Psychotherapy, traditionally, rests on the premise that the client has been damaged by some past event(s), and needs to be “fixed” or healed. The concern is with the past and the present.

Life coaching rests on the premise that the client possesses unrecognized resources with which he or she can develop strategies that lead aspirations to their fulfillment. The focus is on the present and the future.

  • Traditional therapy is about excavating and neutralizing negatives.
  • Life coaching is about liberating positives and putting the client in touch with his or her own wisdom and creativity

To quote one life coach, “Life coaching is about designing a future, not about getting over the past.”

One’s relationship to a life coach is often a long-term project, because there need be no end to the process of learning and growth. This is why many champion athletes and high performing business executives retain coaches long after the time they have become successful.



If a person suffers from acute anxiety, severe depression, or very low self-esteem, he or she requires psychotherapy, not life coaching. However, if a person is basically healthy but is seeking greater fulfillment in one or another aspect of life, life coaching can be invaluable. Addressing a wide range of issues, including work, finances, health, relationships, education, spiritual development, and recreation, life coaching looks to close the gap between our dreams and the realities of our existence.



If you would like to have a brief discussion with the Nathaniel Branden Institute about whether life coaching might be a good fit for you, please call us at 818-585-1944. There will be no charge for this discussion, it will not be longer than forty-five minutes, and should provide you with a real experience of what coaching is.

Since Nathaniel’s retirement, his wife and business partner, Leigh, has continued the life coaching practice. Leigh Branden is a certified life coach and began working with Nathaniel nearly a decade ago.  Today, Leigh works with several of Nathaniel’s former clients in addition to all new clients with the Nathaniel Branden Institute.