Do I Need a Coach or a Counsellor/Therapist?
This is a question I often get asked. What is the difference? Which one will benefit me more? How can I get where I want to go?
Before we start let me share a little backstory... My understanding and training taught me that a Life Coach looks at what is going on for you right now, helps you set some goals and then works with you to achieve them. It can be fast-paced, high energy for a high reward if you are willing and capable to do the work it takes in between sessions, keep yourself accountable and are comfortable being uncomfortable through the change. . A Life Coach does not dive deeply into emotions and a Life Coach doesn't work with your past at all.
A Counsellor holds space for whatever is coming up for you at that moment whether it be past trauma or just a bad day you need to vent about. A Counsellor can also work with you on setting goals and help you achieve them, however, a counsellor can also spend time in the emotions of things and help you dig through why you are stuck; most likely it is something from your past. A Counsellor tends to be more focused on talk therapy and patience to help you come to your own resolve, however long that takes and a Coach will direct you more, offer solutions and challenge you to push your edges to create change.
Both have lots of value, and sometimes we need both.
Oftentimes when people think they want a Coach they really need time with their past traumas, wounds and those things that are keeping them stuck. They think a coach is what will help them process when in fact if you're processing emotions and working with the past I believe this needs to be e responsibly done with a professional therapist or Counsellor who has been trauma-informed and will not cause more damage while you're healing.
I feel truly blessed to have training in both modalities. In fact, I would call myself a former Professional Therapist turned HOLISTIC Coach. The reason I've shifted my focus to Coaching is that I enjoy the pace, flexibility and type of clientele I work with as a coach. I personally am very "solution-focused" and this works well when coaching. However, the added bonus is that when a client of mine does go into their feelings and want to process their past, we can do that together too. I see the whole human, we look at all the blocks from the past and then we can propel forward, together.
I must mention, that there are a lot of Coaches out there that are not trained very in-depth and rely on personal life experience. I do not intend to discredit anyone's natural abilities and I will say, please use your discernment and interview anyone you decide to work with. Always ask your Counsellor or Coach what personal work they do for themselves and if they're comfortable referring you to someone else to give added support. (I personally have a roster of referrals for clients when they come up against a block I do not think I am the best most educated person to fix!) The second most important piece is you must feel safe and connect with your Coach or Counsellor, trust your intuitive feelings when you're connecting with them, and if something feels off, you CAN name it- we always appreciate feedback!
At the end of the day, the benefit you get from receiving support is directly correlated to the work you put in on your own time. Are you truly willing to try something new or just need validation and a pick-me-up? If you want to try something new, work with a Coach. If you want a "pick-me-up" work with a Counsellor. And if you want BOTH, feel free to chat with me!
Your investment in yourself will always have a huge payoff!
A Counsellor looks at anything and everything that is coming up for you and holds space for whatever emotions may arise. A Counsellor can look into the past as little or as much as the client is willing. (if they are trained like me, which is client-centred)
A Life Coach looks at what is happening now and helps you set goals to move forward. A Coach works collaboratively with you to create a lifestyle unique to your needs while keeping you accountable.