• Allison Micke Orlovsky

Therapy vs. Coaching - What's the Difference?

I’m a coach and get asked all the time what the difference between coaching and therapy is.

Well, if you’ve got the same question – read on!

If you want a more theoretical answer, let me know, but I prefer to explain it through my story:

I’m a coach. It’s not just what I do now, but who I am. Soon after starting my coach training program, I realized I had unofficially been coaching people long before coaching became a “thing”.

People share with me. I have people’s deepest darkest secrets locked into my heart. Some are beautiful, some are heart-breaking and all are powerful because they come from their heart.

Some of these people were friends and close co-workers; some were almost-strangers or acquaintances – teachers at my kids’ day-care that asked me for coffee, co-workers that I only worked with occasionally.

And they often would say something like: “Thank you for listening. Thank you for giving me some perspective without telling me what to do. Thank you for being a safe space where I didn’t feel judged. Thank you for letting me share that; I’ve never told anyone about that before. Thanks for giving me some things to think about.”

This is who I am. That’s what lights me up inside – being able to love on people in that way. I’ve done it for decades.

And then one day four years ago, I walked out of my C-level job. I thought I’d just find another job, but when the offers were on the table, I realized I didn’t want to go back into that world. After spending months trying to figure out what I DID want to do or be with no success, I hired a coach to help me.

And my life changed dramatically – and not just in my career. It changed in every single aspect. I believe I am a completely different person than I was 4 years ago, in all ways and in the best ways.

And here’s the thing: My coaches have guided me, supported me, challenged me, encouraged me, reminded me of what I truly wanted, held me accountable to my own commitments, loved me, and so much more, but I’ve done all the work.

I became the woman I am because I dug deep, because I got curious about myself, my life, what I actually wanted, because I wanted to be a different person.

Ultimately, I paid a coach, but I invested in ME! I’ve invested not just money, but time and energy and emotion.

And I’ll tell you it’s worth it. Before coaching, I couldn’t even conceptualize the woman I am today or the life I live. I have more confidence, more patience, more creativity, more freedom (in my head, in my heart and in my "real life"). I realize all the ways that I can control my life and have let go of being a victim to the circumstances around me. This is the very short list; the full list is long.

And yes, I’m now a coach, too. (I specifically help people in long term-relationship to re-ignite, reconnect and reinvent their relationships; how I got there is a story for another day). So here’s what I want you to know about coaching (and how it’s different from therapy):

Therapy heals the past. Consulting fixes the present. COACHING CREATES THE FUTURE!

Yes, you might have to pop back to the past for a bit, to get some context, understand the story, but you don’t live there. Coaching works to move you toward the person you want to BE and the life you want to live (and helping you figure that out!)

If you’re curious if coaching might be supportive for you, drop a comment or send me a DM or email at allison@forloveofyou. I’ve built some amazing relationships with some powerhouse coaches that I can refer to you to get the specific type of coaching that will be most helpful to you!

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