Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
A question I think more people should be asking is "What IS the the difference between a life coach and a Therapist?". This is a really important question because there are some big differences. Both can be great. But, and here is the big but, one has a licensing board, certification requirements, legal and ethical rules and are responsible for meeting standards of a governing regulatory board. This one is also covered by medical insurance and allowed to work with people with issues of mental health. The other has NONE of these. Anybody can wake up one morning and decide to call themselves a Life Coach and start advertising. This is not to say that there are not excellent, well trained life coaches out there, because there are.
I came across this article recently and I think it lays out the differences very clearly and in an easy to understand way.
Here is one excerpt from that article.
"If you are more comfortable knowing that the person helping you is a highly educated professional who is licensed and regulated by the state, shares a common language with other health care providers, and is trained to deal with the symptoms of mental health issues as well as the dramas and traumas of ordinary life, a therapist is your best bet"
My biggest concern is that these differences are not made clear to the public. And while there are wonderful Life Coaches out there, how do you know who they are? There are not legal standards currently in place to regulate the industry. This leaves so much room for unqualified people to be representing themselves as equal to a well educated, licensed, mental health professional. That can be misleading but more importantly, dangerous. Mental Health is not something to be taken lightly. There is also the issue of confidentiality. Therapists are required by law to maintain client confidentiality, life coaches dont have these requirements....
So please do your homework before you begin working with someone. It's a good idea to do this when working with a therapist to see if they have complaints against them and to ensure that they are licensed. And if you are looking into working with a life coach, see what sort of certificates they have, what sort of education, training or experience they have and how long they have been in business.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression and anxiety. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.