Coaching vs Counselling

For many of you, there could well be a point in life where you feel the need to turn to a family member, friend, peer or colleague for advice and assistance. Given the pressures likely to be faced in life, and the sometimes-delicate nature of humans, there may come a time to seek professional assistance. This may come in the form of a coach, or a counsellor, but what is the difference? Here, we seek to distinguish the two.


Using specific conversational and questioning methods, coaches help people gain clarity about a situation. Often, the topics will be centred around approaching something that will happen in the future and how best to approach it. Examples can include:

  • Seeking a job promotion or changing career
  • Being your best self at work or personally and enjoying the journey
  • Maintaining motivation to reach a goal

Coaches will also assist their clients in developing plans, goals and the best way of achieving them. However, this is not done through being told what to do and how to do it, rather it is brought out of the respondent themselves through specialised coaching techniques; these may involve insights and bites of information that you have shared with them. Sometimes, self-coaching and mindfulness will be encouraged outside of the planned sessions.


The techniques involved in counselling can vary upon the reasons as to why the recipient has sought or been referred to a counsellor. For example, a person may seek a counsellor for mental health conditions or post-traumatic stress or to understand why they do what they do from their upbringing.

Similarly, someone may be referred to a counsellor for addiction rehabilitation. Ultimately, the role of a counsellor across all these areas is to help the recipient deal with issues that plague them in day-to-day life. The counselling could take place in a group, or individually, and delve into the past of the recipient in order to find the root of a condition, whereas other methods could focus on finding a solution.

The similarity that counselling can have with coaching here is that the counsellor may not necessarily provide an answer or solution to the problem; rather they facilitate the recipient into finding the answer themselves and engaging in healthy coping mechanisms.

What we have provided here is more of a general description; we would suggest that you engage in some research of your own such as speaking to the professional you have in mind to see if their methods can be tailored to what you want to achieve.

If you wish to get in contact with Anne Taylor, you can contact her on 02031 516 830.I Anne has an extensive history of providing coaching for clients throughout London, from whole corporate teams to specific individuals seeking personal life coaching. Alternatively, you can contact her via email at