Mar 25, 2017

Difference Between Counseling and Coaching

1 comment

Edited: Mar 27, 2017

People often believe that counseling and coaching are similar, but they are vastly different.


Counseling involves assessment and diagnosis from the DSM-5, which means that the clinician (the person is a clinician) has to say that a patient has a mental health condition/illness/diagnosis if the person wants to use insurance. Counseling is done from a "negative" perspective, as if something is wrong with the patient from the outset, and the therapist/counselor/clinician is there to assist in fixing the issue using a plan of treatment, based on that diagnosis.


There are benefits to counseling when there are long-term issues to address, and/or legitimate mental illnesses that are impacting everyday life.


Coaching is exactly that...guiding someone to achieve goals. The clients (people are referred to as clients, not patients), are already aware of the goals they want to achieve, so the coach encourages each person to do this by using strengths. We focus on vision, and overcome any obstacles that can occur. Coaches generally give clients assignments outside of the sessions and check in with clients by phone or email. This is all from a very positive perspective and there is nothing treatment-oriented, diagnostic, or labeling.


There are a number of other benefits of coaching. First of all, as previously mentioned, coaching is very positive and optimistic. There is nothing diagnostic about it, so the clients view it more as a wellness program or as a personal development program, versus a cure for illness/sickness/dysfunction. Secondly, coaching can be less costly, once people begin to see the lasting benefits of it. People will want to come in for "wellness check-ups". Third, there are no dealings with insurance companies, nor is there a lot of recordkeeping. It is the perfect business done online, by phone, and by video. There are no licensing restrictions either. A coach can help people across the nation and all over the world.

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