10 Surprising Similarities between Coaching and Therapy

Numerous people are turning to coaching and therapy, two independent professions, for assistance in order to enhance their lives. Despite their differences, coaching and psychology have a number of fundamental commonalities that can make it somewhat challenging to tell them apart. In order to better comprehend both disciplines and how they affect our lives, we will look at 10 significant similarities between coaching and therapy in this blog post.


Two Sides of the Same Coin: 10 Ways Coaching and Therapy Intersect


1. Both aim to enhance wellbeing

Coaching and psychology share the fundamental objective of improving people’s wellbeing and assisting them in realizing their full potential. Psychology is a more in-depth examination of the ideas, feelings, and actions of the person whereas coaching is a results-oriented approach that aids people in achieving certain goals.

However, both programs work to assist people in overcoming challenges and improving their quality of life.

It is crucial to remember that even while coaching and psychology take distinct tacks, both seek to aid people in overcoming challenges and achieving a higher standard of living and an overall healthier life. Both coaching and psychology are intended to help people attain their full potential and enhance their general well-being, whether via defining and accomplishing particular objectives or examining underlying mental health concerns.


10 Surprising Similarities between Coaching and Therapy 2

2. Both employ a client-centered strategy

In order to assist people in achieving their objectives and provide them the tools to identify their strengths and weaknesses, client-centered techniques have been widely employed in coaching and psychotherapy.

This method seeks to offer a therapy setting that is cozy, accepting, and empathic by placing the emphasis on the individual rather than the issue. We’ll examine the fundamental ideas behind client-centered methodologies as well as the strategies coaches and mental health professionals employ to succeed.


In Coaching

Client-centered coaching techniques see the client as the expert, in contrast to client-centered treatment. In order to enhance clients’ capacities, coaching services have adopted the person-centered approach and refers to those in need of assistance as clients rather than clinical patients.

With the coaches acting as a support system to assist the clients realize their full potential, coaching is a dynamic relationship that promotes learning, focus, growth, and performance. A client’s initial step in this process is to start determining which strategy best meets their needs.


In Therapy

An atmosphere that is supportive of transformation must be created as part of client-centered treatment. This method’s practitioners aim to give their patients the conditions—such as sincerity, congruence, unconditional positive regard, and sympathetic understanding—necessary to bring about transformation.

Client-centered therapy begins with a conversation between the client and the therapist about their present difficulties and concerns. The therapists then empathize with the patients and engage in active listening, giving the patients the opportunity to decide for themselves what is wrong and what may be done to fix it.


Goals of Client-Centered Therapy

It seeks to concentrate on the individual rather than the issue, therefore, its objectives will mostly fall into four categories:

  • assisting the client in comprehending their own thoughts and feelings
  • assisting the client in accepting accountability for their own actions and beliefs
  • fostering a sense of value and self-esteem
  • assisting the client in implementing life-changing changes

3. Both entail creating and achieving goals

Setting and accomplishing goals are two essential components of coaching and therapy that are essential in assisting people in realizing their full potential. With the correct assistance, you can maximize your efforts and obtain the results you want, whether you’re trying to conquer a particular obstacle or make good changes in your personal or professional life.


In Coaching

Working with a coach to create SMART objectives—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—is a key component of goal-setting in coaching. A coaching relationship will help you determine your objectives and assist you in formulating a strategy that will enable you to reach them.

A number of one-on-one sessions will normally be required for this process, during which the coach will assist you in defining your goals, setting realistic expectations, and identifying any barriers standing in your way.


In Therapy

Goal-setting in psychology is approached from a somewhat different angle, with the goal of assisting people in identifying and pursuing goals that are important to their mental health and wellness.

This might, for instance, contain objectives for managing depression, lowering anxiety, or overcoming a phobia. In order to help you pinpoint the areas of your life where you would want to make changes, a mental health treatment will help you analyze your ideas, feelings, and actions. Psychotherapy will then assist you in creating realistic objectives and offer support and direction as you try to realize them.


Benefits of goal-setting

Setting and attaining goals may have a variety of positive effects on people and organizations. Setting and achieving specific goals may enhance motivation, focus, and accountability for individuals. It can also provide you a sense of accomplishment and happiness when you meet your objectives.

Goal-setting may also help you develop resilience and confidence, which will help you face problems and create great changes in your life.

