People often ask me what the difference is between counselling and coaching. It’s a good question because sometimes the lines seem a little blurred.

Counselling

When clients see me for counselling they are facing challenges in their lives for which they would like assistance and some clarity about how to go forward in their lives. My role is to explore the challenges with my clients in a side-by-side relationship. I think of it as a collaboration.

Everyone is unique, as is their story, so my job is to listen and to ask questions that will prompt thought, to explore the challenge; when and how it started, how the client is experiencing the challenge, what tools and strengths the client can use and finally a plan for how to move forward.

Some clients may need only one session to feel confident in going forward while others may need short or long-term therapy, often when the challenge they face has been present for many years and/or has had a significant impact on their mental wellbeing.

Coaching

When clients see me for coaching they have a specific goal they wish to achieve either personally or in their work.

Personal goals may include for example getting fit, losing weight, and acquiring greater social confidence, changing their spending habits.

Work-related goals may include for example: seeking employment, gaining a promotion, getting on better with their co-workers or employer. Sometimes employers are seeking to establish a better working relationship with their employees.

After exploring the goal, we put steps in place towards achieving it. My clients often face challenges along the way (as we all do). These are discussed and actions put in place to overcome these until the client is able to achieve their goal.

When Counselling is More Helpful Than Coaching

Sometimes when clients see me for coaching it becomes clear for both of us after the first session or two that there are deeper challenges that may need to be addressed in order to achieve their goal.

For example, an employer who is having difficulty relating to his staff may also realize that the workplace is not the only place where he is having difficulty with relationships. In this case, I would ask the client if he would like to explore this further in counselling.   When the client feels ready, coaching can then resume if the client wishes.

I hope this has helped in explaining the difference between coaching and counselling, the similarities and differences.

If you are experiencing a challenge that is getting in the way of living the life you want or if you’d like coaching to achieve a goal important to you, please call me on 0438 388 336 or make an appointment via the form on my website.