Therapist or Coach? The Value of Being a Client


May 14, 2020

2020, is a weird one for sure. We continue to enter a time where many of us are “waking up.”  What I mean by that is many of us are becoming students of life, becoming curious and conscious of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, interpersonal skills…ect.  If you are reading this and don’t know what the hell I’m talking about that’s okay too, you’re exactly where you need to be.

 Hell, some of you reading this might be the first in your family to begin to uncover generational trauma, identify your experience and put yourself first.  While we honor the people that came before us who maybe didn’t have access to the resources many of us do now, it’s the simple truth that we are overloaded with information and advertised solutions at our fingertips. By simply, downloading Instagram and following a solid ( solid meaning from an accredited professional)  account, BAM free therapeutic coaching tidbits and interventions comin atchya live every day, it’s a beautiful thing……but there are two sides to the coin here.  

What happens when you’re laying in bed scrolling away and maybe you read something that truly resonates with you, it could be a quote or a story that hits you right in the gut but you’re not sure how to process it.  That’s where a support person like a therapist, coach, insightful friend or trusted family member comes in.

While working as a therapist and a coach I’ve realized that in order to truly show up for my own clients and myself, I would need to learn how to become the client. I’ve gone to therapy my whole life and I’ve always been open and vocal. As a kid I remember the cool snacks (nutter butters for life) and the white board in the office; as a teen I would attend sessions when I was in “crisis” or when I remembered. As of late I’ve realized how my relationship to being the client has changed. I look forward to my sessions, dive into the tough stuff and try my best to give the most so I can get the most out of my sessions. For me, I think this show’s how much my self worth has evolved.  What’s been your experience being the client? Maybe you’ve never been the client but you’re feeling ready to dabble. There is no right way to get support, it’s perfectly fine to start with talking to someone close to you in your life that you trust.

In a world of healers, therapists, coaches, guides and advocates you might not know where to start.  I believe no matter where you are in life, we all deserve to be the client at some point.  My hope is to make seeking guidance and help feel a bit less overwhelming and way more exciting. 

Here are some of the key differences between therapists and coaches to help guide your towards finding your fit.


  • Often focuses on uncovering patterns of the past manifesting in the “ here and now” 

  • Requires masters or doctorate. 

  • Many different modalities to choose from (talk therapy, EMDR, hypnosis, psychoanalysis CBT….ect). 

  • Often draws on evidence based treatment

  • Focused on problem solving techniques for anxiety, depression…ect

  • Therapists are often less likely to share their own personal story due to code of ethics and how it may affect therapeutic relationships.

  • Many therapists focus on childhood.


  • No degree requirements, however many receive accredited certifications. 

  • Provides ongoing support, often future focused, goal oriented.

  • Focused on increasing your confidence and reaching future goals

  • Focuses on helping you reach your goals and holding you accountable 

  • A coach might be more forthcoming about their own personal experiences to offer inspiration and diffuse shame.

  • Often short term and solution focused.

Key Similarities 

  • Therapist and coaches can work to help you remove emotional blocks.

  • Both provide safe space for their clients.

  • All coaches and therapists have their own personal style and approach. 

  • Both are dedicated to helping clients cultivate more meaning in their lives.

  • Therapists and coaches often specialize their work towards one population or area.

  • Coaches and therapists are solution focused.

  • Both work towards changing negative patterns and developing healthy behaviors.

** pro tip: Remember this is a collaborative process, in order to find the right fit for you, schedule free calls with multiple people to get a feel for the vibe of the person you are thinking about working with.  Your role as the potential client gives  you permission to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable going forward!* 

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