The first question I get asked by clients is, “What is the difference between life coaching and counselling?” So I thought I would write an article to help all those who are wondering whether counselling or coaching would suit their requirements better.
1. Future focused or past focused?
Life Coaching is focused on the future. Where you want to be in the future and how you are going to get there. Occasionally this may require a brief look into the past but the focus always returns to the present, current goals and future dreams.
Counselling delves into the client’s upbringing, childhood dynamics and parental relationships. It focuses on past hurts and traumas to bring emotional restoration and healing.
2. Diagnostic or solution focused?
Counselling seeks to diagnose and treat adverse behaviours, beliefs, thoughts, and emotions that are having a negative impact upon an individual's life. There is often an underlying condition that needs addressing.
Life coaches work with people who are not necessarily suffering from any type of mental illness, but with anyone who desires to see an improvement in their circumstances and overall quality of life.
3. Goal setting
Finally, life coaching is a goal-oriented approach and helps the individual discover, clarify, and attain what the client wants to achieve. The coach elicits client-generated solutions and strategies and holds the client responsible and accountable.
There are benefits to both coaching and counselling depending on your situation and desired outcome. Both professionals seek to help and improve the lives of individuals, and empower them to be the best person they can be.