What is Coaching and How Does it Differ from Counselling?
There is much confusion these days about what coaching is, and how it differs from counselling. Some people mistakenly think that counselling just involves a counsellor sitting and listening to a client talk endlessly about their past, whereas coaching is all about exploring the here and now and setting goals for the future. Its not quite that clear cut!
A good counsellor will listen while a person explores their feelings about the past, or what is going on in the present, but will also help explore limiting self-beliefs a person may have, challenge their thoughts or behaviours and encourage self-awareness to grow, which can lead to positive changes in the future. A good coach recognises that sometimes people are more affected than they realise by painful or difficult issues from their pasts and present, and this can interfere with the effectiveness of coaching if these issues are not addressed. There are clear differences, but there can be quite a bit of overlap too.
The purpose of coaching is to enable a person to achieve their potential – whether in their personal lives, careers, businesses or organisations – not by telling them how to achieve it, but by providing opportunities for them to learn about themselves, reflect, think clearly and work out what they need to do for themselves. A coach supports a person through this process, and facilitates an improvement in a person’s performance and/or enhances the quality of their life.
Coaching is about achieving results, rather than talking about one’s hopes and plans but never actually taking action, as the process of coaching encompasses setting clear goals and monitoring progress towards these goals in a structure way. Typically, a coach will see clients for fewer appointments than a counsellor and usually the gaps between appointments will be longer.
Seeing a coach/therapist like Frances gives you the best of both worlds, as she is able to move easily between roles as the situation dictates, to give you the best possible results, and save you seeing two separate professionals.