Jamie Coscia

Real Talk for Real Change


Life Coaching vs Counseling

Life Coaching:

  • Does not involve any diagnostic evaluation, nor does it treat or manage symptoms
  • Does not look into the clients past
  • Does not take the place of therapy in any way shape or form

Instead, Coaching:

  • Defines goals and formulates a plan that uses client's skills and holds client accountable
  • Helps clients establish structure
  • Provides encouragement and support similar to that which you would get in a therapeutic relationship, however, it is not the type of emotional support that one would need if they were experiencing trauma but more like the support you get from someone who will "kick your butt" a little because they know you can do it!
  • Means you will be working on present and future successes and not diving into the past "whys" and "how did I become this way". Coaching helps "narrow the focus" and set goals that can be tracked and monitored for progress.


In general, when one seeks a therapeutic relationship they are going to receive that help with someone licensed in an area of mental health that involves that mental health professional assessing the clients symptoms by use of a DSM in order to properly diagnose and treat symptoms in order to improve overall functioning. Therapy may provide a safe space to heal, nurture, or grow. Therapists will often need to look into the clients past to understand unresolved trauma, relational issues, and other "stuck areas". A therapist helps a client gain insight into areas of their lives so they can feel better in order to make positive changes or simply live a peaceful life!

Quick Disclaimer: There are many mental health professionals that call themselves "therapists" and I cannot speak to their qualifications or specific practice guidelines. I can, however, speak to the guidelines of my licensure which is social work.