Posted by Russ Irwin

Posted on 23rd Jun, 2016

Coaching or TherapyWith my Ph.D. in Psychology and over 9 years of experience as an executive and business success coach, I have a unique perspective on the similarities and differences between therapy and coaching.

Both are valid approaches to achieve a better understanding of yourself and reach your goals; seeking one or the other is a matter of your specific desires and situation. Many coaches end up doing some therapy work (if they are qualified) and many therapists end up doing some coaching work, so the lines are not hard and fast. However, in general terms we can look at therapy vs. coaching in the following framework:

Key Elements of Therapy

  • Assumes the client needs healing
  • Roots in medicine, psychiatry
  • Works with people to achieve self-understanding and emotional healing
  • Focuses on feeling and past events, as well as dysfunction
  • Explores the root of problems
  • Works to bring the unconscious into consciousness
  • Works for internal resolution of pain and to let go of old patterns

If you want to address essential elements of your past, receive help for a mental illness, or achieve emotional healing, then therapy is for you.

Key Elements of Coaching

  • Assumes the client is whole
  • Roots in sports, business, personal growth venues
  • Works to move people to a higher level of functioning
  • Focuses on actions, the future, and development
  • Focuses on solving problems
  • Works with the conscious mind
  • Works for external solutions to overcome barriers, learn new skills, and implement effective choices

If you want to be strengthened, challenged, and accelerate towards the life you have been dreaming of, then coaching is for you.

Top 3 Benefits of a Coach

Some people will benefit more from therapy, others from coaching. Or as I mentioned – a combination of both.

The top three benefits of having a personal or executive coach are:

  1. Coaching provides a way to help you break through the setbacks and limiting beliefs that have held you from your dreams.
  2. Coaching will help you emphasize your strengths and talents allowing you to release your true potential.
  3. Coaching provides you with the necessary talents to map out where you want to go, the strategy to get you there, and the guidance to leave all constraints behind while you build your extraordinary life.

No matter how successful you are or how fulfilled you feel with life, there is always room to be more than what you have become. The results are incredible.


Irwin & Associates coaching will help you achieve lasting personal and professional transformations in alignment with your goals and dreams. Take your first step now at a complimentary consultation.

Take THE most accurate, in-depth business and personality profile available: The Innermetrix Profile.

Like this? You might also like:

Russ Irwin

About Russ Irwin

Russ is a highly sought after executive and business coach due to his unique qualifications and talents, including 17 years of entrepreneurial success, over 9 years of executive coaching experience, as well as a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Master’s in Behavioural Sciences. Russ is also an experienced international keynote conference and seminar speaker.