The Difference Between Mental Health and Wellness Coaching and Therapy

By

Daniel Dagman

|

April 12, 2022

How is health and wellness coaching different from therapy?

Licensed therapists and mental health counselors have a lot in common with coaches who are board certified. They both help people improve their mental health. They both aim to help people overcome barriers to positive change. They both act as partners in a trusted and safe relationship.

So how is participating in health and wellness coaching different from going to see a therapist?

Training

How are therapists trained?

Therapists complete professional education and training necessary to perform therapy and treat their clients. After they obtain graduate level degrees, they receive licensure through the fulfillment of training hours under supervision.

As a result of this type of training, therapists often follow a more medical model of care and are able to diagnose certain mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. Diagnosing and treating these types of conditions fall outside of the scope of health and wellness coaching.

You certainly don’t have to have a mental illness to see a therapist, but often the severity of a mental illness may justify going to a therapist over seeing a health and wellness coach.

How are coaches trained?

Health and wellness coaching curriculum has a more holistic concentration in positive psychology, motivational interviewing, goal setting, nutrition, functional medicine principles, as well as disease prevention and management.

Health and wellness coaches a more holistic curriculum that includes training in positive psychology, motivational interviewing, goal setting, nutrition, functional medicine principles, as well as disease prevention and management. While they help clients make changes that result in better mental health, they are also focused on overall wellness and lifestyle changes to prevent disease. 

Unlike therapists, coaches cannot diagnose and are less likely to have specialized training in issues like addiction, trauma, abuse, eating disorders, or personality disorders. 

Approach

How do therapists help people?

Therapists will often focus on helping their patients recover from past traumas, such as an abusive relationship or other traumatic event, or helping them to navigate through a debilitating mental health disorder such as an addiction, substance abuse disorder or panic disorder.

How do coaches help?

Coaches, on the other hand, will focus on the future goals of their clients and how they can best use their strengths and values to have a brighter future. They help clients tap into underlying motivations to achieve their goals. They help clients to set specific and measurable goals, create actionable plans to achieve them, track their progress and celebrate successes. 

By

Daniel Dagman

|

April 12, 2022

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