Setting and attaining goals may also help businesses better perform and succeed by coordinating efforts and boosting productivity. Teams may encourage a good and motivated work environment and can boost cooperation and innovation by having clear objectives and cooperating towards a common purpose.


10 Surprising Similarities between Coaching and Therapy 3


4. Both include knowledge of one’s own thoughts and feelings

Self-awareness is essential for fostering personal development. People who can better understand themselves make better decisions, come up with innovative solutions to problems, and have stronger self-esteem as a result.

Due to the fact that it serves as the basis for individual growth and achievement, this idea is a crucial component of both coaching and therapy.

The capacity to identify one’s own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, as well as how they affect other people and the environment, is known as self-awareness. It necessitates knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses, values and beliefs, and how these influence our interactions with others.


In Coaching

Self-awareness is essential to a coach’s effectiveness in their field of practice. They are able to comprehend how the client’s attitudes, feelings, and actions affect the people they are coaching. This understanding enables coaches to better comprehend their customers, improving coaching outcomes. Since self-awareness entails comprehending and controlling one’s own emotions as well as those of others, it contributes to a coach’s emotional intelligence (EQ).


In Therapy

Self-awareness is a key component of the therapeutic process in therapy practice. Therapists work to help patients comprehend their ideas, feelings, and actions as well as how these things affect their life. Improvements in decision-making, problem-solving, resolving past trauma and general wellbeing follow from this awareness.

People may better comprehend themselves and their experiences by engaging in self-reflection and self-awareness, which results in personal growth and development.


5. Both employ strategies to encourage change

Both coaching and therapy employ strategies to help people change. While therapists may use strategies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and talk therapy to help people overcome mental illness, coaches may utilize tactics like goal-setting, active listening, and positive reinforcement to help people achieve their objectives.

Coaching and psychology both aim to enable people to achieve good changes in their life, despite the disparities in method. In order to assist people in changing their habits and attitudes, coaches and therapists employ a variety of strategies.


6. Both entail establishing a rapport with the client

Both coaching and therapy emphasize the importance of developing a relationship with the client.

In both professions, the coach/therapist and the client have a collaborative relationship in which they work together to support the client in reaching their healing process and their individual objectives. The partnership is founded on transparency, trust, and a shared dedication to the person’s welfare.

Psychology and coaching both place a strong emphasis on building a relationship with the client. In both fields, the client and the coach/therapist have a collaborative relationship in which they cooperate to help the client achieve their goals. Transparency, trust, and a shared commitment to the person’s wellbeing serve as the cornerstones of the relationship.

The development of a cooperative connection between the coach/therapist and the client has various advantages. The greater level of trust that is developed between the two parties is maybe the most important of these. For the coaching or counselling process to be successful, the client must feel comfortable opening up and discussing their ideas and feelings.


10 Surprising Similarities between Coaching and Therapy 4


7. Both entail listening actively

The ability to actively listen is essential in both coaching and therapy. It is crucial in assisting clients in reaching their objectives and overcoming any mental health problems they might be having. In this post, we’ll talk about the value of active listening in coaching and therapy practice as well as its key components.


Active Listening in Coaching

In coaching relationship, it’s crucial for the coach to actively listen in order to comprehend the client’s life, identify obstacles, clarify goals and help them achieve them.

The coach must pay close attention to the client’s requirements and desires during the dialogue. This enables the coach to establish a motivating and encouraging environment to create action plans that aid the client in achieving their objectives.


Psychology’s Use of Active Listening

In psychology, active listening is essential for assisting the client in overcoming any mental illnesses they may be experiencing. In order to completely understand the client’s ideas, feelings, and actions, the therapist must be totally present in the session.


8. Both are intended to aid people in understanding themselves better

Both coaching and therapy work to give people a greater grasp of who they are and how they interact with the environment.

Through their practice, coaches and therapists assist clients in identifying their strengths and limitations and working toward accomplishing their objectives, resulting in personal development and positive transformation.

Coaches and psychologists both contribute to helping people better understand themselves in separate but complimentary ways. Coaches concentrate on assisting clients in setting and achieving particular goals as well as creating new routines and habits. They assist, encourage, and hold their customers accountable as they progress toward their objectives.

On the other side, psychotherapy concentrates on treating mental illness conditions and assisting clients in overcoming psychological difficulties and past traumas. They can identify and treat psychological ailments and employ evidence-based practices to support healing and growth.


