Anxiety coach or therapist?

A guest posting from Ryan Light

Check out Ryan’s website here:

Many people wonder what the difference is between a life coach, or in our case a life coach specializing in anxiety, and a therapist, and they wonder which will benefit their needs the most. So, let’s unravel this a bit.

Therapy vs Life Coaching

A therapist is often a counselor or psychologist with either a Masters, Doctorate or Ph.D. in their field. They are licensed by their state to practice and are focused on long-term patients. Interestingly enough, many former therapists have left their profession and gone on to become Life Coaches.

Life coaches are usually trained or experienced in their area of practice, often focusing on a niche, such as anxiety. They are encouraged to obtain certification, however, what they do is not regulated and does not require them to be certified.


The largest coaching credentialing organization in the world, The International Coach Federation (ICF), states that coaching is “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Therapy is about uncovering and recovering. Coaching is about discovering.

Therapy and life coaching each take a different approach to helping their clients. While therapists may spend more time examining a patient’s past, looking for a diagnosis to satisfy insurance companies, coaching is more focused on the present and the future.

Coaches seek to establish a more personal relationship with their clients to help them work through their current issues and resolve them. Their less structured environment helps them to work with their clients as a team, rather than as a “doctor-patient” relationship.

A life coach’s goal is to offer emotional support, creative confidence in their clients, and to motivate them to make a change. An on-going partnership with their clients helps to produce positive results in both their professional and personal lives.

With a good coach, clients can learn how to use the tools and skills they already possess to help them navigate through life.