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The Difference Between Counseling and Coaching

 

Counseling

A Masters degree, or higher, is required to be a counselor. Counseling is comprehensive in addressing personal, relationship, and family issues. The primary emphasis in counseling is on healing: self, relationships, and families. The steps to accomplish this include:

  • Building rapport between counselor and client
  • Identifying and understanding the problem (at this stage the counselor will assess what is going on and provide information to help understand what is going on, this includes education: the counselor will give information to the client and if necessary the counselor will get more informed about the client's issues [to understand the issues better and to get updated on the latest treatments.] )
  • The counselor will share techniques and strategies the client can use to resolve the issues
  • The counselor and client begin to wind down counseling
  • The sessions are ended after a closure session

This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years depending on the issues the client is dealing with; and depending on how consistent & persistent the client works the counseling program. Often counseling clients seek counseling intermittently over their lifetime for chronic or various issues; although people with chronic mental illness benefit from ongoing counseling throughout their lifetime. Counseling can include exploring deep subconscious drives, wounds, and beliefs; exploring, sometimes challenging & changing, conscious beliefs and behaviors; symptom management; skills training; developing coping and stress management skills; developing interpersonal relationship skills; developing parenting skills; developing conflict resolution skills; coaching; and more.

If committed to the process counseling can result in deep, lasting emotional healing.

Coaching

To be a life-coach it helps to acquire a certificate which can be earned in weeks, months, or years (depending on the training program), although any individual can call themselves a life-coach and go into business. When considering working with a life-coach be sure to inquire about what kind of certificate they have and what kind of training was required to earn that certificate.

Coaching is primarily focused on attaining a specific goal, even when working with a life-coach which is a pretty broad designation, the client and coach will identify specific goals and then the coach works with the client to develop a plan for attaining that goal.  Goals are set for counseling as well, with an emphasis on emotional healing and managing symptoms.  Life-coaching goals tend to be geared towards specific, tangible goals versus the more intangible emotional & relationship healing goals of counseling.

Examples of life-coaching goals:

  • Finding a job, career, or starting a business
  • Losing or gaining weight
  • Getting organized
  • Managing money
  • Managing image (includes wardrobe, hairstyle, etc...)
  • Dating
  • Relationships

In fact you can find a coach for just about anything you do in life.

Coaching often occurs with a counselor; however deep psychological healing work, which is the foundation of counseling, is not done with a life-coach. 

If committed to the coaching process great advances in life can be attained.