The differences between Counselling and Life Coaching


I often get asked if counselling and Life Coaching offer the same help.  The very simple answer is no, they don’t.

A Life Coach can’t help everyone and seeking help from one is not always the best solution.  You might think I’m a bit silly to say that given my profession, but one thing I strongly disagree with is taking on clients who I know will benefit from a different type of help.

Before you seek help from either, it’s very important to understand what both offer.  In my opinion these are the 3 main differences:

Counselling supports people with mental health conditions; Life Coaches may not have the relevant training.

If you’re struggling with a mental heath condition it’s VERY important that you seek the assistance of a suitably qualified individual, such as a doctor or counsellor.  There is absolutely no substitute for professional medical health when it comes to mental health.  Never let anyone tell you any different!  Once any problems have been identified or resolved, Life Coaching can support your overall wellbeing and help you take the action needed, to change your circumstances.

Counselling tends to delve into your past; Life Coaches stay in the present and looks towards the future.

Different techniques work for different situations.  Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to look at something that is holding you back.  Counselling can help you identify the issue, manage it and overcome it.  Life Coaching takes into account past experiences then helps you understand what you want out of life and focuses on the steps to get you there.

Counselling helps you cope better day to day; Life Coaching helps you take positive action.

A counsellor can help you find a way to cope if you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to cope with everyday tasks.  If, day-to-day you get by, but know you want to achieve more, a Life Coach can help you take the action to move forward in life.

Counselling and Life Coaching are amazing tools when used at the right time and can also compliment each other.  They both have a very similar aim; to help you get to where you want to go in life.  

As a Life Coach I am passionate about helping people thrive instead of just survive, but I stress to each and every client that they have to be ready to make the change before embarking on their coaching journey with me.  If I firmly believe they would benefit from counselling I steer them in that direction.  Here are just a few situations when I can help: 

  • When you feel ready to ‘move forward’ from a trauma or something that has been holding you back.
  • When your focus is on the solution and you feel ready to explore and take the next step.
  • When you are ready to take action to get from where you are, to where you want to be in life. 
  • When you want to prioritise and maintain personal and professional wellbeing and growth.
  • When you know you are ready to embrace your full potential.

Make the Change.  Not tomorrow.  Not next week, but NOW.


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