Christopher Heap
Life Coach
Serving Guelph, Ontario, and beyond (In-Person and Online Sessions Available)

Coaching Versus Therapy - What's the Difference?

Both life coaching and therapy aim to improve your well-being, but they do so in different ways and for different reasons.



Is primarily focused on healing and emotional well-being. Therapists help you to cope with or recover from past traumas and current mental health issues. Most therapy is rooted in the past and present.

Life coaching:
Is action-oriented. It is rooted in the present with a view to the future, aiming to move you from where you are now to where you want to be. A life coach will  focus on helping you with your personal growth and life goals.

Choosing between the two depends on your individual needs. 


What is Life Coaching?

Goal-Oriented: Focuses on helping you set and achieve specific life goals or to change your habits and behaviours in order to foster personal growth.

Present and Future-Focused: Concentrates on your current situation and how to make positive changes for the future.

Action Plans: Provides actionable steps and strategies to help you move forward.

Accountability: Offers a framework for you to be accountable for your actions and decisions.

Clarity and Direction: Helps you gain clarity on your life's direction and make informed choices.

Skill Development: Aims to equip you with skills like self-confidence, time management, and decision-making.

Motivation Boost: Works to increase your motivation and commitment to your goals.

Behavioural Change: Helps you identify unhelpful habits and replace them with more beneficial ones.

Areas of Overlap

Personal Development: Both aim to improve your quality of life and personal well-being.

Self-Awareness: Both practices encourage a deeper understanding of yourself.

Behavioural Change: Both can help you identify and change unhelpful habits or behaviors.

Goal Setting: While the goals may differ, both approaches involve setting and working toward specific objectives.

Supportive Environment: Both provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings.

What is Therapy?

Mental Health Treatment and Support: Addresses significant mental health symptoms like anxiety, depression, and trauma.

Past and Present-Focused: Helps you heal from past hurts and manage current emotional struggles.

Emotional Regulation: Provides tools for better emotional control and understanding.

Interpersonal Relationships: Assists in resolving relationship issues that cause significant emotional distress.

Healing and Closure: Aims to help you find resolution or closure for past events and traumas.

Safe Space: Offers a confidential environment to explore your thoughts and feelings deeply.

Diagnostic and Clinical: May involve diagnosing mental health conditions and providing clinical treatment options.


IMPORTANT: Coaching on its own is not for serious mental health conditions.
Chris does not diagnose or provide treatment for mental illness. Please see a physician or mental health professional if you are in need of help for serious psychological concerns or conditions. Coaching can be beneficial in conjunction with therapy, but is not a replacement for professional help.