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What is the difference between coaching and therapy?

Casual Meeting

On average it takes a Clinical Psychologist ten years to train from undergraduate to completing their clinical doctorate. They are therefore experts in providing a range of evidence based psychological therapies. Psychologists do not prescribe medication though- unlike psychiatrists. 



Therapy is usually sought out when someone wants to reduce unwanted symptoms that are affecting how they function in their everyday life. Some common difficulties that people seek therapy for are: anxiety, low mood, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, trauma symptoms, complex grief and adjusting to difficult life events.


There are many different types of therapists who provide therapy. Many will just be trained in one type of therapy i.e. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, EMDR therapy. Whereas Clinical Psychologists are trained to successfully utilise a wide range of different therapies.


Before therapy begins, a Psychologist would undertake a comprehensive psychological assessment, considering significant events across one's entire life. This information is then used to understand the unique cause of the symptoms for that individual, which indicates which psychological therapy or blend of therapies is likely to best reduce their symptoms and improve functioning again.


Coaching tends to focus on where a person wants to be, compared to where they are now. Coaching then helps the person to achieve their desired outcome by increasing their knowledge and/or providing them with the necessary tools to get there.


An assessment of the coachee's life history is not sought as standard in coaching as what they want to work on are usually present or future focussed, rather than directly related to their past. Sometimes people request coaching but through the coaching process it becomes clear that the difficulties are more complex and therapy may better help them reach their goal.

Coaching Psychology:

Coaching psychology is often described as 'in-depth coaching', which sits in between coaching and therapy. A person specifically seeking out Coaching Psychology may require more sessions than standard coaching and an understanding of their life history may be helpful for optimal results. Often people who have tried traditional coaching and not found it helpful, seek out a suitably qualified Coaching Psychologist.

The benefit of seeking out a Clinical and Coaching Psychologist is that they are trained to deliver all of these levels of support and can advise you, which would best meet your needs.

If you feel like therapy may suit your needs better than coaching, please visit Dr Davey's therapy website 

Please note, it is always advisable to seek out a qualified therapist or coach who is appropriately regulated by a professional body.

Sadly there is no way of checking the standard of; or holding accountable any unqualified or unregulated coaches or therapists in the UK currently.

Life coaching

Below are some photos of the team of Psychologists who work for 'Kara Clinical Psychologist in Sussex'. There are a number of other Psychologists who are awaiting having photos added too, including:

- Dr Jennifer Vaughan, Clinical Psychologist

- Dr Olivia Hirst, Counselling Psychologist

- Dr Kerry Cope, Clinical Psychologist and Perinatal Specialist

- Dr Hannah Whitehead- Clinical Psychologist specialising in helping children and adolescents

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