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  • Writer's pictureJustin Tilghman, Ph.D.

Coaching vs. Counseling: What's the Difference?

Updated: Mar 2

This is one of the first questions most people have when encountering a "life coach." Life Coaching has a lot of similarities to counseling, but there are some very distinct and significant differences.


Read on below to find out what those are.



Both counseling and coaching are considered "helping professions." The counselor and the coach seek to help you solve a problem, and both have the training and expertise to help. There is quite a bit of overlap between the two, and you often find counselors who add coaching to their counseling practice. However, the approach to problem-solving is where things begin to diverge.


The counseling relationship is clinical and therapeutic; the counselor/therapist is in the "driver's seat" of the relationship. It deals with actual medical and psychological diagnoses. Ordinarily, counselors must have advanced degrees and complete a significant number of hours of supervised clinical counseling. Their role is to make clinical diagnoses regarding mental health. Counseling is also often covered by your insurance provider because it's seen as a health service.


Coaching, on the other hand, isn't intended to diagnose or treat clinical issues. As a coach, we come alongside you to provide structure and focused insight into whatever topic you, as the client, are interested in exploring. You are in the driver's seat in the coaching relationship. Yes, we're here to help you solve your problem. However, our goal is to help you become more self-aware, find clarity in your thought processes, identify specific and practical steps to break through your problem, and then journey with you as an accountability partner to help you see your plan through to completion.

Give Coaching a Try

Coaching can be an incredibly enlightening and enriching experience. Thousands of people worldwide have benefited from the focused, intentional help and insight we provide as life coaches.


Why not give it a try?


The best way to determine if you could benefit from coaching is to take that first step and talk to a coach. Contact me, and let's set up a "no obligation" 30-minute session to chat, answer your questions, see if coaching is something you could benefit from and if we'd be a good fit for one another.



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