Coaching is significantly different from therapy. Coaching is founded on the belief that the client is whole, healthy, capable, and resourceful. The client and coach form a partnership as colleagues, and the coach becomes the client’s thought and accountability partner, ally and advocate. Coaching focuses on discovering possibilities and taking measurable, incremental actions to create the client’s desired outcome.
Therapy is grounded in a perspective of client pathology. For therapy sessions to be eligible for insurance coverage, the therapist must observe behaviors consistent with descriptions from the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A therapist is a mental health professional with expertise aimed at helping clients overcome life-inhibiting disorders.
For a more detailed discussion see “Understanding the relationship between therapy and coaching,” by Patrick Williams. Choice magazine, Volume 5, #3.