By Claire McEnery 
 
When people are trying to make sense of coaching, I often get asked if it’s the same as counselling.  
 
There is a yes and no answer to this question. Yes, we use similar tools as they’re both a talking therapy. No, coaching isn’t the same as counselling because we cover different areas. In brief, counselling is about talking through a past experience and being able to move on from it. Coaching is about moving forward. 
Let’s compare our emotional or wellbeing journey to medication. First of all we may have noticed an issue and we want it to go away. This could be negative thoughts or feeling low. If this was a toothache, we would take paracetamol or a pain killer of some kind. With low mood we might busy ourselves with a chore or activity or even spend a day in bed.  
 
However, once this painkiller has worn off, if there is a deeper problem, the pain or the mood will return. So, the toothache could in fact be an infection which requires an antibiotic to fix the problem. You would make an appointment with a dentist and get the necessary medication. If your mood was still low or you were constantly thinking about a past experience, further intervention may be required. This is where a counsellor may be used; they can be your form of antibiotic to help fix the issue or move on from it. 
When your toothache has gone, you may be advised to increase your vitamin c intake to improve the strength of your teeth and prevent further infection. This is where coaching comes in, coaching is your vitamin.  
 
Coaching can help you to continue moving forward rather than referring back to the past. Effective coaching will enable you to think positively and will prevent negativity from taking up camp in your mind. With a good boost of effective coaching you will have the protection of the vitamins to prevent setbacks. 
 
There are several kinds of therapy which all have a time and a place, just like painkillers, antibiotics and vitamins have their place. 
The above example talks about putting the vitamin in place last. 
 
However, if the vitamin has been used beforehand, on a regular basis, there may have been no need for the medication.  
 
Vitamins prevent risks of potential issues. Let’s not wait for there to be a problem, lets prevent any problems and be the best version of ourselves! 
Please do check out the other parts of this series. I'm sure you'll find them helpful. Also, if you have further questions, please do contact me or book a call. 
 
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