What is life coaching?
Life coaching, or wellness coaching, is a process designed to equip you with the tools, motivation, and inspiration to maximize your personal and professional potential.
Life coaches are typically sought out to help with specific projects, goals, or transitions. Your life coach will help you:
Identify and create a vision for what you want
Build an action plan that’s perfectly tailored to you
Develop the tools you need to move past any challenges standing in the way of your goals
The underlying purpose of life coaching is to encourage self-discovery and move those discoveries into action.
What can a life coach help you with?
Life coaches work with clients to improve many aspects of their lives, from personal goals and relationships to health.
Your life coach is dedicated to maximizing your potential as an individual, so the program will be tailored to your specific needs and goals.
What’s the difference between life coaching and therapy?
Traditional psychotherapy and life coaching differ in the following ways:
Client background: Unlike with traditional psychotherapists, life coaches don’t typically counsel, or analyze the past.
Credentials: The title “Life Coach” is not regulated, so essentially anyone can be a life coach.
Note: Some life coaches do choose to receive training from the ICF (International Coach Federation).
Life coaches aren't trained in clinical treatment (unless they were previously therapists, or have both therapy and life coaching practices).
Life coaches cannot and do not diagnose mental health conditions.
However, therapy and life coaching are similar in the following ways:
Both approaches aim to help you identify, and move past, self-limiting behavior – such as negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself.
Both are designed to help you tap into and unleash your inner potential. Therapy takes you from negative to around zero or above; coaching takes you to infinity, and helps you reach goals beyond what you thought you could achieve on your own.
Sessions are structured, consistent, and geared towards specific behavioral outcomes.
How effective is life coaching?
Studies have found that life coaching may, in certain situations:
Individuals may find that the right life coach can help them determine their goals, and learn to boost their self-confidence in critical areas.
Who should consider life coaching?
Anyone looking to make positive change in any aspect of their life. For instance, you might consider looking for a life coach if you:
Feel stuck in your career, and need some guidance on how to move forward
Are unable to strike a good work-life balance
Are unclear about what to do about a major life decision, like a promotion or move
Aren’t as healthy as you’d like to be
Are tired of repeating the same patterns in seemingly all of your relationships and situations
Are dealing with a lot of stress
What is working with a life coach like?
Your life coach will work with you to determine your specific goals, as well as how to overcome any habits or patterns standing between you and the version of yourself you’d like to be.
Most clients work with a life coach between eight and 16 sessions, before cutting back to six weeks or less to maintain progress.
Because you’ll be working towards specific goals, you may be required to do homework assignments between coaching sessions. These might include journaling or doing tasks that bring you one step closer to your goal.
Your coach will provide you with advice and guidance, while holding you accountable for reaching your goals.
How much does life coaching cost?
Sessions with a life coach may range from $80 to $300 per session, or $1,000 a month, depending on factors like location and frequency of sessions.
What should I look for in a life coach?
As with therapy, life coaching isn’t one-size-fits-all experience. Your personal fit with the life coach is often the most important factor.
Since there’s no single, required credential for the title “Life Coach,” make sure you’re searching on a verified platform (such as Zencare, where our clinicians have been vetted by our team to ensure highest quality care).
Find Life Coaches and Therapists Near You
Find life coaches and therapists on Zencare, below. Search by insurance, fees, and location; watch therapist introductory videos; and book free initial calls to find the right therapist for you!
New to therapy? Learn about how to find a therapist here.