Know the Difference: Coaching vs. Counseling

Now that we’ve looked at the three types of coaching, Health, Wellness, and Life, it is time to look at the two similar areas of expertise that are more regulated and require a degree or license: Counseling and Psychotherapy (tomorrow’s topic!)

The Counseling and Psychotherapy industries are much more regulated than Coaching industries. Where NSHC is helping to regulate Health Coaching and offers a valuable certification program, Life and Wellness Coaching do not require a certification of any kind.

Life Coaching is the closest of the Coaching specialties to Counseling, but, like the others, there are several distinct differences.

The biggest difference is the approach.

“Life coaches focus on creating a new life path to achieve certain goals. They help you introspect and help you find your solutions. They focus on the now and what next. Whereas counselors focus on specific problems in hand and look into emotional resolutions to past problems to move forward, finding solutions to those specific problems, while making ‘healing’ as one of the main objectives” (Ramakrishnan, 2020).

Knowing these differences, how do you know which to choose?

If you are stressed, stuck on a particular issue or challenge, need motivation, you are unsatisfied with an area of your life, you procrastinate, you need help with organization and you would benefit from some introspection, focus, and just need a push in the right direction, a Life Coach who will help you problem solve may be just what you need (Ramakrishnan, 2020).

On the other hand, if you are dealing with an addiction, abuse of some kind, phobias, trauma, bereavement or something similar, a Counselor can help you develop coping mechanisms, help you heal from old wounds, improve your communication skills, and potentially get you involved in group support to help you develop a full support system (Ramakrishnan, 2020).

So, where does Psychotherapy fall in this group? Find out tomorrow!



Ramakrishnan, G. (2020). Understanding the Difference Between Coaching and Counseling. 

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