Coaching vs Counselling?


Between a choice of coaching and counselling, which one is better suited for your issues?

What are the myths about coaching vs counselling you need to know?

As a coach, we challenge our clients. We will clarify what your client wants and take the time to find out what success in life means to them. You assist your client in clarifying their vision and the steps to get there, and helping them to discover a life of development and accomplishment, both personally and professionally.



  • Past-focused

  • Problem-focused

  • Works towards emotions

  • Asks the question “Why should we change?”

  • Deals with past trauma and complex emotional events

  • Focus on improving mental health and wellbeing


  • Present & Future-focused

  • Solution-focused

  • Works towards outcomes

  • Asks the question “How can we change?”

  • Does not deal with past trauma

  • Focus on positive psychology & increasing happiness

While it is important to note that these professions are different in a number of ways, there is no reason to suggest that one is better than the other or that they cannot coexist. In fact, there may be certain occasions where an individual feels they need the services of one and are referred to the other for more suitable services. In addition, many coaches were once counsellors and many counsellors have knowledge of coaching practices.   What might be some other differences that you understand about these two professions?

As a coach you sponsor your clients towards the ownership of skill-sets that encourage and support him or her to increase productivity, productiveness, and effectiveness. The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as:   “…partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach's responsibility is to:  

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve

  • Encourage client self-discovery

  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies

  • Hold the client responsible and accountable

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.” [Reference: ICF FAQ]  


How do I know which one to choose?

It depends on your personal preference.

In general, if you only want to focus on what you are dealing with right now, don’t want someone to ask you anything too personal, want help making action steps, and/or the area of life you are most concerned about is your career, coaching might be a good choice.

If you are curious about breaking patterns of thinking and acting that have been plaguing your life for some time, what to feel understood at last, would like to raise your self-esteem and understand yourself, and want to figure out what you want in life and move towards itcounselling might be a good choice.

What about a counsellor who is ALSO a coach?

Many counsellors nowadays integrate life-coaching approaches, often called ‘psychological coaching’.  This includes helping you identify obstacles, set goals, change your perspective, and identify and change your core beliefs. Cognitive behavioural therapists in particular tend to integrate such tools.

Coaching training generally consists of several weekends of in-person training. This is combined with many months of online modules. Some schools instead offer week-long ‘intensives’, with students taking different levels over time.