Pat Williams of the Institute for Life Coach Training has said: “Traditional therapy will not become extinct but will increasingly offer help primarily to those who need clinical services. Therapy is about uncovering and recovering, while coaching is about discovering.”
Therapy tends to be about addressing clinical issues, and coaching tends to be about creating a desirable future. In general, clients come to therapy to address a dysfunction in their lives but come to coaching because they’re looking for something more out of an already functional life. However, there’s considerable overlap. Some life coaches work with clinical populations; there are ADHD coaches, relationship coaches, and recovery coaches. But counselors who use a solution-focused approach to therapy work in a manner that’s virtually indistinguishable from the coaching approach.
In fact, coaching has some of its roots in the fields of positive psychology and solution focused therapy. I use what I’ve learned from my education at the Institute for Life Coach Training and elsewhere with my counseling clients.