Counselling or Life Coaching. How to choose.
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Gillian Wiffen Accredited BACP. counsellor,supervisor and Life Coach
6th September, 2009
As someone who has training in both counselling and life coaching, I can recognise that there are similarities but also significant differences between the two forms of therapy.
Both involve a therapeutic one-to-one relationship whereby the client's personal issues and difficulties are explored and addressed. Both will take place usually once a week in hourly sessions. Both will involve looking at options and possible solutions.
The differences are mainly around the more practical nature of life coaching. Whereas counselling will often involve the exploration of issues in the past and how these have affected the present, life coaching will almost totally involve ways in which a better future can be created from the present. This is done by means of goal setting, both short term, medium term and long term and the life coach will encourage the client to stick to these goals in order to evolve from their present state of "stuckness". Emotional exploration is not usually a feature of life coaching unless it affects the achievement of reaching the set goals.
So life-coaching may work for you if you feel "stuck in a rut" - if you feel life could be better but you don't know how to achieve it. If you have certain goals which you would like to achieve eg weight loss, finding a new job, improving health and fitness, becoming more sociable etc.
If however you know you have difficulties which have a high emotional component which you know it would be helpful to explore and/or issues from the past which have never been properly dealt with, then counselling may well be the better way forward for you.
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