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What is the Difference Between Counseling and Coaching?

Marriage_coach

Are you wondering what is the difference between counseling and coaching?

Marriage_coachVery briefly, coaching does not look to the past to see what is wrong.

Coaching does not look at the client and search for some pathology as the real problem. Coaching looks at the present and future, and focuses on enhancing your life.  In my practice, what people commonly call marriage counseling, for example, is really marriage coaching. Some couples are nervous about coming in for help with their marriage, because they fear I will side with one person against the other.  When a couple comes in to see me, my client is really the marriage – not the people!  I am focused on improving the relationship, not in fixing either person in it. There really are things a couple can do to improve their marriage.  Ideally, you should come in for marriage counseling when there are no big problems to work on.  It seems strange to think about marriage counseling when your marriage is doing well, but that is the best time to make sure it keeps doing well – sort of like a checkup at the doctor’s office. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come in when there are big problems, which is what most people do.

Q: When is the best time to plant a tree?

A: Twenty years ago. The second best time is right now.