Coaching v. Counseling: What’s the Difference?
by Denise Legg, M.A., LIMHP
What is the difference between Counseling and Coaching? Though all people could find both Counseling and Coaching helpful at some point in their lives, how should one decide which is most appropriate at a specific time in his or her life? By gaining a deeper understanding of what the differences are between Counseling and Coaching, one may determine which form of help is best for him or her!
Counseling is often times conducted for the use of revisiting one’s past and finding healing from his or her wounds. Many people suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Multiple Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and many other disorders. These disorders commonly result from issues in a client’s childhood or early adult life. The way that many people cope with disorders, stressors, anxiety, depression, and grief depends on the person, but many people will react in the form of eating disorders, anxiety disorders, anger, frustration, avoidance, or other coping tactics. The goal of Counseling is for clients to recover from their past wounds and move towards a lifestyle of healing, finding freedom from their pain.
On the other hand, Coaching is a helpful method that looks toward the future. Coaching is for people who desire to see improvement and beneficial change in their lives. Rather than healing from the past, Coaching looks forward and asks the question, “How can we improve your lifestyle and meet your goals?” Coaching strives to make challenging goals and meet those goals by utilizing intense accountability and motivation. Coaches often work with specific people depending upon their personal goals. Some people may seek Coaching for help in the business world, for growth in relationships, or even to reach their potential from a wellness standpoint. Coaching can be conducted on countless different topics, but it always looks toward the future and the goals clients have set.
Counseling and Coaching focus on two different time frames, Counseling looks at the past while Coaching looks at the future. Both Counseling and Coaching focus on how to make the present time a productive asset to one’s life. Although many people could benefit from Counseling for several years to completely heal from their past hurt, Coaching offers a goal-oriented approach towards life. Both Counseling and Coaching have the client in mind, the ultimate goal is to enable clients to become the best that they can be.
Meet Denise, Owner of HWC:
I graduated from the Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and I am a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner and Licensed Professional Counselor. My experience includes over a decade in ministry and leadership in a faith-based organization, in-home and agency counseling as well as group work. I specialize in helping leaders, caregivers, and professionals heal from and prevent burnout.