What’s The Difference?

The differences between coaching, consulting, and counseling

The differences between coaching and counseling are found in the principals and foundations of each profession. Life coaching is the art of one person providing support to assist another person to move from present to future. A coaching relationship is based in creating a respectful connection to aide a person or business in reaching the next level of potential. The life coaching relationship is one that is intended to be short term (3-6 months) and deliver results on the person’s ability to be guided forward and achieve goals. In today’s world, coaching is becoming more recognized by business and individuals. Businesses are now hiring health coaches, job coaches, leadership coaches, etc… Individuals are hiring marriage or divorce coaches.

Coaching is also considered an “unregulated” meaning there is no certain credential or license required to call yourself a life coach. There are, however, life coaching certification programs and classes that can be a wealth of support and knowledge. Whether you are in need of a coach or counselor depends on your mental health needs and strengths.

A person thinking about hiring a life coach may:

  • Be in the midst of a transition in the home or on the job.
  • Feel stuck in life or spiritually and unclear as to how to move forward with personal and professional goals.
  • What to learn skills that will help better home and family life or job responsibilities.

On the other hand, counseling is intended to guide the person in moving from past experiences to the present. Unfortunately, there is also a stigma associated with being a therapist or someone seeking therapy services. Counselors are educated and trained to assist people in addressing more severe interpersonal issues which may be out of the scope of coaching practices.

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors are trained mental health professions who diagnose, recommend, and treat a variety of mental health disorder that are impairing an individual’s ability to functions in home, social, employment life domains.  Ultimately, coaching can be defined in highlighting the human spirit and pressing forward whereas counseling will address more of why the human spirit needs motivation in the first place. 

Lastly, consulting is just what is says. Consulting. Consulting is typically delivered as a part of someone’s expertise in a certain subject area. For example, politicians tend to hired bi-partisan consulting firms to review policy’s, procedures, and practices to then give recommendations on a plan of corrections if needed. In addition, mental health consulting involves specific quality assurance services included but not limited to: Chart auditing, building business vision, consumer engagement, etc…

Within all three C services, a connection much be created between the person providing the services and the person receiving. The connection between the professional and consumer must be based on honestly and respect. Setting boundaries, in a non judgmental and authentic fashion, allows the relationship to be ethically centered.

Now that is out of the way and you have more of an understanding in the differences between the three 3 services, I encourage you to seek the aide you need to connect your essential pieces!

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