The Difference Between a Divorce Coach and a Therapist
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By Aaron, Guest Author - February 09, 2014 - Updated July 05, 2016

Fotolia_49158838_XS.jpgAs a marriage counselor in Westminster, CO I see a lot of couples on the brink of divorce. It's a common thing for couples to come to me in a sort of last chance effort to save their marriage. Fortunately, there are a lot of times when I'm able to help them turn their marriage around and resolve difficulties they're having. However, there are also unfortunate times when the couple is unable to repair their marriage and they end up opting for a divorce.   

After a couple or individual decides to divorce, there are several possible options. For a lot of people, these options include hiring a divorce coach or a therapist to help them transition through the divorce and come out successfully on the other side. But a lot of people feel stuck and don't now the difference between a divorce coach or a therapist to help them decide. 

The two professions are very different. And it's important to know the difference in their scope of practice and in their purposeso you'll know which one to pick for what.  Below are three fundamental differences between counselors and life coaches.

1) A Therapist is Licensed. In order to be a therapist, you have to have at least 6 years of schooling after high school, pass state licensing exams and keep a current license. Therapists are regulated by state boards. Some therapists prescribe medications. Therapists also identify mental health disorders and help people to overcome them and the challenges that come as a result of them. 

Being a divorce coach doesn't require official schooling, although some may be certified by independent schools. Most states do not have licensing standards for divorce coaches and divorce coaches are not regulated by stated boards. Divorce coaches do not identify mental health difficulties and are therefore usually for people already in good mental health and in need of a little extra help in identifying and pursuing life goals. 

Whenever you're researching therapists or coaches make sure to check out their credentials, specialties and whether you feel they'd be a good fit for you. 

2) A Divorce Coach Walks You Through the Practicalities of Divorce. Divorce coaches understand the process of divorce and what to expect along the way. They help you prepare for the practical steps necessary to help you accomplish what you want from the divorce.  They may give you advice and direction on what to do. 

A therapist does not help in the practical, step by step process of divorce. Therapists will help you identify intra-and inter-personal challenges that you're feeling as a reuslt of divorce and will help you to overcome them.  Therapists can also  help you identify and resolve difficulties you're having with family members in the process of the divorce as well and help you mend those relationships. 

3) A Therapist Digs Deeper To Help You Identify and Resolve Difficulties.  A Divorce Coach will help you to feel empowered through the process of the divorce and give you an objective point of view to help you gain understanding and perspective. This understanding and perspective as well as the empowerment is intentended to propel you into the next steps necessary for you to move in the direction of your goals. 

A therapist on the other hand, digs deeper into difficulties that you're having, helps you find their genesis and helps you resolve them so they're no longer holding you back. They help you identify patterns of thought and behavior that hold you back in several arenas so that you can fix them and move forward with new more effective pattern in various arenas of your life.

Depending on the situation, at times you need a therapist and at times you need a divorce coach. By identifying which one you need, you can help yourself move on with the process of divorce in the right direction you need. Whether it's simply identifying goals or helping you through mental health difficulties, you can find a life coach or a therapist that is right for you. 

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