Do I need therapy or a life coach? What’s the difference?

I just turned 25 a couple of months ago and feel like I’m having a quarter life crisis. I recently moved states to live with my fiancé . I was told that I was supposed to be getting a promotion at work into another department and they changed their mind last minute and I’m on a fitness kick and wanting to improve my mental health this year. I’m not sure if I need therapy or a life coach.
Asked by Meg

I would explain the difference between a psychotherapist and a life coach by detailing the origin, education, training, and certification or licensure for each vocation.  Therapy which is sometimes called counseling was developed a little over 100 years ago by a physician  named Sigmund Freud. Freud had different patients who came to him that had problems that were  physical in nature but psychological in origin. For example: If a man came to Freud due to hearing loss. Freud would discuss with the man his upbringing and how that may have led to the hearing loss. Perhaps Freud would uncover that the man had a very loud father and the trauma of that relationship resulted in the man losing his hearing.  A psychotherapist has a masters in social work counseling or marriage and family therapy. Or  a PhD in psychology. They are licensed by the state that they work in. A person typically meets with a therapist on a weekly basis and therapy can be as short as six sessions or as long as a lifetime venture. The focus of psychotherapy is to examine intrapsychic processes and how those ways of thinking and feeling lead to the consequences in one’s life.  Life coaching was developed in the 1980s by a gentleman named Thomas Leonard. Mr. Leonard was a financial planner and he would find many clients did not necessarily need psychotherapy. These people appeared to be well-adjusted but wanted more direction to achieve goals in both their personal and or professional life. People who seek life coaching services due so at times when they have an idea of the goals that would like to achieve but  don't know how to achieve them. They need structured plan, and coaching to keep on track.  Life coaches are certified. They have participated in online classes, in person coaching of another person and passing of a comprehensive national exam. Training focuses on helping people to organize their lives to achieve their goals and provide coaching as a form of support. Life coaching is structured personalized training program tailored to your individual needs and desires. People meet with a life coach typically 4 or less times.


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