Relationship Coaching

Coaching vs Counseling

Coaching is a professional client-focused service where an individual or couple is assumed to be healthy, powerful, and able to achieve goals with effective support, information, and guidance. Below are some of the differences between counseling and coaching.




Assumes the client is whole Assumes the client needs healing
Roots in sports, business, personal growth venues Roots in medicine, psychiatry
Works to move people to a higher level of functioning Works with people to achieve self-understanding and emotional healing
Focuses on actions and the future Focuses on feelings and past events
Focuses on solving problems Explores the root of problems
Works with the conscious mind Works to bring the unconscious into consciousness
Works for external solutions to overcome barriers, learn new skills and implement effective choices Works for internal resolution of pain and to let go of old patterns

 Adapted from Hayden and Whitworth, 1995

Coaching is directed toward the positive. Positive psychology, goal achievement, life planning are all part of coaching, among many other things. Some coaches use tools like NLP and hypnosis. Many coaches use assessments of personality type (the Myers Briggs for example) or leadership skills. Some are psychologists others are business consultants or business people, or even for example, a mother who wants to coach others in parenting or family based skills. Coaches work in almost any area that you can imagine. There are general life coaches, executive coaches who help businesses and executives in many different areas of business and business development, relationship coaches for singles and couples, spiritual coaches, organization coaches, dating coaches, roach coaches (made by RAID I think). There are literally coaches for any thing that you can think of.

One should be cautioned that there are no specific credentials for coaches and they don’t have a license for coaching. Anyone and his mother can open a practice- call themselves a coach, and start seeing clients. However, there are several organizations that have specific standards for training and have a form of credentialing. The ICF  is the most known and widely respected in the US, but there are several international coaching groups that have specific standards for training. ACI (International Association of Coaches) is another- Coaches that are not already therapists or psychologists should have training and credentials from one of these organizations.



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