There is a lot of misunderstanding about the similarities and differences between therapy and Coaching. The Problem with defining them is that there is no single and clear definition neither of therapy nor coaching. Additionally, the extent of a therapist’s work – depending on the approach – is extremely widespread, and on the other hand coaching, as a field, is still looking for its place.
However, there are few very visible differences, and they are:
Therapy is a form of working with a patient or client, who requires the elimination of psychological symptoms, freedom from e.g. psychological pain. The most common motivation of a patient/client to begin therapy or to seek advice is a need to become relieved from discomfort.
In coaching, the most common motivation is a need of self-development, or a desire to pursuit desired Goals.
In most cases, the therapist makes various interpretations and diagnoses, and in – a certain sense – acts an expert. He is also largely responsible for the effects that the patient/client achieves.
In coaching – a Coach almost always follows his client basing on his interpretation of reality.
Therapy requires more understanding and working with past experience, whilst coaching refers to the past more rarely, practically only in search of supporting experience.