Coaching vs. Therapy

XY Outlook, Inc.

** Family Biz
** Family
** Marriage
** Individual
** Pre-Marital

An alternative to therapy or counseling


Coaching does not focus on “why,” but “what now?”  It shifts problems into goals.  It looks forward, not analyzes the past!  Most importantly, Coaches DO NOT treat clinical disorders such as anxiety, depression, addiction and phobias. 

Coaching is well suited to a goal-oriented person who prefers to take responsibility for their processes and outcomes.  Coaches work with “highly-functioning” people.  This means that the assumption is that the client is healthy, willing and fully capable of achieving their goals.  Clients simply need guidance.

Clients who do NOT perceive themselves in need of therapy
may be more inclined to see a Coach,
preferring a coaching model to a therapy model.
(See Below for Chart)

Coaching became popular among CEO's and Executives who needed outside guidance to motivate them to achieve personal and professional goals.  Corporations and business executives commonly use Coaches to work team building, management/employee relations and development of internal talent for promotion.


An Interpersonal Relationship Coach works closely with you to map out a game plan for achieving the relationship you want.  A Coach stays with you throughout the process to guide you, create actionable plans, break down what holds you back and motivate you to move forward.  Coaching works because you are held accountable for your actions.  In coaching, you will not analyze the past, but looks toward the future to figure out what to do next.


With an Interpersonal Relationship Coach, you will:

  • Develop a Step-by-Step Plan of Action
  • Focus on Future Goals, Not Past Issues
  • Explore What Holds You back
  • Celebrate Results



Assumes the client needs healing
Assumes the clients is highly-functional
Roots in medicine, psychiatry
Roots in business and personal growth venues
Works with people to achieve self-understanding and emotional healing
Works to motivate people to a higher level of functioning
Focuses on feelings and past events, past-orientation
Focuses on actions and the future; goal-orientation
Explores the root of problems
Focuses on solving problems
Works to bring the unconscious into consciousness

Works with the conscious mind

Works for internal resolution of pain and to let go of old patterns
Works for solutions to overcome barriers, learn new skills and implement effective choices

Source: Hayden, C. J., and Whitworth, L. "Distinctions Between Coaching and Therapy." International Association of Personal and Professional Coaches Newsletter, October 1995.


• Mimi Azoubel Daniel, MS, PCC • 443.956.4292 • • 
PCC, International Coach Federation (ICF) Certified Coach