What is the difference between coaching and counselling?

How do I know which one to choose?



Of course, this is not a straightforward question to answer and yet the most commonly question asked!


I’ll get straight to it.


In general, if you’d like to focus on a specific present issue you have at the workplace, or there is a particular specific area in your life that you’d like to focus on, then coaching might be the best option for you.


If you are curious about breaking patterns and understanding your own behaviours and thoughts more deeply and better, then counselling might be the best option for you.


Let’s look at things a little more closely.


What is coaching?


  • Coaching is more goal-oriented and works towards an objective over a specific period of time.

  • Coaching could be therapeutic in so far as it can heal, change or improve a situation that can feel problematic.

  • Sometimes, personal matters affect work performance and they will be mentioned but only in so far as they affect work performance.

  • Coaching can have a direct impact on work performance.

  • Coaching is a journey and of course unexpected insights or associations will occur and we try to understand in relation to work.

  • Coaching is not about giving advice and being told what to do.


What is counselling?


  • Counselling is explorative and can cover the past, present and future in someone’s life.

  • Counselling has a fundamental belief that our childhood has formed the way we behave in adult relationships.

  • At work, we are surrounded by adult relationships, so the way we perceive the world around us will have been formed by our childhood experiences.

  • It can be helpful to understand the patterns that have been formed and how they can lead to unproductive and ineffective adult working relationships.

  • Counselling is also not about giving advice and being told what to do.



By having a secure therapeutic coaching relationship, you can feel more secure in yourself and therefore more open to tackling conflict or differences in the workplace and more open to opportunity and creativity into the workplace.


As a coach, I am concerned in finding out how the work environment elicits certain experiences and patterns into the client that may be unhelpful and/or stem from childhood. It's like putting the pieces of the puzzle together.


With that in mind, coaching with me means that I am able to understand that is being said and what is not being said and able to move into different layers of understanding at any one point. That way you can feel safe to take risks and think and reflect.



I can wonder about the meaning behind the obvious. Reading between the lines. Looking beyond the obvious reason as to why, for example, someone might find big meetings difficult and overwhelming.


If you are curious about coaching with me, visit my website for details or get in touch here christina@christinatherapy.co.uk

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