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What is the Difference Between Counselling and Life Coaching?

When I tell people that I am a counsellor and a life coach, one of the first questions they ask is, "what is the difference between counselling and life coaching?"  In this article I will explain the difference between the two therapy streams.  However, there is a slight cross over between counselling and coaching, insomuch as in both helping roles, the client is given a private and confidential space to discuss their concerns and find ways in which to deal with them.  So read on to find out what the difference is between counselling and life coaching..............

People who seek the help of a counsellor have usually found themselves in a predicament they cannot seem to find a way out of.  Or, they may have suffered a bereavement/loss or are facing some kind of crisis that is really getting them down.

If you are going through a challenging time right now, then you maybe considering counselling, but are not sure whether to take the plunge.  Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to counselling where some people think that only people who are mentally disturbed seek the help of a therapist.  Well that is certainly true, but when you are trying to get through challenging circumstances, such as living in an abusive relationship or trying to come to terms with the break up of your relationship, or marriage, then mentally, you may find yourself extremely disturbed!

As a counsellor, I help people to :-

What counselling isn't:-

As counsellor, I have no personal agenda or bias opinion of the client's life.  Therefore, it is much easier for me to be more supportive because when rapport has been established with the client, it puts them at  ease, and they can be themselves.

Life Coaching

Life Coaching on the other hand, helps people to focus on what they really want and then develop a plan of action, which is SMART (specific, measurable, realistic and time framed), which will ultimately help them attain their goal. Coaching can be deemed to be mentoring, especially when a client seeks the help of a coach to help them turn their business around, or work with staff who are experiencing conflict or challenges they are finding difficult to overcome.

As a life coach I help people to identify their strengths and weaknesses and then eliminate what is not working in their life.  As fallible human beings we all have weaknesses, but all too often, people can become obsessive when they feel they are not coming upto their own expectations.  That is why goal setting is so important in the coaching process.  The client feels in control, even though they maybe challenged from time to time by the coach.  Once a client has tackled the obstacles they have put in their way, they become empowered to make the changes needed and attain success in their lives.

As a coach, I have the ability to listen to what the client is really saying and then as I reflect back their thoughts and feelings it helps them to gain an insight into what actions could be considered,in order to make the changes needed to attain personal success.  When this happens, it is great to observe your client having a 'light bulb' moment - where suddenly everything is becoming crystal clear and they can now see a way forward.

Coaching helps to re-inforce self belief in a client and if the coach is doing their job properly, by the end of the coaching process, a client will walk away feeling like they can tackle or achieve anything their heart desires!

What coaching isn't:-

So, whatever you are going through in your life right now, whatever challenge you may be facing, you now have some insight into what form of therapy may help you to overcome the difficulties you maybe experiencing. Choosing to enter into counselling or life coaching is a brave step, but for those who choose to do it, the rewards can be life changing.  So, don't waste another minute worrying about 'what if's', take the plunge and make some positive changes in your life NOW - before it is too late.................

 

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