaching vs. Therapy: Which one is right for me?

Updated: Jan 8

One of the biggest questions that I get as a life coach is, "What is the difference between a life coach and a therapist?" It's a valid question that I didn't know the answer to when I first came in contact with my life coach. I have done both therapy and life coaching, so I will be explaining the differences using my experiences.


Therapists/Counselors: Need to go to get a degree and be certified to be one. This industry is highly regulated. Therapists are trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses.

Life Coaches: Do not need a degree or any specific training to coach. The industry is not regulated at all at this time. They are not trained to diagnose or treat mental illness and should not do so.

Their Focus/What They Do

Therapists/Counselors: They want to really dig deep into your past and hear your whole life story. They validate your past and help you work through any trauma or situations that are keeping you from functioning in your life today.

Life Coaches: Are more focused on the present and future. Coaches will often meet you where you are and are more focused in helping you move forward. Coaches steer away from validation, but act as an outside observer that can give you a unbiased perspective that can help you figure out how to move forward.


Therapists/Counselors: You might consider working with a therapist or counselor if you are not able to externally do the things you need or want to do in your life. If you think you may have some sort of mental illness, including severe anxiety and depression, you should see a therapist first.

Life Coaches: You might consider a coach if you don't think you have any mental illnesses, but you know everything is not fine. One sign of this is if you are a high functioning person. This means that, on the outside, it looks like you have it all together, but internally you are struggling.

Whichever path you choose, I would suggest trying to get to know the person before you commit fully. In both, you will need to be vulnerable in order to get the biggest transformations, so making sure you work well together with them is vital. Most therapists and life coaches offer a session for free. Take advantage of that! If possible, follow them on social media and see if you like what they teach and the way that they teach it.

Why work with me?

I call myself a Life Story & Passion Coach. While I'm a life coach (not a therapist), I am willing to work in the past. Most life coaches just want to meet you where you are, but because of my past and my experiences with therapy, I know that sometimes you need to dig into your past in order to move forward into the future. I give you permission to feel the pain of your past and am willing to hear your life story. But we also don't wallow and stay stuck there. I use my life coaching skills to help you question your life story, get clear about what might be holding you back, and help you rewrite your story so that you can move forward and create the life that you really want. Does this sound like you?

If you have been wanting to see what life coaching can do for you, I want to invite you to apply for a FREE 90-min Mind Shift session with me. The main goal will be to get clarity about what you want, identify what's holding you back, and then make a plan to help you move forward.

Apply here.

Whatever you choose, do it with confidence and have your back. If you want to connect with me more, come follow me on Instagram @chaundellmonncoaching and if you have any questions, shoot me an email at


© 2019 by Chaundell Monn Coaching LLC

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