The conclusion Some say that counselors work on the “why of the problem”, while coaching focuses on “how to get out of the problem”; they also say that counselors will analyze the past and coaches will look to the future. It's important to note that both coaches and counselors work to achieve specific goals and changes. Coaching advocates say they provide a different service that helps clients achieve their goals for the future and create a new life path. They say counselors spend more time examining the past, finding solutions to their emotional problems, and obtaining the diagnosis required by insurance companies.
Coaches suggest that the relationships they establish with clients are also more collegial in nature. Trainers and clients work in a less structured environment as a team rather than establishing a “doctor-patient relationship”. A coach will think that you need training, whether you need it or not. A therapist will think that you need therapy, regardless of whether you need it or not. A therapist who is trained as a coach will take a much more nuanced and reflective approach.
However, the main concern expressed by professional counselors was that coaches should be more strictly regulated so as not to be tempted to cross the line and offer counseling services unless they are properly trained and certified. Pressman believes that professional counselors should better market services for which they are already qualified and that allow them to help people in the same way as coaches. It suggests that strict certification laws be established for the coaching profession and that some coaches be investigated for practicing without an advisory license. Summers has used a coach and believes that training is an important helping profession, albeit with a limited scope.
Compare coaching to services provided by personal trainers, nutritionists, or massage therapists, who help people with health problems. Lynn Mitchell, a business executive and management consultant for nearly 20 years, is pursuing a master's degree in counseling in Chicago, but she wants to be a life coach. While recognizing the value of what properly trained life counselors offer to their clients, many counselors argue that coaches simply use the theories and techniques that are taught to each counselor on a regular basis. A coach who practices therapy will recommend that you seek mental health services instead of counseling. Baylor, a trained counselor and coach who works in both areas and trains professional counselors to use their training skills, is a member of the ACA and has been in private practice for 10 years.
That was the moment when I realized that I wanted to expand my practice and offer training services in addition to therapy. So, if you're looking for a coach, especially one that doesn't have a foundation as a therapist, make sure they've received at least basic coaching training through an accredited training program, such as the ICF or the BCC. While some life coaches do receive training or education around coaching (from reading a book on how to be a life coach to attending a weekend seminar or following a training program), this isn't a requirement and many don't bother.