"Learning always involves self-transcendence. Learning calls forth what is in us, helping us to move toward authenticity and wholeness." ~Karl Rahner
I am excited to be able to draw on both counseling and coaching to work optimally with individuals, couples, families, businesses and organizations. This combined knowledge base and skills set allows me to effectively utilize both counseling and coaching processes to promote a balanced and highly tailored overall plan for a broad range of issues clients are wanting to work on.
Through collaboration, there are coaching opportunities for optimizing health and wellness, engaging in personal growth, learning effective parenting skills, and enriching relationships. Providing Coaching and Counseling Therapy services seems quite natural as these come out of the similar historical roots. In fact, there are times when we might begin with counseling, and then over time coaching may become the most effective way to work together—and vice versa. I will always talk with you about these differences and how they might be useful for you. Both counseling and coaching use some of the same skills and techniques, and both are aimed at providing a supportive and non-judgmental relationship that facilitates people in accomplishing their goals.
I agree with internationally recognized therapist and life coach Dr. Patrick Williams that "many of the techniques and principles discovered in years of psychological research and application are useful in coaching. Masterful coaches do utilize skills sets from solution-oriented therapy, cognitive and behavioral psychology and a number of other therapeutic approaches including recent advances in positive psychology. But that does not make coaching the same as psychotherapy."
So what are the differences between coaching and counseling?
Coaching is not training, mentoring, therapy, or consulting. Coaching tends to focus more on here and now "stumbling blocks", and how to get on the other side of them when there are no limiting emotional or psychological issues present. Coaching is most often short term, and deals with one or two issues. Situations that can be suited for coaching include:
Health-related behavior change for individuals with chronic physical conditions.
Engaging in mindful living
Getting organized in various areas of life
Achieving work-life balance
Overcoming low self-confidence
Desiring more fulfilling relationships
Gaining motivation and practical skills for making and sustaining lifestyle change
Learning effective communication skills
Gaining strategies for optimizing quality of life and well-being
On the other hand, Counselors are more often looking for the origins of a problem, with goals and strategies aimed at diminishing internal emotional distress, unproductive thoughts, and/or behaviors that are not beneficial to a person. Counseling therapy may focus more on the past--the roots of perceptions and behaviors--and helping a person examine how these are contributing to the limiting beliefs, thoughts or behaviors that are affecting their current functioning. As well, counseling can be focused on a present problem or issue and the development of necessary components for accomplishing change. When working with a person to achieve their goals, a counselor most likely will consider the presence of limiting personal or contextual barriers, and acknowledge principles of human development, mental health, and the domains and dimensions of psychological and emotional well-being. Counseling may or may not be lengthier than coaching, dependent on the chronicity or quality of the emotional or psychological setting. Situations that are generally thought to be more suited for counseling therapy include:
Navigating a difficult life transition
Dealing with the emotional and psychological challenges of living with chronic disease
Management of the effects of long-term stress
Loss and Grief
Management of chronic pain
I am comfortable utilizing coaching as a stand-alone approach, or integrating coaching into the therapeutic process when this would be beneficial, or vis versa. Please call (636) 724 – 1731 if you have any questions, or want to schedule a free phone consultation.