Understanding the Difference in Services

While both services focus on defining goals, formulating a plan, hold the client accountable for progress, and provide structure, encouragement and support; please understand that Coaching and Counseling are two entirely separate services. Although there are some similarities, they are in fact VERY different services.

Benefits of Choosing a Licensed Professional Counselor as You Coach
Simply put, training, education, certification, credentials, and experience are the main benefits of choosing a licensed professional counselor as your coach!

Personally, as a licensed professional counselor, I take a “wellness” approach with all clients, and see my main purpose as helping individuals to reach their maximum potential. My understanding of counseling techniques have afforded me an opportunity to become better coach, and I practices in both fields. However, I keep them entirely separate. “Please understand that a licensed professional counselor or therapist is trained, and can legally coach ANYONE.  However, a coach, who is not a licensed professional counselor, therapist or licensed mental health professional, CANNOT provide any counseling or therapy services.”  

For a better understanding, let me point out some differences in these two services.

Coaching provides an ongoing partnership designed to help individuals produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. It can help individuals improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives. Coaching involves customizing approaches to individual client needs to seek out elicit solutions and strategies from the client. It provides support to enhance the skills, resources and creativity that the individual already possesses. However, coaching is limited. Coaching help individuals identify the challenges, then work in partnership with clients to obtain their goals.Coaching helps individuals who are attempting to better their situations.  For example. if you are focused on prevention and maximizing your potential in life, or want to talk about your career and what is holding you back or causing you problems on the job, coaching is for you.

I encourage you to be cautious in selecting a coach.  Be certain that any coach you choose has training and credentials in order to be sure they provide you with quality services. This is very important because there is limited regulation on coaching. Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a coach, even with no formal training, education, credentialing, or experience!  Unfortunately, there are no repercussions for ethical breaches in the coaching profession, no standards of practice and no guarantee of competence.   Many coaches fail to realize that many clients clearly have issues that coaches are unqualified to address, and their lack of foundational counseling and development concepts could potentially harm a client.

A coach is allowed to practice without a license. Whereas, a licensed professional counselor has the education, training and credentialing, and can provide both mental health counseling and coaching.  Professional counselors are also bound by laws, legal statues and practicing standards. Professional Counselors are also held to a higher standard professionally, ethically and morally, by state boards, and other professional organizations, such as the American Counseling Association, and National Board of Certified Counselors.I also encourage you to look for a good personal fit with the style, approach, training, and credentialing of the provider. Personal connections, comfort level and an established rapport, often promotes the best progress.

There are some experienced and qualified coaches, who aren’t professional counselors that have attended ICF Accredited Coach Training Programs such as those offered at Coachville.com and CoachU.com.  They may have earned ICF credential. Be sure to ask a coach their qualifications, education, training and credentials.

Counseling focuses on helping the client shift from a state of pathology, or unhealthy state to becoming more healthy and more functional. Although, most are very functional, they may not be functioning at their maximum potential. Counseling focuses on stress management, and emotional problems such as substance abuse, cognition, major depression, behavior and conduct problems, and personality disorders. Individuals that need assistance with, deeper or emotional issues may need therapy. Counseling focuses on clients needing help to identify issues associated with or related to trauma to heal and resolve past events associated with their emotional pain.  Counseling focuses on providing professional expertise and guidance to help individuals who are not reaching their full potential, possibly associated with diagnoses. In a nutshell, if you are experiencing emotional pain, counseling is for you.

If you are interested in receiving affordable online counseling or coaching services, with convenient accessibility, feel free to contact Tina C. Christian, LPC, NCC, TF-CBT Trained at tina@atime2talk.org, or visiting atime2talk.org for additional information on services offered, pricing, etc.