Coaching and Career Counseling

What is the difference between a Psychotherapist and a Life Coach?

Psychotherapists have completed a graduate degree, spent thousands of hours in supervised internship, and pass two rigorous State Board examinations to obtain full licensure. Psychotherapy in California is regulated by the State’s Board of Behavioral Sciences, and every licensed practitioner must adhere to the State’s legal and ethical regulations in order to maintain licensure. Psychotherapists are trained to work with mental health diagnoses, trauma, family issues, relationships. They are considered mental health professionals and as such may accept insurance or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) payments. They are required to attend continuing education, including mandatory law and ethics courses.

Life Coaching remains a relatively new and mostly unregulated industry. Some Life Coaches go through specialized training and obtain certification, however, there are no educational or licensure requirements. Coaches are not trained to identify or treat mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety. They may work with clients over the phone, or through video.

From GoodTherapy.org:
“Coaches work with people who are basically healthy and functional but not reaching their full potential. Coaching almost always addresses an individual’s mindset and attitude by uncovering self-limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. A person being coached is assumed to have all the answers they need within them; the coach’s job is to facilitate the discovery of those answers by asking the right questions.” Diann Wingert, LCSW and Certified Coach

Both psychotherapists and coaches help you set and achieve goals, identify obstacles, and offer support and accountability. Which type of helper to choose depends on what you are looking for. DelRioTherapy’s Director, Tammy Fletcher, LMFT, has both a State license to practice psychotherapy in California, and coaching certification to work with clients in any location on specific issues unrelated to mental health, like goal setting, time management, habit reversal, and career counseling.

Please contact us with any questions you have about therapy or coaching services.