Counselling or Coaching?

The New Year is approaching. It’s that time of the year we reevaluate our lives in order to improve ourselves; we all know the term ‘New Year’s Resolutions’.  The beginning of a new year is a common time where many people decide to reach out for help in order to get their lives back on track. If you are considering a coach or a counsellor to help you go through these changes, you should consider the differences between the two professions.

Emotional Roots

Generally speaking, coaches will help clients to reach their goals in the absence of limiting emotional struggles. The goals are usually measurable and the results visible. In order to achieve goals, coaches will motivate clients to take effective action. Coaches can get more personal and share personal experiences in order to motivate the client.

Counsellors, on the other hand, assist individuals who have emotional difficulties due to past experiences. This might be some sort of recent trauma or some sort of personal pattern such as unstable relationships or anger issues. In order to achieve life goals, the counsellor will explore the origin of the problems and will develop strategies to overcome the struggle by confronting the barriers,  looking at old belief systems, and healing the emotional disturbances. Counsellors focus on the client’s experiences and rarely sharing their own.

Although the boundaries between coaching and counselling are not always clear, it will make a difference in whether you will reach your goals or not. The type professional you choose to help you will depend on what you are hoping to achieve along with a little bit of an understanding of what your life experiences have been. This will mean taking into consideration if you have had any deeply disturbing incidences in your life that need some deeper healing work.


Coaches can only act like counsellors when they have at least a Master’s Degree in counselling and/or psychology or some other sort of counselling certification. Counselling and coaching have different laws and ethical regulations.

Time to Reach Objectives

Often counselling can be a slower process than coaching, but this is not always the case. For example, EMDR Therapy, which is a modality I often use in my work, can provide fast results. The process time will depend on each individual and their personal healing process.

If you would like to learn more about different approaches to counselling, I invite to read more about EMDR Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

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You can also contact Janel directly for a free phone consultation or to set up a counselling appointment:

Centrally located downtown Vancouver.



By |2017-10-27T21:42:26-07:00December 15th, 2014|About Counselling|Comments Off on Counselling or Coaching?

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