Coaching and peer support are NOT psychotherapy. They cannot replace psychiatric or psychotherapeutic intervention.
That being said, the essential difference is this – psychotherapy meets you where you are now and looks back and unpacks what you have gone through in order to help you move forward; coaching, presuming you are medically stable (not in imminent danger), meets you where you are now and sends you on the way to where you are going.
|Co-active; peer-basis||Hierarchical; expert/client|
|Trained to work with clients that are emotionally and psychologically stable or in a recovery state; coach aims to view client from a holistic perspective||Trained to work with clients that are emotionally and psychologically unwell; therapist aims to diagnose and treat|
|Focuses on the present and future||Focuses on dealing with the past|
|Driven by the conscious mind, goals and taking action||Driven by the unconscious mind and insight into unresolved issues and feelings|
|Alliance developed by coach and client working together||Treatment plan designed by therapist|
|Works toward a higher level of functioning||Works to achieve understanding and emotional healing|
|Short-term, time-bound, results-based and focuses on exploring solutions||Long-term, open-ended, explores the root of problems and offers explanation|
|Asks, “Where would you like to be and how can you get there?”||Asks, “How did that make you feel?”|
|Explores actions that manifest high self-esteem||Explores genesis of behaviours that create low self-esteem|
|Mainly works with external issues||Mainly works with internal issues|
|Done over the phone, internet or in person||Done in an office setting|
Coaching picks up from where psychotherapy leaves off. Clients bring their new insights and stability into a world that may not accommodate their needs and coaching mitigates this gap. It supports people in applying insights gained from psychotherapy and self-work into their daily lives, managing everyday obstacles that may be interfering with their ability to fully participate in, and benefit from, the therapeutic process.