• Coaching vs. Counseling – Which is right for me?

    There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between coaching and counseling.  The line isn’t super black and white.  It can get a little fuzzy – even for professionals!

    I thought it might be a good idea to discuss some of the key differences, so you can feel more equipped to think through what might be right for you.  Keep in mind, you don’t have to have it all figured out though.  This is one of the key reasons Vibrantly Live offers all prospective clients a complimentary phone consultation.  We want to learn about your vision for the future and together we can decide if working together will be a good fit and, which modality would be most likely to help you achieve that vision!


    Counseling:  Something is broken (directly impacting day to day functioning) and needs to be fixed.  

    Coaching:  Nothing is broken.  There is a desire to improve in order to reach a higher level of functioning.  


    Counseling:  The counselor is seen as the expert.  A client recognizes they need a professional to help them.  The counselor identifies the course of treatment and the client follows along.

    Coaching:  The coach and client are seen as equal partners.   The coach knows techniques, but the client is the expert on themselves.  Together, they determine priorities and direction.  


    Counseling:  Understanding the root cause of what’s not working is necessary in order to determine how to fix it. This puts the focus primarily on the past and present.

    Coaching:  The coach believes the client inherently knows what she needs, but just hasn’t been able to figure that out on her own yet.  Together they discover that.  This puts the focus primarily on the present and future.


    Counseling:  Healing happens at different rates for different people.  Counseling services are designed to happen in tandem with a client’s pace so they feel safe to heal at their own pace.  There is no required pacing.  

    Coaching:  Accountability is a critical factor in coaching, so clients agree to a specified program of work.  Coaching sessions happen 2x/month for a specified time period.


    Counseling:  This is a highly regulated industry requiring a minimum of a Master’s Degree and further training in order to become licensed. In the state of Indiana, it is currently a misdemeanor to provide “counseling” without a license.

    Coaching:  This is a highly unregulated industry, requiring little to no training or background.  Anyone can call themselves a “coach.”  It is important to ask individuals about their experience and training.

    These are just a few of the differences between these modalities.  We’re happy to help you sort through what would best serve you and your needs.  We welcome a conversation to hear about the life you’re dreaming of!