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Life Counseling

Life coaching is a practice with the stated aim of helping clients determine and achieve personal goals. Life coaches use multiple methods they say may help clients with the process of setting and reaching goals. Coaching is not targeted at psychological illness, and coaches are not therapists nor consultants.

Origins and history

Life coaching has roots in executive coaching, which itself drew on techniques developed in management consulting and leadership training. Life coaching also draws inspiration from disciplines including sociology, psychology, positive adult development, career counseling, mentoring, and other types of counseling. The coach may believe that they apply mentoring, values assessment, behavior modification, behavior modeling, goal-setting, and other techniques in helping their clients.


Coaching vs therapy

Supporters of life coaching say that even though coaching and therapy have similarities, they are not the same thing. Coaching and therapy both focus on helping clients discover their own solutions. Some types of therapy are more similar to life coaching than others. Some therapies are problem-focused, like treatment of a phobia or addiction. Treatment typically ceases when the symptoms disappear or become manageable for the client. Analysis is another type of therapy. It is long-term and works at uncovering the roots of issues—understanding the client’s emotional history and possible past psychological trauma—in order to enable the client to move forward. Thus, there are a wide variety of therapeutic options, ranging from quick and narrowly focused to long and broad-scoped and everything in between, but all are regulated in some countries.

Those life coaches who are part of the evidenced-based coaching movement support the use of coaching techniques based on proven concepts in clinical psychology/counseling. Coaching techniques, like based on the work of Alfred Adler, Gestalt Coaching is based on Gestalt psychology and Reality Coaching based on the work of William Glasser, are emerging based on traditional counselling approaches.

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