Coaching vs Counseling

This is sometimes a blurred area but the following distinctions may offer some clarity: In the counseling relationship the counselor is generally considered the expert. In a coaching relationship the coach/client are equal partners. The client is always at choice as to the direction of the call. Clients generally come to counseling when they are struggling emotionally with an issue. Clients come to coaching when they are seeking clarity, direction, or accountability. Counseling tends to look at the past, processing feelings, and attempting to understand why the client is having difficulty. The goal of coaching is to deepen the learning and to accelerate the client’s movement forward. The emphasis in coaching is to look more to the future and what the client would like to see changed. In a coaching relationship the coach may make a powerful request or co-create an inquiry (an open-ended question not intended to be answered immediately but rather reflected upon) with the client. This is not something typical of a counseling relationship. Like counseling, coaching utilizes very deep levels of listening and, in addition, coaches often utilize their intuition.


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