Coaching & counselling MEANINGS

Coaching & Counselling

Coaching & Counselling are mainly beneficial in the following 3 typical situations:

  • I have a concrete problem, issue, situation to face, solve, overcome…
  • I have a strange, awkward,  general feeling of not doing well, feeling lost…
  • I want to better understand myself, I want to develop and grow…

and the coach & counsellor are the professionals, educated, trained, skilled and experienced, to enable & help you engage in being better to who you are and what is happening to you.

Here are some definitions:

Coaching: In general a ‘coach’ is someone who is trained to help you see clearly where you are today, then find ways to move forward towards your goals.

They do not tell you what to do, they are a sounding board to help you discover what it is you want to do.

Counselling deals with issues through discussion and exploration, and counsellors may use person-centred, phenomenology, and existential analysis methods & principles.

In general, a ‘counsellor’ is someone who creates a safe and supportive space for you to explore who you are and what you want in life. They help you identify and solve problems.

They are a support system to help you gain the strength and clarity to cope and to move forward at last.

Coaches and counsellors are similar because of the following:

  • both coaches and counsellors want to help you find create a life you feel better about.
  • they both create an atmosphere of trust, non judgement, and support.
  • both help you identify what is holding you back.
  • both counselling and coaching focus around good listening and asking you good questions.
  • both counselling and coaching help you to be more resilient.
  • they both want you to find your own answers that work for you.
  • both coaching and counselling can help you identify and work towards personal & professional life goals.
  • they work to help you move forward in your career, relationships, and home life.
  • both help you with identifying core beliefs and changing your perspective.
  • they both have the goal of helping you reach your potential.
  • coaches and counsellors both encourage self-discovery.

The differences between coaching and counselling

“It’s important to note that the terms ‘coaching’ and ‘counselling’ are both really umbrella terms nowadays, used to cover quite an array of coaching and counselling approaches. Plus, each coach and counsellor will bring their own personality and unique way of doing things to their work with clients. The below is a general overview only.”

  • Coaching is action orientated, vs counselling is coping orientated.
  • Coaches want to help you recognise what you think vs counsellors also want to help you realise how you feel.
  • Coaching helps you set and achieve goals vs counselling helps you recognise and solve your problems in life.
  • A coach is focused on your potential vs a counsellor is focused on helping you be at peace with yourself and your life.
  • Coaches are trained in helping clients move forward in life vs counsellors are also trained in human development, relationship dynamics, and mental health conditions.

A few myths about counsellors vs coaches

  • “Coaching focuses just on the present and the future, whereas counselling exclusively focuses on the past.” Actually, there are forms of counselling and therapy that also don’t look much at the past.
  • “Counsellors give advice and tell you what to do, while coaches never do”; this is an outdated, cliched idea about counselling. A good therapist is client-based. They never seeks to give you answers, but to help you find your answers. If you are working with a coach / counsellor who tries to tell you how to lead your life, or makes you in any way feel judged, it would be time to seek a new one.

How do I know which one to choose?
It depends on your personal preference.

  • In general, if you only want to focus on what you are dealing with right now, don’t want someone to ask you anything too personal, want help making action steps, and/or the area of life you are most concerned about is your career, coaching might be a good choice.
  • If you are curious about breaking patterns of thinking and acting that have been damaging your life for some time, what to feel understood at last, would like to raise your self-esteem and understand yourself, and want to figure out what you want in life and move towards it, counselling might be a good choice.
  • What about a counsellor who is ALSO a coach?
    Many counsellors nowadays integrate life-coaching approaches, often called ‘psychological coaching’.