What is coaching and what is NOT?

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

I get asked many times about the difference between #coaching and #therapy, so I thought I'd explain the #differences between these various roles / professions. For the sake of simplicity I will use the term "coach" or coaching" when I refer to a "professional coach" who has been trained and is skilled in coaching.


Let's start by defining what #coaching is: it is "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential." This definition comes from the International Coach Federation (#ICF), which also describes what the coaching relationship is: a relationship that is established by the professional coach and the client(s)/sponsor(s) under an agreement or a contract that defines the responsibilities and expectations of each party. There are many other definitions for coaching but the underlining factors for a professional coaching relationship are:

  • conducted by a trained / accredited coach and

  • the engagement has an agreed and signed contract, (it has clear boundaries)

  • has a time-frame, (a beginning and an end)