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Trauma-Informed Coaching vs Therapy


Navigating the path of healing and growth after trauma can be a profound journey, and seeking the right support is crucial. Trauma-informed coaching and therapy are two valuable approaches that offer distinct benefits for individuals dealing with trauma.

Coaching vs Therapy

Coaching can be defined in many ways and vary depending on what type of coaching is taking place. They support a person in becoming who they want to be, help them make changes to achieve their goals, and builds awareness and empowers choice. Coaches typically focus on the present and future.

A therapist works with clients seeking relief from psychological symptoms. They deal with the client's mental health, often treating the mental illness through the diagnosis. Often symptoms are attempted to be managed through talking about the past. The goal in therapy is to move away from pain rather than moving towards a goal.

A Trauma-Informed Approach

Not all coaches or therapists are trauma-informed. Trauma-informed care is present when the coach or therapist understands what trauma is, how it presents in the client, and they know how to respond to it in a manner that does not increase the potential for harm.

Trauma-informed coaching is the bridge between typical therapy and coaching as it seeks to understand the past and how it influences the client's present moment and future goals. By incorporating a somatic approach to coaching (somatic meaning "of the body"), the coach can address the trauma by using tools to regulate the nervous system, cope with psychological and emotional effects of trauma, and addressing the body's reaction to trauma.


Coaching is a goal-oriented therapy which focuses on objective changes through achievement of goals, behavior changes, and overall self-improvement. Therefore, coaching length can vary depending on what each individual wishes to achieve. Through accountability expectations and continued work in between session, the progress made depends on the amount of effort put into achieving those goals.

Traditional therapy may be short-term or long-term, but is more likely to be based on subjective measures instead of meeting a milestone which signifies the end of therapy or focus on a new goal. This subjectivity is due to the nature of talk therapy as it is client directed and may take longer to get to the root causes of an issue. Other methods used by therapists may have varying results, but different therapists use different combinations of methods to work with their clients.


Trauma-informed coaching is suitable for individuals who have experienced trauma and are seeking support in their healing process with actionable steps to bring it into their life. It is a viable option for those who wish to build resilience, develop coping skills, and set goals for a fulfilling life after trauma.

Therapy is a good solution for individuals with significant mental health concerns or diagnosis, such as bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, severe depression which includes suicidal ideations, etc. Of course individuals with less serious concerns can see a therapist, but those with severe concerns would be best suited with a therapist vs a coach.

Trauma-informed coaching and traditional therapy are both valuable resources for individuals on their healing journey after trauma. The decision between the two depends on the level of support needed, the specific goals of the individual, and their comfort with the coaching or therapeutic approach.

Trauma-informed coaching offers an empowering and supportive space for individuals to explore their traumas, build resilience, and set meaningful goals for their post-trauma life. Meanwhile, therapy delves deep into emotional processing and healing to address mental health challenges.

Whichever path you choose, remember that seeking professional support is a significant step in your healing process. Empower yourself with the right tools and guidance, and embark on a journey of healing, growth, and resilience.

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