What is Family Life Coaching?

Coaching is a rapidly growing field. Many are familiar with life coaching and/or executive coaching, but family life coaching is now in a league of its own! 


Family life coaching is a specific unit of coaching that focuses on teaming up with parents, individuals, couples or a full family to work on family challenges in a strength-based environment. 

A common question that often gets asked is:


"How is coaching different from therapy?".

Below you can find a chart from Dr. Kim Allen's book, Theory, Research, and Practical Guidelines for Family Life Coaching that describes the differences between coaching and therapy as well as other similar fields.


This information was originally sourced from Becoming a Professional Life Coach by Williams and Menendez.







Deals mostly with a person's past and trauma, and seeks healing

Deals mostly with succession training and seeks to help someone do what you do

Deals mostly with problems and seeks to provide information (expertise, strategy, structures, methodologies) to solve them

Deals mostly with a person's present and seeks to guide them into a more desireable future

Doctor-patient relationship (therapist has the answers)

Older/wise-younger/less-experienced relationship (mentor has the answers)

Expert-person with problem relationship (consultant has the answers)

Co-creative, equal partnership (coach helps clients discover their own answers)

Assumes many emotions are a symptom of something wrong

Limited to emotional response of the mentoring parameters (succession, etc.)

Does not normally address or deal with emotions (informational only)

Assumes emotions are natural and normalizes them

The therapist diagnoses, then provides professional expertise and guidelines to give clients a path to healing

The mentor allows you to observe his/her behavior and expertise, will answer questions, and provide guidance and wisdom for the stated purpose of the mentoring

The consultant stands back, evaluates a situation, then tells you the problem and how to fix it

The coach stands with you, and helps you identify the challenges, then works with you to turn challenges into victories and holds you accountable to reach your desired goals

Do you think Family Life Coaching might be right for you?