Life Coach, Therapist, or Psychologist??

We all go through things in life. There are ups and downs with different levels of intensity over a lifetime. The good thing is, we don?t need to go through life?s hurdles alone. Whether you are dealing with a breakup or trying to choose which career path to take, there are therapists, psychologists, and life coaches that can help you get on the right track.

But, how do you know which one to see? You might ask yourself: should I be seeing a therapist, psychologist, or a life coach? That?s a great question! Let?s go through each of them so you know who to book a session with.


  • Has an advanced degree in psychology
  • Can determine appropriate treatments
  • Can work along side psychiatrists
  • Can perform research or therapy
  • Able to diagnose disorders
  • Helps clients make decisions and clarify feelings
  • Provides support and guidance

A psychologist is formally trained to study human behavior and mental processes. Psychologists are able to work in several different research or clinical settings. There are different types of Psychology degrees: bachelor?s, master?s, or doctorate (PhD or PsyD). Advanced degrees and licensing are mandatory for those working in independent practices or who offer patient care, including clinical, counseling and school psychologists.


  • Can have numerous degrees in a variety of disciplines, including a master?s degree, PhD, MD or certificate in fields such as psychiatry, family counseling, social work, or substance abuse.
  • Can include psychologists, psychiatrists, marriage counselors, life coaches and social workers
  • Helps clients make decisions and clarify feelings
  • Provides support and guidance

The therapist is a under a broad umbrella and includes those who are trained (and usually licensed) to provide a variety of treatments and rehabilitation for people. Therapists can be psychoanalysts,?marriage counselors,?social workers?and life coaches, among other specialties. A therapist helps patients explore their true feelings and make decisions.

Life Coach

  • Coaching is based on the client taking action to move forward
  • Coach wants to help the client recognize what you think instead of how you feel
  • Coaching helps the client set and attain goals?
  • Can also be called a ?therapist?
  • Coaches can recognize what thinking patterns are stopping a client from moving forward
  • Coaches are not necessarily supervised
  • Coaching is something a client pays for personally, it is not covered under any type of insurance usually
  • Coach will challenge the client often
  • Coach focuses entirely on the client?s present and future
  • Coach is focused on the client?s potential
  • Coach is competent and often trained to help clients move forward in life

Life coaches target issues related to the client?s present circumstances and focus on creating a happy and successful future. They help clients set future goals to accomplish what they desire. They generally open their own professional coaching business, and they can meet with clients on their own terms in locations of their choice. Some are certified, but it is not a requirement.

Some reasons why people prefer a life coach:

  • The client gets to pick what to work on
  • It?s not as “intense” as seeing a psychologist
  • The client receives quick clarification on their goals and tasks
  • The coach cares about your well-being, hopes, and dreams
  • A coach holds the client accountable for their action or inaction
  • The client increases more self-awareness and overcome fears


Therapists, psychologists, and life coaches provide help for those in need. It all depends on what you want. Some clients see a psychologist/therapist in order to work through past issues but also see a life coach to help them move forward in life. The options of who to turn to in time of need are there – so take your pick.

Coach Alicia