Coaching Compared to Counselling

Counselling, is a highly skilled intervention focused on helping individuals address underlying psychological problems. It generally focuses on resolving the past to create a better present.

Counselling Coaching
Broader focus and greater depth Narrower focus
Goal is to help people understand the root causes of either long-standing performance problems/issues at work or long-standing personal problems The goal is to improve an individuals life performance or performance at work i.e. the focus is on results
A short-term intervention, but can last for longer time periods due to the breadth of issues to be addressed Tends for be a short-term intervention with a specific issue and outcome in mind
Counselling can be used to address psycho-social as well as performance issues Coaching does not seek to resolve any underlying psychological problems. It assumes a person does not require a psycho-social intervention i.e. the person being coached is clinically well
The agenda is generally agreed by the individuals and the counsellor The agenda is typically set by the individual (transformational coaching) or by the individual in agreement/ consultation with the organisation (executive coaching)
Other stakeholders are rarely involved Other stakeholders may be involved (executive coaching)