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Journal

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COACHING AND COUNSELLING?

I've been coached and counselled; I've been therap-ized and doctor-ized. 

I've also been a coach, and I counsel folks on medications as a pharmacist. I've found that its always easier to counsel on medications I myself have taken. Here in-lies the difference between a coach and a counsellor...  

I considered going back to school to become a counsellor.  I'm a really good listener and problems solver; it comes naturally to me. So I wanted to get some official training and really dig in to the world of helping people. 

But I decided against doing my Masters, and took a coaching program instead. 

And I'm happy I did. 

For me, coaching is the way forward. In fact, Dr Chris Kresser, a medical doctor and author says that health coaching is the future of health care. I was pretty excited when I heard this from such a credible source, because I feel the same way. 

Coaching isn't the same as therapy but it's similar. Therapy usually operates under a premise of a diagnosis and treatment. Coaching is more like facilitation. 

Imagine a basketball instructor who's never played basketball. The instructor knows everything there is to know about basketball, has studied it extensively, knows the rules, the plays, has been deemed a capable coach by regulatory bodies. He's legit. The one thing though, is he has never played basketball. He's never been in the game, felt the sweat, the tears, fought with his team mates, celebrated with them, put in hours and hours dribbling and shooting. 

Therapists haven't always gone through exactly what you have. They know the theory very well, and the treatment; but they may not always have personal experience "in the trenches". 

A COACH on the other hand has played the game. Made the mistakes; personally been through the trials and errors; and has self-corrected. She knows exactly how to tuck your elbow in when you shoot for more precision, how to follow through on your shot. She knows because she's lived and breathed it. She's been there, done that. 

Both therapists and coaches have excellent listening skills. They know how to ask the right questions. The key difference is the therapist operates on the theory that something is inherently wrong with you (thus why you need therapy) and a coach operates on the theory that there actually is nothing wrong with you, you just need some practice playing the game, with a few tried and true pointers. 

Both are useful. 

Comment below if you have any questions about relationship coaching <3

Becky Palmer