A common question people often have is,
What is the Difference Between Coaching and Counselling?
That is a very common and good question.
Here’s a simplified summary of the main differences.
Therapy, also called counselling or psychotherapy, is typically a long-term process in which a client works with a registered healthcare professional to diagnose and resolve problematic beliefs, behaviours, relationship issues, feelings and sometimes physical responses.
The main idea behind counselling is to focus on past traumas and/or issues to change current self-destructive habits, repair and improve relationships and work through painful feelings.
Understanding it this way, counselling focuses on the past and on introspection and analysis, with the hope of resolving past issues, overcoming unhelpful emotions, dealing with unhelpful beliefs and consequent behaviours, and creating a happier life.
MARRIAGE COUNSELLING / THERAPY
Marriage counselling is a type of psychotherapy for a married couple or established partners that try to resolve problems in the relationship.
Typically, two people attend counselling sessions to discuss specific issues.
Marriage counselling is based on research that shows that individuals and their problems are best handled within the context of their relationships. Marriage counsellors are typically trained in psychotherapy (e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, ACT) and family systems and focus on understanding their clients’ symptoms and the way their interactions contribute to problems in the relationship. Research indicates that marriage counselling’s efficacy is often influenced by how long a couple waits to get help.
ONLINE RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING
Online Relationship counselling is a form of talk therapy that helps couples of all types recognise and resolve conflicts in order to improve their relationship.
ONLINE RELATIONSHIP COACHING
Relationship coaching provides insight, clarity, tools, feedback, and accountability to the couple about how their behaviour affects the other person and how it could be changed. It is the newest of the three.
Anyone can call themselves a relationship coach without having received any formal training, having ever been in a relationship themselves, or with very little life experience.
Many people think that since a coach is “certified” (which by the way is not a requirement), they can expect expert help. Sadly, that isn’t always the case.
WHAT I DO
I have trained as a professional counsellor (New Zealand Institute of Professional Counselling, Level 6) and as a clinical hypnotherapist (under Grant Boddington), have Bachelor and Masters degrees in the field of Theology and was an ordained minister for 15 years, have trained at the Robbins-Madanes Institute of Strategic Intervention, and am currently studying psychology (Massey University) and working towards becoming a registered general psychologist.
Please note that I do NOT promote myself as a registered counsellor nor therapist of any kind nor work as one, but work exclusively as a relationship/life coach and am the sole proprietor of my NZ based coaching business selling online courses, ebooks, and coaching services.
You can also view me as a type of knowledgable mentor who is there to support you in creating a happier life and a more fulfilling relationship.
By using my services and signing me up as your coach, you agree to my disclaimer and understand that this is at your own risk.
Most importantly, however, I’m a husband of over 14 years and a dad of two.
I used to see clients one-on-one and in-person but work mostly with clients online nowadays (including phone).
But here’s how my approach differs from marriage therapy or relationship counselling:
- I Focus on Relationship Dynamics and Not on Fixing You.
Instead of focusing on fixing you, I focus on your relationship and its dynamics.
I treat your relationship as a system – a living organism made up of two people (more if kids are involved).
And like any living organism, it has certain basic needs to survive and thrive. When these needs are not met, ignored, or even threatened, the organism (i.e. the relationship) starts to break down and even run the risk of dying.
Conversely, when the needs are met, the relationship feels secure, has a lot of certainty and predictability, becomes playful, feels harmonious, individuals feel connected, and the relationship grows.
So, I work to help you get clarity on what each individual needs, how those needs can be met best, what’s preventing those needs from being met, and how to overcome the obstacles preventing a couple from creating their best relationship.
- I Coach You to Become the Expert in Your Own Relationship.
The second way that my approach is different is that I truly believe, based on experience, that many people need more insight, knowledge, understanding and training, rather than therapy.
So many couples are a danger to their relationships, not because of ill intent, but ignorance.
They simply do not have the skills or insight to create a great relationship because nobody has ever taught them.
Most people, in my experience, simply perpetuate examples and patterns from their childhood.
My coaching approach aims to challenge and change that.
As a happily married husband myself, I live and breathe relationship research to be the best version I can be in my own marriage and for my wife.
Additionally, as a trained professional counsellor, I’ve done far more training than a weekend certification after which I call myself a relationship coach.
I can coach you on some of the main therapeutic modalities that are backed by clinical research (like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), as well as share with you a wealth of knowledge from the trenches (i.e. having been happily married myself for a long time).
I will teach you the stuff I’ve learned that actually works in creating a happy, healthy, and intimate relationship so that when we are finished, you will have enough insight and skills to self-correct in your relationship in the future.
- Connection First, Communication Second.
The final way that my approach is oftentimes different from relationship counselling, is that I don’t start with improving communication.
A lack of communication or poor communication, in my understanding and experience, is not the main reason for your relationship troubles.
A lack of connection is.
Whenever a couple starts losing connection with each other (sometimes called emotional distancing or disconnect), everything else starts breaking down.
Conventional wisdom says that if you can communicate effectively, you will feel connected. Now, even though that might be true and a healthy relationship, it is not necessarily true in a struggling one.
My experience has shown me that if I teach a couple some communication skills before they feel connected again, they just end up fighting with better weapons.
Conversely, however, when a couple learns to connect with each other again, improved communication becomes a natural outflow of that.
It’s funny how couples who feel deeply connected with each other rarely seem to have issues communicating.
I also follow this approach because I have learned that men typically respond adversely to a communication first approach.
This is due to more physiological differences than psychological.
Talking about tough stuff simply trigger a different response in men than in women.
So, I focus on getting a couple connected first.
I teach them a couple of important distinctions of how men and women connect differently (also what breaks connection), how they can use it in their own relationship, as well as what they need to work on more if they want to be successful long-term.
Another question people often have is,
How Can Working With A Coach Help You?
Firstly, we know that research found that of the people who get coaching:
- 67.6% higher level of self-awareness
- 62.4% smarter goal-setting
- 60.5% more balanced life
- 57.1% lower stress levels
- 52.9% self-discovery
- 52.4% more self-confidence
- 43.3% improvement in quality of life
- 39.5% enhanced communication skills
- 33.3% better family relationships
- 31.9% increased energy
- 31.9% more fun
- 25.7% stopped a bad habit
- and more…
BUT when people get quality relationship coaching specifically…
- Couples align and improve (and save) their relationships.
- Children live with happier parents, which impacts their entire lives.
- Whole families discover a way to get along in peace, enabling each member to be stronger and more successful than ever.
- And individuals get to free themselves from negative relationship histories – and finally be the kind of spouse, partner and parent they always wanted to be.
These are all excellent reasons to consider working with a coach as soon as you can!
Ready to get started?