For people seeking help with their lives and careers there are, fortunately, a variety of choices. Coaching, consulting and therapy all provide valuable services. The question is, how do you decided which type of help is best for you? The professional you choose depends upon what you are seeking to change and where you are starting from. Knowing the difference in the types of service provided is crucial to choosing a good match for you.

Since I’m a coach, I’ll start by comparing coaching with consulting, and then coaching with therapy.

Consultants vs Coaches
Consultants are hired to advise clients about how to solve problems. Typically, they are hired by businesses looking for solutions that they have not been able to discover themselves and need an expert analysis and action plan in order to move forward. Consultants are focused on results, as they are hired to provide a certain desired outcome that the business is looking for.

Coaches, on the other hand, guide their clients to their own solutions and are focused on people. They are hired to support the client as he or she achieves a certain outcome. A business coach will help you clarify your vision for your business and work with you to set goals and identify the actions required to meet those goals. Some business coaches are also consultants, so if you are looking for business help, be sure to be clear about what type of help you want.

Therapists vs Coaches
Therapists work with clients that need professional help to work towards healing, recovery and issue resolution. They are experts in medical and behavioral sciences, trained to treat diagnosable conditions. Therapists are required to keep their personal feelings and thoughts removed from their patients to provide professional objectivity.

Coaches work with clients who want a detached partner to help them evolve and enhance their lives. They start with where the client is and assist them in moving forward from there. Coaches sometimes use personal disclosure as a tool to help and challenge their clients.

Coaches absolutely do not work with people who are suffering from diagnosable conditions or addictions and should refer someone with those issues to a qualified therapist.

In choosing the professional most suited to you, think about what you need to best suit your situation.

If you want expert business advice to get your business or company running smoothly, efficiently and increasing in profits, a consultant may be your best choice.

If you have had a history of trauma, abuse, addiction or severe emotional extremes, a therapist would be best qualified to help you.

If you want someone who will help you get crystal clear on your vision, support and guide you to get in touch with your own inner answers, work with you to craft a plan of inspired action and support you as you move forward to achieve your goals and dreams, whether professionally or personally, a coach would be an excellent choice.

Being clear on the type of help you need will save you in frustration and lost time.

Author's Bio: 

Known as America's Life Purpose Coach™, Estra Roell is a certified Law of Attraction Life Coach and PSYCH-K® facilitator. Her passion is in helping people gain clarity on their passions and purpose and empowering them to move into inspired action to reach their goals using a variety of powerful processes.

Estra is a host on Blogtalk Radio's Coach Café and is a co-author of the books, 101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career and How to Create a Rich, Successful and Fulfilling Life: Dynamic Tools for Overcoming Obstacles and Creating Rapid Transformation. She is also the creator of an online coaching program, Living on Purpose: 12 Steps to Loving Monday Morning
To receive her Life Purpose Newsletter, free report on Visioning and Goal Setting and to learn more, visit

Listen to Coach Café episodes at