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What’s the Difference Between Counseling and Coaching? by Vicki Tillman, LPCMH, BCC

I am both a counselor AND a life and career coach, so I often am asked, “What’s the difference?”

Here are some ways to tell counseling and coaching apart and ways counseling and coaching can change your life:

What’s the difference between counseling and coaching?

Counseling is about healing. Coaching is about fulfilling.

  • Counselors help heal things that hurt: anxiety, depression, trauma, relationships problems and more.
  • Coaches guide you to discover who you really are and find ways to fulfill your life purposes.

Counseling helps you to stop worrying and quit your “stinking thinking”. Coaching helps you envision and implement a life that you’re proud to live.

  • Counselors help you conquer anxiety, self-defeating thoughts or depressive thinking; they help you believe in you.
  • Coaches guide you to discover the many facets of your personality, talents and experiences. They empower you to develop plans to develop those gifts and create meaningful lives and careers.

Counselors help people learn to believe in themselves. Coaches help them figure out what to do with those beliefs.

  • Counselors help clients correct negative self-beliefs.
  • Coaches help clients take the truths they’ve learned about themselves and build terrific relationships, interests and careers.

Counseling helps you heal from difficult or traumatic experiences. Coaching helps you take charge of the rest of your life.

  • For many people, counseling is Step 1 in the life-change journey: a time to heal and get strong.
  • For many people, coaching is Step 2 in the life-change journey: a time to take charge and enjoy the adventure of life and career.
  • However, you don’t necessarily need counseling in order to enjoy coaching, and you don’t necessarily need to follow up counseling with coaching. You can do one without the other.

Because counseling is healing work, insurance companies will cover therapy sessions (based on medical necessity). Because coaching is “fulfilling” work (not medical necessity), coaching is a personal investment in a powerful future. 

Invest in your healing and/or your meaningful future! Don’t waste a moment getting started on the adventure of a healthy and fulfilling life!

Call PCPC at 302-738-6859 today. Be sure to specify whether you are calling for counseling or coaching. We’re looking forward to counseling and/or coaching with you!

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