What is the difference between coaching and counseling?
Although both coaching and psychotherapy use knowledge of human behavior, motivation, behavioral change, and interactive communication techniques, there are major differences in the goals, focus, and level of professional responsibility. Although coaching uses certain techniques that are also used in therapeutic settings (such as teaching cognitive skills, reflecting, affirming, EMDR, and mindfulness training), coaching is not the same as therapy. In some situations, it may be recommend that you enter psychotherapy (with another psychotherapist or counselor) as a condition of starting or continuing coaching.
The focus of counseling is identification, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and nervous disorders. The goals of counseling include alleviating symptoms, understanding the underlying dynamics that create symptoms, changing dysfunctional behaviors that are the result of these disorders, and developing new strategies for successfully coping with the psychological challenges that we all face.
Alternately, the focus of coaching is development and implementation of strategies to reach client-identified goals of enhanced performance and personal satisfaction. Coaching may address specific personal projects, life balance, job performance and satisfaction, or general conditions in the client’s life, health, relationships, business, or profession. Coaching utilizes personal strategic planning, values clarification, brainstorming, motivational techniques, and other helping techniques.