Life coaching and COUNSELLING share a unique and often ambiguous relationship that has been described as the relationship between step-siblings. Both these professions share common traits and also several common objectives, especially when it comes to the kind of positive changes they are aimed at bringing about in the clients. However, it is not right to treat them both as equals or assume that your life coach can be substituted with your counselor or vice versa. To understand why, it is important to learn how these two professions differ from each other.
Although life coaching and counseling may follow certain similar practices, there is a distinction in the overall function they serve. When you have experienced severe emotional trauma and have undergone some undesirable changes as a result, you seek out the services of a counselor. On the contrary, you may approach a life coach when you sense a shift in balance in your life although no clear disturbance is visible. A Life Coach can help you when you are unsure of what you are feeling and why you may be feeling so. With the help of the life coach, you may be able to realign yourself with your life's goals, find inner peace and reassure yourself about being on track on the pathway you have determined for yourself.
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Focusing of the Present and the Future vs. Analysing the Past
One of the key characteristics of counseling sessions is that the professional may delve into the past, analyze deeply impactful situations and happenings. This analysis of past occurrences helps the counselor understand why the client reacts in a specific way, what has shaped the client's thoughts, perceptions, attitudes and beliefs. Based on these revelations, the counselor helps the client address their current issues.
In contrast, a life coach is not as concerned with past happenings although these do feature during the coaching sessions. The coach is not only keen on identifying the root cause of the client's disturbances. The life coach also hopes to sculpt for the client a clear pathway for the future> that will lead to the fulfillment of his/ her goals in life. Life Coaches tend to focus more on where their client hopes to be in the future than where the client has been in the past. In line with this approach, the coach also supports the client's journey towards his/ her dream destination.
This is viewed as a more practical approach that is likely to yield results quickly since past events cannot be influenced while future ones can. By focusing energies and efforts on how the client should move forward, the life coach helps the client take firm control of life and gain immense confidence in him or herself. During the coaching session, the focus is on creating actionable strategies that make a difference to the present and future life of the client, the client accountable for progress.
Scientific-spiritual explorations vs. purely scientific approach
The use of holistic methods allows the life coach to help the client view and decipher the bigger picture so that lasting change may be brought about in the client's lifestyle and perceptions. In doing so, the life coach also empowers the client in such a way that he/ she can avoid such disturbances from skewing the client's perception in the future. Bringing about a change in mindset is an integral part of the Life Coaching experience. At the end of the session, the client feels more positive and his entire personality is more aligned to achieving success.
On the other hand, counselors may focus on resolving specific issues of the client without imparting the tools that the client can use to prevent similar disturbances from cropping up again. Lasting change may not be achieved by counseling although the client may find complete resolution from issues that have been plaguing the client for years on end.[widgetkit id=6]