Positive Psychology Coaching vs Life Coaching: A Comparison

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Positive Psychology Coaching vs Life Coaching
“Positive psychology coaching”, “life coaching”, “psychology”, and “positive” all sound like words used by therapists, right?
Yes, you are absolutely right. BUT! Therapists and coaches are worlds-apart different.

Therapists, or psychotherapists, are licensed mental health professionals who specialize in helping clients develop better cognitive and emotional skills, reduce symptoms of mental illness, and cope with various life challenges to improve their lives.

A life coach is a type of wellness professional who helps people make progress in their lives to attain greater fulfilment.

In recent years, both professions have been gaining popularity. Now that we’ve established the fundamental difference between a coach and a therapist, let’s talk about coaching – why you’re here for.
Positive Psychology Coaches and Life Coaches are two of the various specializations in coaching. Looking at them, they may sound like similar jobs which may cause confusion.
What’s the difference between positive psychology coaching and life coaching? What’s the approach each of these coaches takes? What should you choose? These are some important answers you’ll find here.

What is Positive Psychology Coaching?

The basic definition of positive psychology:
“Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living”.

This serves as the foundation for positive psychology coaching.
Coaches specialized in Positive psychology assist individuals in developing a positive view of life and concentrating on their skills and talents. They work with individuals to improve their overall happiness and well-being, establish a stronger sense of purpose, and design a more rewarding life.
A strong emphasis is put on cultivating a happy mindset and pleasant emotions in an individual. This includes assisting individuals with developing a
  • growth mindset,
  • identifying and strengthening their personal values,
  • setting and achieving significant goals.
  • Additionally, an individual’s resilience levels, stress levels, and ability to form close bonds with others

What is Life Coaching?

Definitions are many. The simplest way to explain is the one you read above, a few moments ago. The goal of a life coach is to empower others by helping them make, meet and exceed goals in all aspects of their lives (personal, professional, spiritual, and beyond – whatever the goal may be).

“partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
– Life Coaching, as defined by International Coaching Federation (ICF)

A life coach helps in bridging the gap – go from the current state of the individual’s situation or life to the life they want to lead or envision for themselves. They recognize patterns, when a client is stuck, going backwards, making progress, and so on.
They help with anything ranging from emotions, and relationships to finances, career goals, growth and life skills – in a nutshell – a life you want to lead. With me, so far? I’m guessing you have a better idea of who a positive psychology coach is and who a life coach is. Awesome! Let’s now identify where they meet – what the similarities between them are.

Positive Psychology Coaching and Life Coaching - Comparison

Similarities between Positive Psychology Coaching(PPC) and Life Coaching

Positive psychology coaching and life coaching have some significant commonalities despite their distinctions. Both forms of coaching place a strong emphasis on assisting clients in setting and achieving meaningful goals to assist clients in leading better, more satisfying lives. Additionally, they both emphasise the need of cultivating a growth mentality and an optimistic approach.

They work to bring a positive change in life

Both professionals work on the belief that people want to change for the better – in themselves and their lives. They both work with individuals who want to focus on growth, are open to feedback, are motivated to learn and grow and experience the results of coaching.

They are not therapists

Neither of the coaches attempts to fill in the role of a therapist in an individual’s life. Instead, they work with individuals who have a certain level of emotional confidence and resilience and are open to bringing change. They work with individuals who are ready to face and handle challenges.

They understand the value of negative emotions

To get to the positive, one has to face and go through the negatives. Both the coaches embrace this and help you face and overcome the negativities as well. They reframe an individual’s negative emotions to make sure they make progress on their goals.

They empower individuals to take charge

Both coaches include using models, exercises and activities to enable individuals to look deeper within themselves, understand and bring positive change from the fundamentals. They help improve individuals’ self-awareness, make effective decisions and choices to move forward and create the life they want.

Differences between Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC) and Life Coaching

While life coaching offers a more all-encompassing approach to personal growth and development, the positive psychology approach is primarily concentrated on assisting people in developing a positive mindset and increasing well-being.
Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC) Life Coaching (LC)
Assist individuals in setting and achieving more introspective and personal goals. Eg: enhancing general happiness and sense of purpose
Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential
Focus To improve happiness and well-being
To assist individuals in achieving specific goals, including improving their relationships or their careers.
Takes a more prescriptive approach and concentrates on certain methods and ideas for enhancing happiness and well-being.
Takes a more adaptable strategy that is customised to the requirements and objectives of the individual.
Tools Use specialised tools and activities, such as journaling, visualizing, and gratitude techniques.
Use goal-setting, visualisation, and behaviour management.
Focuses on measurable attributes and outcomes and uses these structured approaches to develop.
Not as structured. Focuses on natural and internal resources such as feelings and innate development
PPC interventions are laid on the foundation of research and evidence-backed principles.

This is very helpful for individuals who want reassurance about the results of the work they do.

Beneficial for individuals who want to visualize the direction they are going on and offsets.
Life coaching is more flexible as it is not governed by any principle of thought.

Offers flexibility to both coaches and individuals. Helps coaches get to know individuals better, understand their emotions and motivations and work from there.
The method for setting goals differs between life coaching and positive psychology coaching based on each coach’s approach.

Need more clarity? Watch the below videos where Hemant Lawanghare, Founder, MasterMyLife takes you through each of the coaching types.

Which Coaching Suits You Best?

Which strategy is best for you, then? Your objects and goals will determine the answer. There’s no right or wrong answer here. Or one option is better than the other. It’s all about YOU – What you want to achieve? What resonates with you the most?
Positive psychology coaching can be the best option for you if you want to improve your general well-being and happiness.
Life coaching might be a better fit if you have particular objectives, including enhancing your work or relationships.
It’s also important to keep in mind that many coaches combine positive psychology and life coaching, or they might use parts of both methodologies in their practice.

If you are unclear about which strategy is ideal for you, working with a coach who can evaluate your needs and guide you towards the best course of action might be beneficial. Why not talk to an experienced coach who can help you make an informed decision? Our coaches are ICF certified and offer free clarity calls to help aspiring coaches such as you. Feel free to book a free call with a clarity coach here to get a deeper understanding.

In conclusion, both life coaching and positive psychology coaching provide crucial assistance for people trying to lead better lives. Although these two strategies have certain distinctions, they both aim to help people accomplish their desired results and live more satisfying lives.

Choosing a coaching specialization involves gaining a lot of clarity. Have more questions? Have a Clarity call with Expert Coaches

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