9. Both use methods that are action-oriented

Action-oriented strategies are used in both coaching and psychology, with the purpose of assisting people in taking appropriate action to realize their objectives.

In coaching and psychology, action-oriented tactics are used to help people take the right activities to get the results they want. These techniques are used by coaches and therapists to assist clients in identifying their objectives, creating a plan of action, and taking the required actions to reach those goals. Individuals may better understand their motives and get through any roadblocks that may be standing in their way by employing action-oriented tactics.


Techniques used in coaching

Working one-on-one with a person to attain their intended objectives is a dynamic process called coaching. A number of action-oriented techniques are employed by coaches to assist their customers, including:

  • Setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) objectives is something that coaches assist their clients with. Individuals may concentrate their efforts on what is most important to them and accomplish their intended outcomes by adopting SMART objectives.
  • Action planning: Coaches assist their clients in creating a strategy for carrying out their objectives. Setting deadlines, breaking down major goals into smaller, achievable tasks, and creating a precise calendar for progress are a few examples of how to achieve this.
  • Accountability: Coaches make sure their clients take responsibility for their decisions and development. This aids people in maintaining their motivation and attention while they work toward their objectives.
  • Encouragement: Coaches help and encourage their clients as they strive toward their objectives. Even in the face of difficulties and disappointments, this enables people to maintain their motivation and focus.


Techniques used in psychology

The goal of psychology is to comprehend human thought and behavior. Psychologists employ practical techniques to assist people in resolving a range of behavioral and mental health problems. Among the methods employed in psychology are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of counseling that aims to alter unfavorable thought and behavior patterns. People who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions can utilize this strategy to aid them.
  • Exposure therapy is a strategy used to treat phobias and other anxiety problems in patients. Exposure therapy aims to assist patients in confronting and overcoming their phobias via repeated exposure.
  • Therapy that emphasizes mindfulness might help patients become more conscious of their feelings and ideas.


10. Both entail ongoing development and growth

A constant process of growth and development is present in both coaching and psychology. In coaching, the coach supports the person in setting and achieving objectives while also enticing them to keep evolving and expanding past those goals.

In psychology, the therapist collaborates with the patient to treat any mental health concerns, foster wellbeing, and promote ongoing growth and development via self-reflection and self-awareness. Both disciplines emphasize the continual nature of personal growth and strive to support people in realizing their greatest potential.


10 Surprising Similarities between Coaching and Therapy 5

How Are Coaching and Psychology Combined?

There are many ways that coaching and psychology may be used to improve an individual’s development and progress.

For instance, a coach and a psychologist could collaborate to assist a client in resolving certain mental health issues that are preventing them from moving forward. Similar to a coach, a psychologist may employ coaching methods to assist clients in establishing healthy coping strategies and achieving their objectives.

Many times, people may achieve their goals by combining coaching and psychology since they can use both disciplines’ abilities to their advantage.

A psychologist could employ psychological theories and insights to help their clients better understand themselves, whereas a coach might use coaching methods to assist their clients in coming up with workable solutions to their problems.

People can experience the numerous and diverse advantages of coaching and psychology at any point in their life. Coaching and psychology may both be crucial in supporting growth and development, whether the objective is to enhance mental health, reach personal or professional goals, or get a better knowledge of oneself.


Wrapping Up

Although coaching and psychology are separate professions, they actually have a close relationship and a lot in common. Whether it be in their personal or professional life, both aspire to aid people in their growth and development.

Both pay particular attention to helping people identify their limiting thoughts and beliefs and then find ways to change them.

Coaches and psychologists frequently employ comparable methods and strategies, such as goal-setting, introspection, and behavioral modification. To assist their clients in better understanding themselves and their requirements, they may also employ comparable assessment techniques, such as personality tests or psychiatric evaluations.



Ives, Y. (2008). What is’ Coaching’? An Exploration of Conflicting Paradigms. International journal of evidence based coaching and mentoring, 6, 100-113.

Humphreys, J. (2016). Bridging The Coaching/Therapy Divide: What Co-Active Coaches Can Learn From ACT (Acceptance And Commitment Therapy).


Bannere Patrate Coaching summit 2023


3 thoughts on “10 Surprising Similarities between Coaching and Therapy”

  1. Pingback: History of Hypnosis and Origins of Hypnotherapy

  2. Pingback: Suffering from Depression or Major depressive Disorder?

  3. Pingback: The Art & Science of Hypnosis: Unlocking Subconscious Power

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.