I saw a troubling Facebook recently. A woman claiming to be a life coach said her client is no longer suicidal after working with her for three months (no mention of a therapist or other mental health professional).


This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a coach making potentially dangerous promises, but it was definitely the most egregious.

The truth is, any coach worth her salt will not promise or agree to help you process trauma or treat mental illness.

Coaches help clients make life changes. The process may involve some amount of reflection (to identify the triggers and limiting beliefs keeping a client stuck), however, coach’s work is largely future focused.

Only a licensed health care provider should delve deep into past wounds, provide medical advice, or engage in patient diagnosis.

Therapy takes a person from hurting to surviving.
Coaching takes them from surviving to thriving.

If a coach doesn’t explain to the difference between coaching and therapy, walk away. If you express that you are depressed or are otherwise suffering and the coach doesn’t refer you to a therapist, walk away.

Life coaches who are “treating” people with mental health issues are giving coaching a bad name. They are harming the profession and harming their clients. Period.

Please be cautious when choosing a coach. Ask them about their boundaries and how they can and cannot help. Don’t entrust your mental health to someone who isn’t actually trained to care for it.

If you have any questions about hiring a coach or when it’s better to seek therapy, hit reply and ask. I’m happy to give you feedback without a sales pitch.