What’s the difference between a Coach & a Counsellor anyway?

The coaching industry has taken off and the Millennials sure seem to be the new therapy generation! More and more people are faced with issues in the world today and so it’s not surprising that they are turning to therapy for support but who to turn to?

A coach or a counsellor and is there a difference? Let me see if I can shed some light on it for you…

I see so many coaches explaining the difference referring to counsellors as keeping clients stuck in the past as they relive their trauma over and over trying to find out the why of your behaviour and this is simply not the case. While counselling will touch on the past to get a sense of what has brought you to your present, it is a powerful way to help you find a new life direction and leave that past behind. It’s about activating your capacity to make healthy life choices so that you can take the action you need to and change the behaviours which are no longer serving you to create a better wellbeing for yourself.

Coaching draws on goal based models such as the GROW model which stands for Goal, Current Reality, Options or Obstacles and Will or Way Forward to help clients achieve these goals and may learn skills such as active listening skills and concepts such as mindfulness but they are not trained to provide therapy and most importantly they are not trained to work with mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, trauma or any other underlying issue.

Because the coaching industry is not regulated, coaches can work with anyone anywhere and are not held liable for their actions by any governing body. Coaches do not even have to study to be a coach and may come to you with nothing more than the life experience they have gained in their ‘x’ amount of years they have been around.

Counsellors who are registered with a governing body not only need to be qualified in their relevant field but are also required to have ongoing clinical supervision with a senior therapist as well as ongoing professional development to ensure they are constantly upskilling their knowledge and running at their best capacity to meet their clients needs.

Now there are absolutely benefits to both coaching and counselling, just make sure you are seeing someone who is qualified in their field of expertise and that you are seeing the right person depending on your concerns. If you have mental health concerns, please see a counsellor, not a coach. Let’s have a look at some benefits of both.

The benefits of Counselling:

  • Find resolution of the underlying causes of your problems

  • Learn how your problems are the catalyst for growth and transformation

  • Healing from trauma and abuse

  • Freedom from self-destructive thoughts and behaviours

  • Learning coping and life skills

  • Increase self-esteem, self-work and self-confidence

  • Reconnect with your true self

  • Discover the value, meaning and purpose in life

  • Certain Counsellors, such as myself, work with solution focused therapies and short term therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy as well to ensure clients are moving forward and are goal driven

The AGAPE International Coaching Conference quotes the following benefits for coaching:

  • Improvement in individual’s performance, targets and goals

  • Increased openness to personal learning and development

  • Increased ability to identify solutions to specific issues

  • Greater ownership and responsibility

  • Development of self-awareness

  • Improvement of specific skills or behaviour

  • Greater clarity in roles and objectives

  • The opportunity to correct behaviour/performance difficulties

Debra Braganca I Counsellor I Anchoring Your Life

Specialising in Relationships, Anxiety, Depression & Traumatic Life Experiences

Cleveland, QLD, 4163

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