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Coaching vs. Counselling

Updated: Jun 3, 2018

What Is the Difference Between Coaching & Counselling?

Coaching vs. Counselling

If you find yourself asking this question, you're not alone. Even top industry educators and therapists have struggled to clearly define the difference. There are likely a number of answers that are based on context and approach, and many opinions on the topic. For the purpose of my own counselling and coaching practice, and in an effort to keep my answer as clear and simple as possible, I use a case-by-case client-centred approach to answer this.


It is important professionally and ethically at the outset of the client relationship to notice how the client shows up, to conduct a clinical assessment, and ask what the client wants from the therapeutic relationship. If the client is functioning quite well over-all in their day to day life but there is something they want to work on (such as healthier habits or behaviours), or they have an important decision to make (such as a life or career decision), that is likely to lead into a coaching conversation. On the other hand, if a client has experienced a traumatic event such as a loss of a loved one, and/or presents with symptoms of depression or anxiety, and is having trouble coping in their day to day life, work, and relationships, this will likely to lead to a counselling interaction using psychology-based theories, methodologies, and techniques to help the client get to a healthier place.


Either way, my go-to approach is drawn from person-centred and solution-focussed models with emphasis on a client's strengths and resources, and to engage in a dialogue to explore solutions rather than problem-based. From my research and education, I have concluded that this modern method can be most helpful to a wide-range of clients. This method is more brief therapy (shorter length of time and sessions to realize results), therefore making it efficient and cost-effective.


I look forward to your call.


More about Solution-Focussed Model.

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