What’s the difference between a coach, mentor & a therapist?

What's Coaching?

Here’s a simple way to look at it:

A mentor tells you what to do to achieve what they’ve achieved.

A therapist assesses & diagnoses so that they can prescribe a treatment plan. 

A coach partners with you so that you can discover & be inspired to move toward your own truth, wisdom, and unique path.  

Each of these roles can help you improve the quality of your life in different ways. 


I’ve partnered with hundreds of clients coaching thousands of hours with leaders, creatives & entrepreneurs globally.  

I’m a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credentialed by the ICF (International Coaching Federation), and a Energy Leadership Index (ELI)  Master Practitioner (a powerful assessment that you’ll experience if we work together).

I also hold a Bachelor’s & Master’s Degree in Psychology & Organizational Psychology from Stony Brook University & Columbia University respectively. 

From a therapeutic standpoint, I am trained in Compassionate Inquiry (CI), a trauma-informed psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Gabor Maté, and Internal Family Systems (IFS), a therapeutic approach developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz.  

Ruth Kao Barr - Stress Coach
Ruth Kao Barr | Founder & Coach

About Me

I’ve been there – woke up in my 30’s & barely recognized myself. “Successful” & put-together on the outside & completely burned out, bored out & numbed out on the inside –  and feeling like there’s no way out. 

What I didn’t know at the time was that stress was the symptom, not the problem. 

Magic happens when we connect with our truth.

Today, in my 40’s, I prioritize my self-care and wellbeing, provide meaningful services that light up my heart, and create my own rules that delight my soul. 

I’m grateful that I didn’t ignore my inner protest years ago that “something needs your attention.”

If you’re sensing something similar –

I invite you to clear the noise & reconnect with your truth. 

Everything you want is in the direction of your truth. 

Stress & stuckness is only a sign that something needs your attention.


The space where science, mindfulness, and spirituality meets.

You will be working with a coach whose approach is anchored in mindfulness, psychology, neuroscience, spirituality & trauma-informed practices. 

During your sessions, you will experience safety to explore what’s top of mind & in your heart while achieving your coaching goals. 

In between your coaching sessions, you will receive reflection sheets to deepen your insights. 

What to Expect

Bring your whole self

Every part of you is welcomed, accepted & has a role in your journey.

You're the expert of your life

The most powerful wisdom and creator is within you. I'm here as your thought partner - the final call is always yours.

You're not broken

You don't need "fixing" or a "diagnosis." What's helpful is self-awareness and a different perspective.

You're independent

My goal isn't to work with you indefinitely- you're set up to thrive on your own.

Me hangin' out with a Silkie during Covid

What Else do I Believe?

Giving Back to the Community

By working with me, you’re also supporting Washington Women In Need (WWIN) and 501 Commons supporting non-profit organizations in the Pacific North West to thrive.