Coaching vs. Therapy? What are the differences between Coaching, mentors, counselors, and consulting?

Are coaches considered mental health professionals?

Being a mentor is much more than just being paid for advice. Mentoring takes time, patience, and experience. Mentoring requires seeing the potential in the mentee (individual seeking help) even if they don’t see it in themselves.

A mentor is someone who can guide you through experience.

What is mentoring and what does a mentor do?

  • Advising and Problem Solving.
  • Help Shape Individual Values and Beliefs positively.
  • Mentor has some experience in the situation.
  • Mentors are usually more experienced and qualified than mentees. (passing on knowledge and experience)
  • Mentoring focuses on the present and future. Mentoring involves sharing personal experiences.
  • Personal results show the wisdom being shared.
  • Formal and informal meetings.
  • Sets Goals and Action Steps.
  • Mentee chooses topics.
  • The focus is on the present and future.
  • The mentor draws out ideas, actions, and plans to navigate barriers in the mentee’s environment.
  • Brainstorming and masterminding are used to solve problems.
  • Mentee chooses action steps, tracks, tests, and measures results.
  • Mentors are like teachers, with a lot of answers for the mentee to draw on.
  • The conversation is NOT confidential and can be opened to share.
  • Mentors work within an area of competence and refer to other professional parties when appropriate.
  • Mentors are NOT therapists!
  • Mentors act as accountability partners to help you achieve your personal goals.


What is coaching and what does a life coach do?

coaching vs therapy
Coaching is different than therapy and should NOT be considered the same.
  • In the field of Coaching, there’s a more narrow focus.
  • Life coaches presume the client has their own answers and uses open-ended questions to bring solutions to light rather than offering advice.
  • A life coach helps clients draw from their own experiences and wisdom rather than sharing experiences.
  • Life coaches draw upon hours of Coaching to guide them in helping the client.
  • Set and achieve goals to improve behavioral performance.
  • Coaching clients with structured meetings scheduled regularly.
  • A life coach does not have to be an expert in the industry.
  • Coaching does not need direct experience in a professional role unless skill-focused.
  • Life coaching services focus on the present and future.
  • Life coaches do not need individual results in the area they are coaching.
  • Coaching is giving more specific steps to take toward what you want or your goal.
  • Structured engagements.
  • The contract between the coach and client is formal, and a well-defined, objective-identified meeting is regularly.
  • Coaching services use coaching frameworks and distinctions to support the conversation and client progress.
  • Life coach conversations can be private and shared.
  • Life coaching is NOT traditional therapy and is not considered therapy.
  • Life coaches may have received some training in Coaching, but they are not considered therapists and are not under the same governing body.
  • Coaching skills and coaching models will vary.
  • Life coaches are NOT considered mental health professionals.

What is counseling, licensed therapists and what does a counselor do?

mental health therapy
Therapists are trained at helping you get to the bottom of mental health challenges and trauma.
  • Focus includes: resolving persistent and unhealthy emotional patterns and external behaviors, with an emphasis on healing.
  • The highly skilled intervention focused on helping individuals address underlying psychological and psychosocial problems.
  • Can address performance issues, personal and between them and others.
  • Counseling supports people in turmoil or personal turmoil.
  • Counselors, also known as therapists, are trained to diagnose emotional problems in the past or dysfunction.
  • The conversation is focused on the past significantly more than mentoring and Coaching.
  • A counselor does NOT share their own history or personal experiences.
  • The contract is formal and well-defined.
  • The duration can be a single session or years.
  • Conversations are private and protected by law.
  • Counselors are considered Mental Health Professionals and licensed by the state they reside in through a licensing board, giving them the title of a licensed counselor.
  • Perform traditional therapy using different treatment methods and have a degree in counseling as a professional therapist.
  • Professional counselors have undergone extensive training and can handle mental health disorders and different mental health conditions and provide mental health care as a professional.

What is consulting and what does a consultant do?

  • A consultant is an expert called on for professional or technical advice or opinions. They are relied on to understand the problem and present solutions.
  • Consulting is unlike Coaching because, with pure Coaching, the direction comes from the client.

When getting help, notice the differences between Coaching vs. therapy so you can get the proper support to handle whatever issues you may be experiencing.

Are there any other differences we did not note? Explicitly coaching vs. therapy, please let us know since these frequently become the most confusing.

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