Life Coaching is an extremely effective means of making desired changes. As a Life Coach, Dr. Natale helps individuals and organizations accomplish their goals. Some of the topics usually addressed through coaching:
- Personal goals: weight loss, writing a book, etc.
- Career: advancement, transitions
- Relationships: Is he The One?, Is it time for me to leave?
- Sexual issues
- Educational goals
The differences between coaching and counseling are not always clear. Making the right choice between the two can make a difference in whether you get your needs met. Here are some of the distinctions between coaching and counseling that maybe helpful.
- Coaches work with their clients to reach specific life goals that enhance their growth in the absence of limiting emotional difficulties. For example a coach may help a client set a plan to change their lifestyle, relationships, sexual performance, or improving their business, etc. On the other hand, counselors work with people who experience thinking, emotional difficulties, or ingrained behavioral problems due to woundedness, trauma, or to a chemical imbalance
- The goals set by coachees are measurable and the results of the actions taken towards the goals are visible. For example, a man working on changing his career will set a series of small goals that advance him towards that change. His goals may include updating his resume to his new interests, talking to experts from the field he wants to work in, or asking potential employers what skills and traits they value the most in their employees. Tools could be used to help the person learn more about the way s/he communicates, their unique thinking process, and how they project their thoughts to others – all designed to assist the individual in accomplishing their stated goal.
- Coaches work to move a client forward reaching his or her goal. The main focus is on taking effective action.
- Coaches are more personal and tend to disclose more of their own experience than counselors. Counselors disclose rarely and only if they feel that such disclosure can greatly advance the client’s healing process.
- Coaching is an excellent way to move a person toward their goals when there is no appearance of mental or psychological issues. Just because someone is working on an issue or making changes in his life does not means he has a psychological issue.
- Coaching can be done over the phone, via video, or in person. Unlike counseling, coaching provides more flexibility of where and how we meet.
Even these differences can be relative. Counseling can sometimes be a slower process than coaching, but this is not always the case. In my experience as a counselor, some people have solved their target problem in a couple of sessions while others who have spent more than two years working in a more comprehensive plan addressing their past, present and future.
In spite of the blurry limits between coaching and counseling, I hope those six points mentioned above help you clarify what type of service suits you the best.