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What Life Coaching Isn’t

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Recap – A Life Coach

Welcome back! Previously we shared what life coaching is – in the post, What is Life Coaching? A quick recap: A Life Coach can help you overcome fear and limiting beliefs, see your talents and gifts, and find purpose when you feel lost. They work with you as if walking shoulder to shoulder, and you lead the way.

A person covering their face as if feeling emotional.
A person covering their face as if feeling emotional. Photo by Julia Taubitz on Unsplash

What A Life Coach Isn’t

A Life Coach typically is not a counsellor or a therapist. I am a Flourishing Centre, certified Life Coach, and I was trained to work with people in a positive, moving forward way. If the sessions begin to take a focus about feelings of sadness and depression, or suicidal ideations, I have been trained it may be time for me to suggest that you speak to a qualified professional.

David J. Ley wrote an article featured in Psychology Today, where he discussed this topic. As a psychologist, he warns of some potential dangers that can arise such as a lack of training and support when supporting someone that could be contemplating suicide. There are also possible legal implications if something goes wrong, and a lack of supportive supervision.

A picture of a person's arm with an arow pointing N for North.
A picture of a person’s arm with an arow pointing N, by Natalie Rhea on Unsplash

At the Flourishing Center, Life Coaches are trained in a philosophy that says, “North of neutral” which means from life is good to great. Unless they are a counselor and discuss how they will shift between counselling and coaching, they don’t dig in the past or work on trauma. When we partner with anyone for the first time, we talk about this in more detail.

No Prescriptions or Dogma

A Life Coach doesn’t usually prescribe things for you to do or assign reading or homework. They don’t offer opinions because of the belief that the client has everything they need within themselves. This can feel strange at first because we are all to often used to being given advice by well meaning people in our life. Over time, people find that using their intuition and making their own choices is empowering and freeing.

Trauma Coach

A mentor of mine runs a Trauma Coaching Academy and trains Life Coach’s to work with people that are Trauma Survivors. What do they do? The Parish Coaching website says, “We are excited to offer the world’s first and original Trauma Recovery Coaching Certification program.” They share an article that explains the difference between coaching and therapy and you can find it here if you are interested. She is changing the world for trauma survivors!


A Life Coach help’s people by working with them in the present moment and setting future goals. Unless they are a counselor and discuss how they will shift between counselling and coaching, they do not dig in the past or take on the role of a counsellor. A life coach doesn’t give advice and usually doesn’t assign homework. When you work with a coach, you set the direction and lead the way. We walk shoulder to shoulder in a partnership through this journey of life together.

A picture of a painted rock with a rainbow on it that says: Have a Fantastic Day.
Picture of a painted rock. by Gina Johnson.


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