In my journey as both a professional counselor and certified coach, I have been on both sides of the fence hiring my own therapist when needed and consistently found in a coaching relationship. I became both professionally because of how beneficial they both can be on this journey. Yet, I find that many are unsure of the differences. So, let me briefly explain.
First, counseling also known as therapy, for me is founded in the renewing of the mind, restoration of hope, and process of healing through relationship I consider to be sacred. See Romans 8:28
Another way of looking at it is counselors or therapists walk with you from issues generally rooted in the past that are affecting you presently to bring clarity and healing to the present. They even step into the future thoughts and if necessary, help reel you back to present focus.
You may ask, what foundational skills should a good licensed counselor or therapist possess? Here’s a quick list.
Now onto coaching, a lot of people really don’t understand it. So, what exactly is it?
My favorite coach, Paul Martinelli, of the John Maxwell Team defines it this way, “Coaching is, at its core, a series of intentional conversations that empower a person to gain clarity and embody their calling. It is the art of influence that underpins leadership in the 21st century.”
Often times, you will hear the term “coaching and mentoring” as if they are the same but Paul further explains that mentoring involves a process of putting in and is based on telling. Whereas the process of coaching involves drawing out answers from within a person and is based on asking.
This is why you may yet and still confuse coaching with counseling; they have some great foundational similarities. In essence, counseling many times is rooted in a past or future focus that clouds the present; coaching is intentionally present focused; and mentoring is intentionally future focused.
So, what foundational skills should a great coach possess? Carl Jung stated, “Until you make the unconscious conscious it will rule your world and you will call it fate.” This is what great coaches help you do. Great coaches possess:
Again, almost identical to counseling, so it seems, but these are just a few basics. There are some major differences. They are:
I hope this was helpful. Do your homework! Whether coach or therapist, interview them and decide who is the best fit for you and your needs before you sign a legal agreement with them. If at some point, you find that they are not best fitted for you, politely fire them and hire a new one. If you need a counselor make sure they’re licensed and in good standing with their states regulatory board as this is public knowledge. If you need a coach, although not mandated, make sure they have a respected coaching certification and are life-long learners continually mastering themselves. Remember, it’s all about the relationship.
Richale Reed MA, LPC, LCCAS is a John Maxwell global certified speaker, trainer and coach and both a licensed mental health and addictions therapist in the state of NC. For more information on how to book Richale or coaching go to https://inpoweryou.com. For therapy in the state of North Carolina only visit https://caterrrrflies.com.
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