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Would a degree in Psychology or Social Work be for suitable for me if I am looking to counsel individuals and becoming a life coach?

I am in the process of transferring to a four year college, but I do not know which route to go. I've always had the passion to speak to people about their problems and find their true potential. Aside from counseling, I also have a dream of becoming a Life Coach. I know that both of these fields are closely related, but which was would be right for me? I am looking a for a field that will allow me to unleash my passion to its maximum potential. psychology social-work life-coach

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Yolonda’s Answer

Hi Kivan! I am an academic advisor at a college and I love helping people find resources they need to excel and to assist them with reaching their full potential. Every day is different because each student comes in with a unique story and life goal. You can major in Psychology or Social Work. The benefits of majoring in social work is that you will have the option to go into an advance standing 1 year Masters in Social Work program. I received my Bachelors in Sociology and got my Masters in Social Work. Some of my co-workers have their Masters in school counseling, higher education, counseling, etc.

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Felicia G’s Answer

Hi Kivan! Either would be suitable. Most colleges don't have life coaching as an undergraduate degree. One suggestion would be to major in Psychology for undergrad and get training or certified as s Life Coach through a program, which is what I've done.

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Kivan J. Actually, you've mentioned the best of two worlds. I am a previous social service Case Manager (not a Social Worker) of 27 years and a recently certified Life Coach.


Yes, if you want to provide counseling, I advise that you get a Masters of Social Work Degree. There is certification involved and after a while of working as a social worker, you can become insurance reimbursable. Many advantages in being a social worker, the pay is great and there are numerous jobs out there. You will be focused on therapeutic counseling as a social worker . All of the social workers I know and have worked with are clinical therapists with MSW degrees.


Life Coaching is different. It deals with the here and now, goal setting and not a person's past, no advice, client mus be accountable, and it is private pay for the client. It has to do with techniques that allow a client to come to their own answers for their own life. You are a catalyst for them solving their own life issues. The clients you have as a social worker will be different from the clients that you see as a Life Coach. Life Coach clients have to want to change whereas social work clients sometimes need intensive therapy and sometimes are not in the place for change but accept your assistance in other ways .


Life Coach Certification can be done by course training and than Certification testing. Since Life Coaching is fairly a new field since the 1990s, the places that offer the course for certification are usually at Health and Wellness Centers and on line schools of Life Coaching. The school should be registered with and accredited by the International Association of Certified Coaches. Some of the Wellness Centers that offer a brick and mortar experience cost several thousands of dollars. Check all of them out in person and the ones on line and decide which one suits your preferences and budget at the time.


Best wishes on your exciting career journey !

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