Coaching vs. Counseling

runnerz575x255I started working with my latest client yesterday.  We had scheduled the initial 30 minute consultation a week ago which gave them time to write me a detailed summary of the changes and goals that they are wanting to pursue in life.

Yesterday’s meeting, while only 30 minutes, was a very productive one.  The client initially explained for the first half about what changes need to be made and in what specific areas of life.  After that a matrix of the available options was created and then decisions were made by the client as to what actions to take in order to pursue those avenues.

We scheduled our next session and within an hour I had an email from them outlining the goals and steps to be accomplished between now and the next session.  The client has tasks to complete and when we meet again progress will be measured with the goals and plans being adjusted as needed to continue moving forward.

Why choose coaching vs. counseling

I love life coaching because it is fun for me and I appreciate the simplicity of the solution based approach.  As a coach I have a lot more leeway and freedom to be supportive and definitely a lot more than in the traditional therapeutic relationship.

If I were to work with this person in a more structured “counseling” sense we would have never accomplished everything that we achieved yesterday in such a short amount of time.  First there is intake, and given the clients overall situation, a multi-axial DSM diagnosis applied and then if we were lucky and still had time, actually start talking about treatment options and working through the underlying issues.  Of course this type of deep analysis is needed in a lot of cases but not all the time.

Not every psychological problem is the result of deep-seated, intrapsychic conflict or dysfunction. Clients’ emotional  struggles are often the result of not practicing basic coping strategies and skills. Some people never learn how to contend with stressful situations. Their problems are not the result of pathology, but of a lack of understanding of essential life skills. (Gazda, 1984). (Parrott, 2003, p. 13)

With high-functioning coaching clients the goal is to get from A to B. Forward focus, not rear-view. That is why I like coaching versus “therapy” and that is what is exciting and fun about working to build Tri Peaks.

Parrott, Les. (2003). Counseling and Psychotherapy. Pacific Grove:
Brooks Cole Publishing Company

photo credit: peasap via photopin cc

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