Life Coaching: Do You Need It and Can You Do It Yourself?


Your savings have tanked and your business is in the toilet. It’s no surprise that mental health professionals are in demand. But do you really need professional help? And if so, what should it be? A therapist or a life coach?

Alice Donavin is a  Professional Life Coach and Psychotherapist, describes the difference:

“A therapist works to heal the wounds of the past while a life coach works to effect change in your current behavior and help you move your life forward.”

Who’s up for both? I’ve heard about five times this week about people working harder than ever to keep the job or business they’ve got. Can you afford not to invest in yourself?

Why Hire a Life Coach?

Life coaching is a relatively new discipline that draws on psychology, sociology, positive adult development, and other types of counseling. Life coaches use value assessment, behavior modification, persuasion, suggestion, reassurance, goal-setting, and instruction to help you see yourself and your problems more realistically and cope more effectively.

Donavin says to consider hiring a life coach if:

  • You’ve always defined yourself by your job and/or assets:
    • Your identity has always been defined by your net worth … now what?
    • Your identity has been wrapped up in your job … now you may not have one, or fear you may lose your position and/or company
    • You aren’t sure what is important to you anymore … and “material goods & stuff” used to be a top priority
  • You’re stuck in an endless loop:
    • You keep having the same argument with your spouse/child/significant other with no resolution
    • You repeat behavior that never works, never gets you anywhere
    • You keep making the same lousy choices
  • You’re having a really hard time:
    • You’re contemplating divorce or separation
    • You’re coping with a death, divorce, illness, aging parents, adolescent kids, or all of the above
    • Your personal/work life is a disaster and nothing you try helps
  • You’re just not yourself:
    • You can’t remember what it’s like to feel confident
    • Self-help books and all their good ideas have stopped helping
    • Your sad days are turning into sad weeks/months
    • You worry about how worried you are
    • Enough is never enough for you

DIY Coaching

Plunking down cash for professional services may seem extravagant right now. Can you coach yourself toward success? Check out these resources:

Coach Yourself to Succes: 101 Tips From a Personal Coach for Reaching Your Goals at Work and in Life, by Talane Miedaner

Character Makeover: 40 Days with a Life Coach to Create the Best You, by Katie Brazelton and Shelley Leith

Life Coach in a Box: A Motivational Kit for Making the Most Out of Life, by Carol Stanton and Katy Dockril

Danavin encourages life coaching as an efficient, cost-effective, and long term solution to what ails you. Whether you shell out for professional guidance or go the DIY route, any investment has got beat the DIA.