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Coaching vs Therapy: A Trail Analogy


coaching vs therapy: a trail analogy

As a life coach, I'm often asked what differentiates coaching from therapy.


Imagine you've been in a car, and this ride represents your early years of life. In our formative years, most of what we learn and practice are ways to keep us safe and connected to our caregivers. We learn to survive, but not necessarily how to thrive.


Now you've arrived at a trailhead and are standing at the base of a mountain, wanting to hike to the summit. You can't drive up the mountain though, so you need to get out of the and start walking.


Therapy helps you understand how you got to the base of the mountain, and may even improve your driving. Therapy focuses on exploring the root causes of your thoughts and behaviors. It aims to bring healing to past wounds and traumas to move forward.


Coaching, however, helps you unbuckle the seatbelt, get out of the car and take steps toward the summit. A coach will help you explore your desires, strengths, values, beliefs, and support you in overcoming obstacles, learning new skills, and blazing the trail toward a fulfilling life.


Working with a coach is like having a trail guide who empowers you to face the challenges that lie ahead and make choices based on your goals. She's not going to drag you up the mountain; she's going to inspire you and teach you as you go. She asks thought-provoking questions to unearth your fears and doubts and helps you see things from different perspectives. She reminds you to take breaks, and stop to enjoy the view. With her guidance, you can overcome the obstacles that hold you back.


If you feel like your life is stagnant, you're stuck in old patterns or negative thinking and you know you're meant for more, coaching could be a great option. Even if you have a mental health condition, a coach can help you move forward and reach your goals while a therapist supports your diagnosis and healing. Just like you might work with both a doctor and personal trainer to improve your physical health, a therapist and coach can work simultaneously to improve your mental and emotional wellbeing.


Lastly, just like any other service provider, look for a coach that aligns with you and your needs. Everyone brings their own unique style and personality to their coaching practice, so make sure you take the time to see if you connect with a coach before working with them.

Wild Woman Coaching Laura Prescott

If you're ready to start making moves toward your adventurous goals, I'd love to be your guide. Schedule a discovery call and see if we're a good fit for working together.




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