Life Coaching and Counseling
When you first hear the words life coaching and counseling, you may think they mean the same thing. They definitely have quite a few similarities. However, there are certain situations where counseling may be more appropriate than coaching and vice versa.
Let’s begin by going over what life coaching and counseling is and what each can help with.
What Is Counseling
What are the first images that come to your mind when you hear this? Is it laying down on a couch across from a therapist who is psychoanalyzing you? If you said yes, you’re not alone. This (and many others) are among some of the outdated ideas of what a therapy session can look like.
Thankfully, this is far from the truth. It’s 2022 and the counseling world has changed tremendously. Therapists (or at least this one!) do not analyze you or stay as silent wallflowers in the session. Counselors are there to help you learn skills to improve your mental health.
Today, a counseling session can look very different from therapist to therapist and client to client. While online therapy has been around for awhile, it has only grown in popularity due to the global pandemic. I don’t think anyone is grateful for the pandemic itself, but there is some good that has come from it.
The Rise of Telehealth Amidst A Global Pandemic
Mental health has always been important; however, that is only now just becoming apparent to many people. Because of the pandemic, more people are realizing how awful our mental health can get sometimes. Due to this, more and more people are seeking out support for various mental health issues. This is where counseling with a trained therapist can really help you to help you to learn and implement tools to lower anxiety and improve your mood.
Counseling Can Help With Many Issues
When you are going to a counselor for support, you could be facing any of the following issues:
- Life Transitions (Divorce, job loss/transition, retiring, moving away or going to college)
- Help as an LGBTQ+ individual – navigating a world and thriving (in spite of homophobia and bias)
You Need To Be Licensed To Work As A Counselor
Not just anyone can call themselves a counselor. In order to work with individuals or couples, a therapist needs to be licensed in the state and / or country that they wish to provide services to. They are certified and trained individuals who have studied the human mind and condition through rigorous schooling, supervision and self practice.
What Is Life Coaching and How Is It Different?
At first glance, life coaching can seem exactly the same as counseling. After all, they are both meant to help individuals through issues they are facing.
And there are some schools of therapy (like Cognitive Behavior Therapy) that are more similar to coaching than others (such as a traditional therapy that analyzes clients and focuses on resolving unconscious conflicts.
Unlike counseling, you don’t need to be licensed or certified to call yourself a life coach. However, that does not mean that anyone calling themselves a life coach can truly help you.
Another important distinction between counseling and life coaching is that typically, a counselor will help you work through present and past issues in order to get to a better future. With a life coach, however, they are focusing on the present and the future, not just the past (though the same can be said of Cognitive Behavior Therapists too!). While the past may come up with a life coach, it is not necessary to understand your present situation.
Why Should I Work With a Life Coach?
If life coaching and counseling are similar, you may be wondering why you should even bother working with a life coach and not just a counselor. A life coach can help you:
- Set the goals you want to achieve, both big and small
- Find the direction you want to go with for your life
- Learn how you can transition into the career you truly want
- Overcome obstacles that are preventing you from having healthier relationships
- Discover your values
- And so much more!
Life coaching is exactly what it sounds like. You can think of a life coach as the cheerleader rooting you on from the sidelines who wants to see you truly thrive in life.
But sometimes, working with either a life coach or a counselor is not the answer you really need. So what is? Sometimes, the best choice is working with someone who specializes in life coaching and counseling.
A professional who is trained as a life coach and counselor can help you get out of any holes you find yourself in AND help you learn tools to climb the mountains of your dreams!
Not only am I a licensed mental health counselor and accredited cognitive behavior therapist counselor but I am also a qualified life coach. Having been trained in life coaching and counseling enables me to help you through the toughest mental health concerns AND help you to a happier place more free from anxiety and other issues. And I am that cheerleader on the side ready to give you the support and encouragement you need to reach any obstacle you face.
I am a Board Certified Coach (BCC Coach), a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii and an Accredited CBT Therapist and Psychotherapist in the UK with over 16 years of experience. I specialize in helping people learn to manage their emotions, identify their values and thrive. I have received advanced specialist training in Coaching, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy.