When it comes to understanding the difference between coaching and counseling, it's essential to keep in mind that both approaches are designed to help clients reach their goals and make changes in their lives. Counselors usually focus on the “why” of the problem, while coaches concentrate on “how to get out of the problem”. Counselors often analyze the past, while coaches look to the future. Coaches also tend to establish a more collegial relationship with their clients, working together as a team rather than in a “doctor-patient” relationship.
Therapists who have received formal training as coaches take a more nuanced approach, seeing coaching as an “evolutionary step” between the professions that help. However, coaches should not attempt to help anyone with emotional problems or mental health issues, and should refer clients to the appropriate mental health professional if needed. Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce satisfying results in their personal and professional lives. The primary distinction between coaching and counseling is that coaching focuses on the future, while counseling focuses on the past.
Coaching helps you set and achieve goals, while counseling helps you recognize and resolve your problems in life. Coaches are not subject to the same guidelines regarding client confidentiality or professional boundaries as counselors, so it's important to look for a qualified therapist with a professional degree in counseling who has also done postgraduate training as a personal trainer. To sum up, it's essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both therapy and coaching before making an informed decision about which path is right for you. A coach concentrates on your potential, while a counselor focuses on helping you be at peace with yourself and your life.
A good coach will help you understand what is causing your sense of stagnation or dissatisfaction, while a counselor will help you work through your issues in order to move forward.