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C is for Coaching

Author: null null Published: 23rd June 2012 21:37

Good Mental Health logoI've often heard people ask ‘so what's the difference between coaching and counselling?' On the face of it, how can you tell? You'll probably be in a room having a confidential one to one session, trying to sort out a problem or problems.

 "Coaching is most useful for individuals when they are: formulating a business, career or personal strategy, in transition from one role to another, building a new skill or resolving a dilemma.

Coaching can also help individuals to transform their personal performance, help new teams to reach peak performance quickly or help established teams to improve their effectiveness, or shape a cultural shift in organisations seeking to move to more responsive, committed, flexible, open ways of working.

Coaching works best when the client/s wants to be coached rather than when they think they need to be coached or, worse, when someone else tells them they have to."


Coaches use a variety of techniques and models to help people develop a vision of where they want to be, and turn these into goals. Coaching aims to encourage motivation, focus and learning from experience. One of the most important tenets of coaching is about having the right mindset to make the changes needed to reach goals, and often this involves identifying barriers to change - those negative beliefs which hold us back from achieving our potential.

This facilitative approach to coaching was pioneered by Timothy Gallwey with his 1974 book - The Inner Game of Tennis. Prior to this, coaching in sport was primarily about skills based training. Now coaching is widely used in businesses, with managers and teams, and there are any number of coaching specialisms to help individuals with change and transition.

Examples of these include; life coaching, career coaching, financial coaching, health coaching, sport coaching, business coaching.

A coach is more likely to help a person in actively making changes for the future, whereas a counsellor is more likely to help a person unpick past experiences which are causing problems in their present situation. But having said that, there will be plenty of counsellors using coaching methods, and successful coaches will have a good knowledge of psychology.

Once again it's a question of personal rapport which brings out the best in a coaching relationship as with counselling. With coaching, as with counselling, there is no legal regulatory framework. In other words anyone can call themselves a coach or a counsellor. Personal recommendations are likely to be the best way to find a good coach, and always ask about qualifications, experience, and professional knowledge of other disciplines.

To find out more about Coaching and even a free 2 day course introducing coaching skills, here are a couple of web links:



Click here to find out more about The Good Mental Health Company

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