LifeMappers Counselling & Coaching

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Counselling & Coaching - What's The Difference?

In general, coaches tend to work to work with a client with a view to moving forward towards reaching specific goals and the main focus is on taking effective action. The goals coaches set up with their clients are measurable and the result of the actions taken to reach those goals are mostly visible. Meanwhile, a counsellor will often help a client to explore the origin of issues, and to look at ways to develop new strategies to confront those issues.  The goals counsellors set up with their clients may not be as clearly "measurable" because they are directed at changing internal emotional distress, destructive thoughts, and problem behaviours.

Having said that, the boundaries between coaching and counselling are not always clear. There are psychological approaches, such as those derived from Positive Psychology, Solution Focused Therapy and Brief Therapy, which are widely used by both coaches and counsellors and my approach could probably best be described as a blend between “coaching” and “counselling”.

My fundamental beliefs are:

  • You may be hurting and/or you may be feeling “stuck” right now but you are not “broken” in the sense of needing to be “fixed”
  • Even if you don’t believe it at the moment, you will be able to use what is “right” about you and your situation as a powerful resource as we work together to overcome what might be “wrong”
  • Feelings, thoughts and behaviours are so interwoven that any shift or change, no matter how small, in how you feel or how and what you think is as much an action as a behaviour is. 


I am often asked how many sessions it will take to achieve a particular goal or resolve an issue and the only honest answer I can give is that I truly don’t know. Counselling can sometimes be a slower process than coaching, but this is not always the case. In my experience, I have known some people who have solved their “problem” in a couple of sessions as well as others who have needed to take more time to feel comfortable and ready to become “unstuck”.  There are also some life issues such as bereavement, for example, where it is more usual for there to be more ongoing periodic support as needed. Whatever you would like some help with, my intention is always to provide that help and support in as few sessions as possible.