Counseling and coaching are similar in many ways. A helping relationship exists between the counselor or coach and the individual seeking their help. Counseling and coaching both work with the individual to change behavior and thought patterns that block success. A counselor and coach may use the same techniques in their work. Both employ goals and monitor outcomes to measure improved success. Both counselor and coach seek to liberate the individual, empowering them to be their best self.
Some of the differences between counseling and coaching are listed in the table below.
|Focus on past and/or present events||Focus on present and/or future goals|
|Focus on emotional healing, change and recovery goals||Focus on specific personal or professional goals|
|Reactive to past or present concerns||Proactive|
|Help with life problems, past/present traumas, overwhelming issues||Help with life transitions, career and performance concerns|
|Help with present work/school or relationship stressors||Help making life choices|
Clinical mental health diagnosis/disorders
|No clinical mental health diagnosis/disorders|
|Outcome measurements are more “internal” or subjective||Outcome measurements are more “external” or objective|
|Session fees may be paid by client or covered by their health insurance carrier||Session fees are paid by client|
|Must be licensed by the state in which they practice||Does not require licensure in most states|
|Requires master level graduate degree or higher||Does not require a college degree|