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Why Coaching?


May 28, 2024

People have been asking, “Why Coaching?” Perhaps coaching is what fits your situation the best, or vice versa. To determine whether or not coaching is right for your situation depends on a number of factors.

According to some counselors, 75% of what they do is really coaching instead of therapy. This leaves a lot of room for other forms of care.

Coaching As A Level of Care

Let’s talk about levels of care. The lowest level is Self-Help. This is where a person consumes books, other reading online, or podcasts to better themselves in some way. The consumer is also left to their own interpretations and conclusions about the information. This is the least expensive level of care.

The second level is Presentation where someone is teaching you in a live class or an online course. At this level, there may be some interaction to gain more clarity from the teacher about the material, but perhaps not (think pre-recorded).

The third level is Guidance. At this level, you get your questions answered because there is more ability to interact (individual or group format) with the coach. The coach is there to help you achieve a specific goal or transformation.

The highest level is Specialized. At this level, there is maximum 1:1 interaction. It is expected that you will receive answers to your questions and further explanations at this level. This level of care, counseling or therapy, will involve a lot of time and effort toward the goals that the client wants to achieve. This is often the most expensive level of care (for our purposes, and excluding intensives, residential treatment or hospitalization).

coaching as a level of care

Then there is the Mental Health Continuum Model that describes mental well-being on a continuum, and not simply the absence of mental illness symptoms. The four stages of the Mental Health Continuum are Thriving, Surviving, Struggling, and Crisis.

When you consider these two models together, you can see that different levels of care can be applied to different levels of functioning. Coaching can address a variety of subjects. It’s really about the transformation you want to experience. It can be about new habits or skills, training in a specific area, mentoring, building confidence, better communication, or finding direction. 

The severity of symptoms also impacts the choice of level of care. A coaching client will have a less severe set of symptoms. Sometimes, they just need someone to bounce ideas off of about their life.


The two biggest differences between coaching and therapy are time and cost.


The time commitment between therapy and coaching is vastly different. The average coaching arrangement runs 6 to 12 weeks. The minimum therapy stint is around 12 weeks and can last years depending on the topic.


Due to the difference in time involved in therapy vs coaching, the cost also varies. Since coaching lasts a number of weeks, it is pretty easy to determine the cost up front. With therapy, it is difficult to know the total cost up front because the amount of sessions involved is unknown. Where coaching may cost hundreds, therapy may cost thousands.

Insurance pays for therapy (if it falls under the medical necessity category), but not coaching. Therefore this can be a major factor in a clients choice of provider.

Related: Coaching vs. Therapy


At Thrivology, we have added coaching to address a level of care that we were missing. Making the decision to engage in therapy or coaching is not to be taken lightly. However, both are well worth it when addressing the right issues. If you have further questions, call us today.

Todd Call
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