Differences Between Therapists and Coaches

There are therapists who work with clients who have eating disorders. There are Eating Disorder Recovery and Life Coaches.

What’s the difference?

The role of a coach is to be a sounding board, motivator, friend, mentor, teacher, taskmaster and spiritual guide (International Coaching Federation 2012 Study).

An Eating Disorder Therapist can diagnose.

Therapists have specialized training in helping people work through the underlying issues behind problematic beliefs, behaviors, issues or emotions. Eating Disorder Therapist
  • Diagnose illness and co-existing disorder so it can be clinically treated
  • Focus on recovery from Past Traumas
  • Help clients explore “Why” underlying behaviors might have developed
  • Develop understanding of behavior that motivates change
  • Focus on Exploration for deep Understanding/Change behavior
  • Responsible for ongoing assessment, establishing treatment goals and carrying out the overall treatment plan
  • Understanding problem vs solution focused
  • Healthcare Professional
  • Therapy sessions are generally an hour and take place in an office setting

An Eating Disorder Recovery and Life Coach will help clarify your vision of recovery.

Coaches help you develop healthy coping skills and help you make peace with food. Eating Disorder Recovery Life Coach
  • Does not diagnose conditions or treat them. Instead coaches help support the work and goals of the therapeutic relationship.
  • Work on the “here and now” helping clients accomplish day-to-day behavior challenges and struggles
  • Work on moving forward. Focus on finding solutions and “how” to work toward a goal
  • Work with you to uncover blocks that are holding you back from moving forward in the process
  • Work to Improve Performance/Results/Action
  • Solution Focused
  • Gives Direction
  • Not necessarily a Healthcare Professional
  • Coaching sessions can be held anywhere – by phone, in-person or video-conferencing.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer