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Coaching Vs. Counseling: Which is Best For Me?

I have had some people ask, “What’s the difference between coaching and counseling?” so I thought I would take a minute to explain!

The fields have many similarities, and there are many counselors who are coaches. While a counselor is allowed to coach, a coach is not permitted to counsel unless he or she is credentialed to do so.

When a person seeks a coach, the expectation is that the coach will listen, guide the client toward setting realistic goals, and will hold the client accountable for successes and failure. When someone pursues therapy, they often begin by sharing their current problems, and the counselor helps them identify a diagnosis, a need for more intensive counsel, and establish

a treatment plan. The counselor will also listen and help the client create goals and provide resources to aid their return to a healthier state of being.

With coaching, the understanding is that the person is beginning with a healthy state of being but could use extra assistance in a specific area of their life. For example, perhaps a successful businessman wants to pursue a doctorate degree while working and maintaining a healthy family life. A coach can help him evaluate and establish goals, building a healthy life-work balance while working toward reaching big goals.

Consider another example. Jacki is an entrepreneur who recently lost a family member in a sudden car accident. A life coach who specializes in grief can help Jacki work through her pain in order to strengthen her confidence about continuing her business while allowing herself space to grieve.

Coaching is not usually covered by any type of insurance, while certain types of counseling are covered by medical insurance. Coaching is often a little bit more expensive than therapy, but the costs are often similar.

If you are looking for a quality coach or counselor, here are a few of my colleagues who are doing great work and offer online coaching or counseling:

Dave Carder | Counselor and Coach | Specializes in Infidelity |

Shannon Ethridge | Coach | Specializes in Sex |

Jenn Montague | Leadership Coach and Business Consultant | Loyla Louvis | Parenting & Life Coach |

Judy Herman | Relationship Therapist |

And of course, there’s us! We specialize in relationships, grief, and conflict at work and home. You can reach us at

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