In recent years the term ‘life coaching’ has entered our lives. You may have read about it on the internet or heard it from a celebrity as it first became popular thanks to famous personalities who turned to it and talked publicly about how they benefited from it. But do you really know its meaning and the relation between life coaching and counseling? If you are not familiar with these terms, let’s delve into the details between these two related professions and see which one is more suitable for you.
What is life coaching?
First, let’s see what a life coach does. You may want to consult a life coach when you need to be motivated in various areas of your life. Life coaches can help you with personal and professional matters. The person you hire for life coaching is capable of coaching and mentoring their clients to take the right decisions, overcome a problem or focus on their goals.
If you are very busy and life coaching sessions don’t seem to fit in your schedule, there is the possibility to have telephone sessions to save time. Usually one session per week is enough, but this depends on your requirements.
What to expect from counseling
The term mental health counselor can refer to a social worker, a psychiatrist or a psychologist. A mental health counselor is qualified to work with their patient on their mental and emotional health. A therapist’s role is multidimensional and can vary from giving parenting tips to helping people with addictions. More and more people defy the fear of being stigmatized as mentally unstable or weak and do not hesitate to get help from a specialist.
Because of the pandemic, isolation and uncertainty about the future have led many people to seek for professional help. The current circumstances made online sessions the main way people choose to communicate with their therapist. It is reasonable to be asked to pay for the session beforehand.
Except for individual therapy, group therapy has been beneficial for many. Of course, you may not feel comfortable to talk in front of strangers, but it is recommended as you can exchange views with people you share the same concerns. This will help someone who feels alone.
Similarities and differences
While a counselor focuses on helping you on mental health issues, a life coach focuses on helping you to achieve your goals. A mental health counselor or therapist, like BetterHelp counselors, are licensed professionals. In order to become a licensed counselor or therapist, you have to go through many years of schooling. On the contrary, to start working as a life coach does not require a degree. They may have attended a training program and have certain skills, such as communication, determination and confidence.
For a person who needs help for psychological reasons it is advisable to address to a mental health counselor who is qualified to advise someone on psychological issues like anxiety or depression.
On the other hand, you can consult a life coach if you need guidance regarding professional goals, for instance, choosing the right profession for you.
You need to determine what your needs are and what you expect from this interaction. In your first meeting with the respective professional candidate, you will be asked what is the reason you visited them. An honest therapist will direct you to another professional if they can’t help you with your problem.
Keep also in mind that a therapist who already sees somebody in your family, most probably will not accept to see you too. But if you have heard good reviews about them, you can ask them to introduce you to a colleague with similar traits and skills.
Life coach or counselor?
These two professions belong to the same industry and an individual can benefit from both. In each case you must find the right person who is suitable for you. Like when you are looking for a doctor or a tutor, your acquaintances can be a good source of information. Nevertheless, someone who is appropriate for them may not suit you and vice versa. During your search for the most suitable person to work with, you can set an appointment and meet them in person before you settle down. Many people are not happy with their first attempt. Thus, they decide to move on to the next therapist to find the one they are satisfied with. This is normal and it happens with all kinds of relationships. It is not easy to open up and trust anyone.
At various times in our lives we need to face difficulties or improve our lifestyle. When we can’t achieve it on our own, it’s necessary to ask for help. Many famous people, like Oprah Winfrey, have confessed they have succeeded thanks to their life coach. At the same time, many celebrities have also openly discussed about going to therapy. They’ve talked about the fact that therapy had a good impact on their career and their lives in overall. The one doesn’t preclude the other.
To sum it up, both counseling and life coaching can have beneficial effects on your life. The biggest difference lies in the fact that a counselor is specialized in psychological disorders. This means that in case a life coach notices that their client needs psychological help, they should urge them to see one. Mental health is very important and it is not something that should be taken lightly.