Difference Between Coaching and Counseling; They Work Hand in Hand

In this article I will give you basics about the difference between coaching and counseling, and the objectives of each. These objectives are valid whether we are discussing faith-based or secular life coaching and counseling. 

There are some similarities between coaching and counseling, which is what can blur the differences for those who are just starting out. Here we'll make it clear for you.

Similarities include: both professions can work in a one-to-one, confidential relationship with their client. Both can also work with groups.  Both professions deal with life choices and behaviors. But the way we approach these topics is quite different from one profession to the other and our goals and objectives are different as well.

Difference Between Coaching and Counseling Objectives

Life coaching objectives:

Helps their clients achieve their goals and is forward-looking

The basic premise is that coaching clients are in a healthy place mentally and emotionally. They are ready and desire to receive support on how to make the changes to help them achieve their goals. This can also include creating and/or maintaining motivation for the stated change, creation and implementation of plans for change and exploration of obstacles in order to overcome them.

Life coaching is unlikely to be helpful if there are unresolved counseling issues.*

"Coaching does not fix your problems, it
inspires your thinking so your problems
can fix themselves."

Counseling objectives:

Helps their clients feel better, heal and is often past-reflective

Counseling helps the client overcome and resolve issues from the past that have made them feel bad emotionally or are causing their inability to function in a healthy way.

These types of issues can include depression, trauma, anxiety, addictions, PTSD, etc.

It is a given that unless or until these issues are satisfactorily resolved, it may be difficult or impossible for the client to make the desired changes in their lives.

Once healthy behaviors are learned and established in counseling, life coaching can help to support the client in maintaining these healthy behaviors and choices.

NOTE: Christian counseling does not diagnose or treat clinical issues. We deal with situational causes. If there is a suspected chemical imbalance or other clinical issue, these clients are referred to qualified providers.

* In both professions, Christian Life Coaching and Christian Counseling, this academy (PCCCA) teaches the student about the importance of referring a client they are not qualified to help.  The student learns how to identify those who should be referred and how to make a referral.

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