Coaching vs. Consulting vs. Therapy

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This is a common question that is widely misunderstood... So let’s break it down and make it simple.

  • Consulting is when a professional provides their specific advice and expertise on a given subject.  

  • Therapy is treatment given with the intention of treating or healing a disorder.

  • Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Here’s a deeper dive on that explanation.

Coaching is focused on the future and asks the questions: “How?” and “What do you want to create?”
Therapy is focused on the past and asks the questions: “Why?” and “What do you want to fix?”

Therapy focuses on the past and how that past, or triggers from that past, shows up as a problem or issue in your present.  It’s about healing or treating something about you that is wrong or needs “fixed”.

The therapist is viewed as the expert and not only diagnoses your issues, but holds the answers and keys to healing and fixing those issues.

Coaching is future-focused.  The client is viewed as whole and complete, not as a problem to solve or issue to fix.  The client is fully capable of making their own decisions and leading a fabulous, happy and fulfilled life.  

Coaching is a judgement-free safe zone where the client identifies what they want for their life and then, in partnership with their coach, they remove roadblocks to move powerfully towards their goals and dreams. The coach acts as a partner and a champion, providing insight and accountability towards achieving those goals, but the client is responsible for creating results through actions and commitment.  

I'm an ontological coach, so if you were my client, we may look at patterns that show how it’s gone for you in the past, but that’s done with full intention to break that pattern in service of creating new possibilities where you break free from “how it always goes.”

You know what you want; you know who you are. I am here to offer insight and reflect what may be holding you back, all the while offering inspiration and motivation and standing without any doubt for what you want to create. As your coach, I become your partner in co-creating the life of your dreams.

One additional note about the differences between Coaching and Therapy and what you can expect.

Both coaches and therapists are empathetic listeners, however, there is a big difference in the way you can expect them to communicate with you.  

A therapist will likely be patient and use indirect communication, while working with a coach may feel confrontational at first. Part of my job in supporting your goals and dreams and in believing that you hold all the answers inside you, is to challenge you. By helping you break your subconscious patterns, your automatic ways of being, and your survival mechanisms in order to achieve the things you haven’t been able to achieve thus far, you begin to see how the seemingly impossible becomes totally possible.

My promise is to challenge you, test your comfort zone, and use direct communication to get you to where you want to be more quickly.  

beth marhefka