Coaching vs. Counseling: What is the Difference?


Coaching vs. Counseling: What is the Difference?
When it comes to understanding coaching versus counseling a lot of people get confused. They have trouble understanding what  the differences of a coach, a counselor and a mentor are and what roles they take.  I started off my career as a counselor/therapist in the addiction industry wanting to help people and I learned quickly that the addiction mental health industry doesn’t really heal individuals. A lot of them stay sick for most of the time. What I learned also was that a lot of people like to be stuck. They like the idea being broken; it allows them to focus on something and maybe even obsess over it. It also gives them an out for them Bad behavior.
I’m going to break it down for you in a simple chart that you can look at and see when comparing the three.
We look at coaching we look at counseling but then we also talk about mentorship and in addiction this is also known as a sponsor. A sponsor is someone that has been where you are but may not have a degree or formal education. Their job is simply to offer you advice on where they have been and where they went that may be beneficial in relation to what you’re trying to accomplish.
Counseling was big in the 1980s and when we deal with counseling we think of the individual as broken or in need of repair. An individual go to a counselor that’s looking for specific advice, most of the sessions deal with past trauma and dealing with severe issues. The goal of the counselor or therapist is to diagnose the client and offer advice based upon their clinical education. They approach the situation generally that a client does not have the answers and they do. They are also looking to diagnose the client DSM-V and offer a clinical opinion or diagnosis of what is actually wrong with the client. After they do this they can then offer solutions and suggestions to fix what is seen as problematic in the client.
When it comes to coaching, the idea behind coaching is that the individual has all of the answers within them. It’s action-based and present and future and that means that the client being coached will leave with an action plan the day and the coach create together. It’s seen as a team effort and it’s seen as progressive. I switched from counseling to coaching over 10 years ago and I have seen more radical changes within my client base than I ever had in my entire career as a counselor simply focusing on a client has broken. Once I switched my thought process and my strategy into helping a client that really isn’t broken things changed.
When it comes to coaching we approach the client that they have all the tools within them that they need they just need to learn how to access them. If it’s addiction coaching and sobriety coaching or recovery coaching, what we do is treat the client like addiction is not their problem it’s a solution to a problem. We try to figure out what the problem is. It could be a coping mechanism or lack of coping skill. It could be a trauma and then obviously counseling would be appropriate, it could be a boredom for use or even a low serotonin dopamine problem in their brain. As a coach we try to figure out what the problem is and create a plan to solve it. Then we spend most of our time in action. We’re as a therapist will spend most of their time in reflection of the past we look at the future as more important.
Take some time  and look at the chart below and see what you’re looking for. Do you need a mentor or a sponsor to help you through your addiction? Are you wanting to become an addiction‘s coach so you’re looking for a mentor? Maybe you have an unresolved trauma or issues that you’re working through and you need assistance from a therapist. But maybe you realize there’s nothing wrong with you and what you need as a coach to help you get unstuck. And that’s my specialty. I’m Dr. Cali Estes of The Addictions Coach and Sober on demand and I help my clients get unstuck and live the best life possible. Check out my website below and give me a call if you feel like you could use action some steps and a boost to get to the next level.