Two common yet different types of guidance can be found in coaching and counseling. Having a coach and a counselor can be beneficial in various areas of life. Coaches and counselors offer wisdom and insight into the challenges that you are facing.
There is a significant overlap between the two experiences, but there are also many differences. In order for you to have success with your coach or counselor you should take some time to determine how they fit in your community.
The purpose and practice of counseling.
Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. – Proverbs 19:20, NIV
Counseling is focused on your mental and emotional well-being. You may seek counseling at the recommendation of your physician in order to cope with a variety of diagnoses. Counseling may be used in combination with medications in order to heal and manage anxiety, depression, trauma, or neurodivergence.
Counseling covers a range of situations and relationships. You may seek counseling as an individual or with familial relationships. It could be short-term or long-term, depending on the situation that brings you to a counselor’s office.
You may seek counseling in order to cope with trauma, loss, grief, or stressful situations. The counselor is there to aid and encourage your healing mentally and emotionally.
According to the American Counseling Association, “Counseling is a collaborative effort between the counselor and client. Professional counselors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health.”
Reasons to see a counselor:
- Social anxiety
- Postpartum depression
- Premarital or marital counseling
- Body dysmorphia
- Parent/child relationships
- Sexual wellbeing
These are just a few of the reasons you may want to reach out to a qualified counselor for help and guidance.
The purpose and practice of coaching.
Coaching is focused on supporting you as you learn a specific skill or work through a specific situation. If you are an entrepreneur, for example, you may seek out business coaching. Coaching can be helpful when you take on new roles at work or in your career. You may seek out coaching for shifts in life, such as navigating a child’s entry to college or selling a house. If you want a coach, you often have goals you want to achieve in a specific area of life.
Coaches work in specific areas, to support you and answer questions you have along the way. They offer their expertise to guide you through tricky or unfamiliar situations. While a coach may offer you emotional support in this endeavor, their primary objective is not your emotional well-being, but rather your success in the endeavor.
According to the International Mentoring Group, “Coaching is a method of achieving set goals. The coach through dialogue helps the coachee (client) to correctly set a goal, find the best way to achieve the goal, and reveal the hidden inner potential in a person. The coach does not say how to achieve success, but asks questions through which the client himself finds the solution to his own tasks.”
Reasons to seek a coach:
- Financial Guidance
- Time management
- Boost your career
- Leadership training
- Acquire detailed skills and knowledge
- Individualized support in achieving goals
- Mindset development
- Support for creating healthy routines and habits
You may have more reasons than these to seek out help from an experienced coach.
Benefits of having a counselor.If you have experienced any form of trauma or mental health crisis, having a counselor is wonderful. Your counselor is an objective third party who can see you at your lowest, and provide support and guidance.
A counselor is able to see the bigger picture of your life: ongoing stressors, specific challenges, and difficult seasons. As they get to know you over time, a counselor can offer advice and encouragement that will help you navigate the variety of challenges you face in life.
As you develop an ongoing relationship with your counselor, you will find their insights become more tailored to your personality and needs.
Benefits of having a coach.
When you feel like a beginner in a situation, having a coach can help you through the ups and downs that come with being a beginner. Good coaches know when you need to be pushed harder and when you need to step back.
A coach knows the pitfalls and mistakes that could potentially arise and are able to help you avoid them. A coach knows how the pieces fit into a bigger picture. Helping you take the right steps in the right order can prevent costly errors in your life.
As you work with a coach you will gain autonomy and independence over time. Their support gives you freedom.
What coaching is and what it is not.
- It is important to be clear about your goals with a coach. The purpose of this article is to help you understand where and how a coach could be a valuable asset in your life. You will need to set manageable expectations in a coaching relationship.
- It is not counseling, and coaches do not have the training to help you diagnose underlying mental health issues.
- Coaching is not a long-term relationship. It is specific to a time, place, or situation.
- Your insurance will not cover coaching, though it is possible that a company you work for may require and subsidize certain types of coaching.
- Coaching is not internally focused. It is focused on performance and achieving external goals.
- A coach is not a mentor, which is often a more personal relationship. You hire a coach, making you a client.
- Your coach is not your friend. A coach is an expert who you hire.
Similarities between counseling and coaching.
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out. – Proverbs 18:15, NIV
You are the driver of change. A coach or counselor can only take you so far. Any change that happens needs to come from you. Having a coach or a counselor invites the advice and wisdom of people outside of your situation to help in your life. Both coaches and counselors can provide objective, big-picture views, and help you work through the minute challenges you may deal with in a situation.
How to decide if coaching right for you.
If you are looking for personal development in a specific area of life, it might be good to look for a coach. Whether you are looking for help in your career, physical well-being, or maybe just navigating the balance of life as a working parent, a coach can be a valuable aid in succeeding in your goals.
How to decide if counseling right for you.
If you have been overwhelmed mentally or emotionally, talking to a counselor can help uncover the issues you are dealing with. A counselor can advise effective strategies, which may include working with a coach. Schedule an appointment with one of our counselors today.
Building your community.
As you go through life, there will be friends, neighbors, and coworkers who can provide support and wisdom to you. Create a network of people you trust in different scenarios, from a reliable mechanic for your car to life coaches and counselors for you. It doesn’t just take a village to raise a child. It takes a “village” to create the life that you want to live.
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DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact one of our counselors for further information.