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The Differences Between Coaching vs Counselling

Coaching or Counselling?

While coaching and counselling share some similarities, such as providing support and facilitating personal growth, there are a number of key differences in their focus, methods, and objectives.  

If you are seeking support in your journey as a Neurodiverse person it is important to understand what you need and/or are wanting from a practitioner.  Are you looking for a coach? Someone who can help you connect with the action-oriented, goal focused you? OR, are you seeking a counsellor, a person who provides emotional support and comes from a place of understanding you? What are the differences between coaching and counselling? 

Lets explore and start with Coaching

There is an increasing prevalence of coaching worldwide due to a growing demand for personal development.  We live in a fast-paced and competitive world and individuals are looking for extra support to enhance their personal and professional lives.   

As more people experience the positive impact of coaching first-hand, there is a growing awareness of its effectiveness in fostering self-awareness, motivation, and accountability. Organisations and individuals alike are recognising the value of coaching as a means to unlock potential and drive performance. But what is Coaching exactly? 

"A good coach will hold their clients “feet to the fire” by supporting them to stay on the necessary pathway to kick their goals straight down the line"

Coaching typically focuses on taking action to achieve specific goals. It aims to bridge the gap between where the individual currently is and where they want to be. Coaches often help clients identify concrete steps they can take to move forward. We call this action-oriented. 

Coaching usually involves setting clear, measurable goals and working towards them. Coaches can assist their clients in identifying their goals, breaking them down into manageable tasks, and developing strategies to achieve them.  This is where goal setting comes in and a good coach will hold their clients “feet to the fire” by supporting them to stay on the necessary pathway to kick those goals straight down the line. 

There tends to be an emphasis from coach to client to find solutions rather than dwell on underlying reasons for problems. Coaches will help clients overcome obstacles by exploring different perspectives, brainstorming ideas, and implementing practical solutions.  This element of coaching is called solutions-focused. 

Coaching often follows a more structured process, with defined steps and milestones. Much like what a coach is helping their client do, create structure in their lives, a coach will follow their own structure by using specific frameworks or methodologies to guide their interactions with their clients and track progress towards goals. Coaching has a more structured approach. 

At DivergenThinking we know that a large majority of coaches are trained to work with neurotypical clients and therefore do not understand the implications of Neurodiversity.  If you are diagnosed or suspect you have a Neurodiverse brain, seeking help from a “neurotypical approach” coach can be detrimental as they may not be the fit that your brain profile needs, resulting in making you feel worse rather than better.    

We are experts at coaching from a Neurodiverse perspective. If you want to identify your goals, gain clarity and then have tools and solutions provided that work for your unique brain wiring, then our NQCoaching is for you.   

Very quickly we can help you define your goals, and really understand your WHY, because we know and understand what the likely implications of your Neurodiversity are.    

So what about Counselling? 

The practice of counselling has ancient roots, dating back to early civilisations where individuals sought guidance, support, and advice from elders, religious leaders, healers and “wise men”. However, the formalisation of counselling as a profession emerged more recently in the context of modern psychology and mental health care.  Counselling as a distinct profession gained momentum in the mid-20th century, particularly in response to the increasing recognition of mental health issues and the need for specialised support services.  

"An individual is seen as a “whole”, considering their mental, emotional, physical and social dimensions"

Counselling is the provision of a psychologically safe environment to explore and heal emotional trauma. It typically involves the exploration of underlying emotions, thoughts, and patterns of behaviour and aims to help individuals gain insight into their feelings and experiences, often by examining past events and relationships.  In this way counselling is more understanding-oriented. 

A counsellor may see a need for their client to try and problem-solve so there may be a focus on addressing specific problems or challenges, and, an emphasis on understanding the root causes of those issues/challenges. A counsellor will help their client explore thoughts and feelings and develop coping strategies, supporting them to make positive changes in their lives.  

Emotionally-focused. Counselling will often work with a client’s emotions, mental health issues, and interpersonal relationships. A good counsellor will provide support and guidance to their clients as they navigate difficult feelings, heal from past traumas, and improve their overall well-being. 

The Holistic perspective of counselling means that an individual is seen as a “whole”, considering their mental, emotional, physical and social dimensions. Counsellor’s may help clients explore their values, beliefs, and identity, and how these factors may influence their behaviour, their relationship with themselves and others. 

At DivergenThinking our counselling service is client centred – this means we work with what you as the client want to bring and discuss at each session.  

Our counselling takes into deep consideration the emotional and mental blocks that get in the way of understanding yourself more and the very good reasons why you do what you do. Through this understanding we want our clients to gain more personal insight and growth after each session. 

We believe counselling is beneficial because, only when you understand why you do what you do, will a possible solution be applicable and useful to you.  

Every brain is different and only when you understand yourself, will you understand what the most appropriate solutions are for you.  You are the expert in your own change, but you need to be provided with the framework to understand yourself first.  

"Our counselling is client centred"

So, overall, coaching is more action-oriented, goal-focused, and solution-driven, whereas counselling emphasises understanding, problem-solving, and emotional support. The choice between coaching and counselling depends on the individual's needs, preferences, and the nature of the challenges they are facing. 

If you would like more information on our coaching or counselling services contact us today. 


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