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Life coaches promise to sort out your life and may seem very much like a psychologist. However, the two professions are very different. Here, we look at how they differ, and examine which professional may be best for you.

Life Coaches are everywhere these days. They are the people in immaculate suits who offer, for the not-inconsiderable hourly fee of up to $300 dollars, to tell you how to achieve career and life satisfaction. The Life Coach aims to work with you to develop your abilities, recognize your dreams and overcome challenges to help you improve all areas of your life: personal, interpersonal, and professional.

That sounds a lot like a psychologist

It does. A psychological therapist is a professional who also works with you to improve all areas of your personal and interpersonal life. There are even occupational psychologists who specialize in helping you overcome challenges that interfere with your working life.

However, people instinctively know that there is a difference between the two professionals, with many people more willing to see a Life Coach than a psychologist. A Life Coach is not a psychologist, and there are many differences between the two professions. So where do Life Coaches and psychologists differ, and where are they similar.

Life Coach Skills

One of the key skills a Life Coach can have is confidence. Although the ability to listen is an important part of the job, a Life Coach needs the confidence to challenge clients and to push them to chase their ambitions. They must be open-minded and non-judgmental, and have the necessary interpersonal skills to bond with clients from all backgrounds.

Working With A Life Coach

A Life Coach will want to explore your ambitions, as well as anything that is getting in the way of you achieving those goals and ambitions. After each session with a Life Coach, you will be given homework assignments to work on before your next session. These assignments may include writing a journal or an action plan.

As you work with your Life Coach, they will offer advice and support, and make you accountable when you don't reach the goals you set. This gives you the drive to push you to achieve those goals.

Life Coaching usually takes place over a period of several months. However, this may be contracted or expanded depending on the number of goals you have, how difficult they are to achieve, and the frequency of meetings with your Life Coach.

A Life Coach is not required to adhere to any level of qualification in many countries (including the UK and the USA). Anyone can say they are a Life Coach.

Hiring A Life Coach

If you want to hire a Life Coach, check the member registry of the International Coach Federation. Regardless of your location, you should be able to find a Coach close to you. Members of the International Coach Federation will have at least a minimal amount of theoretical and practical experience.

Always trust your instincts when you meet your Coach, and don't arrange any subsequent appointments if you don't feel they are right for you.
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