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How is coaching different than counseling?

One might say counseling and therapy are focused on the past and present troubles (what happened and why?), while coaching is focused on the present and the future hopes (who do you want to be, where do you want to go, and how will you get there?).

Both counseling and coaching are concerned with human need and well-being. They are complementary and overlapping services, helping people along their journeys from distress to thriving.

However, when one is experiencing illness or chronic or extreme distress it is often more appropriate to seek attention from someone trained and licensed in methods of helping people stabilize and move out of the chronic or crisis situation.

One might receive counseling or therapy attention for one part of their life and receive coaching attention for another.

I am comfortable being compassionately present with someone feeling distress or strong emotion, but I am also aware of the limits of my training and credentials. When a person I am working with is experiencing extreme or chronic distress or has a need to work with the past that is overwhelming their ability to focus on the present and the future, then I would encourage them to connect with a professional helper suited to that need.

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