Do I need counselling or coaching?

I often get asked the following questions: do I need counselling or coaching? what are the differences between the two? how do I know which one is right for me? what do I do once I have decided? These are all great questions and just the fact that you are reaching out for support is something to be very proud of. Hopefully the information in this post will help you choose your next step.

Counselling vs coaching

What is counselling?

According to the Counselling Directory, it “… falls under the umbrella term ‘talking therapies’ and allows people to discuss their problems and any difficult feelings they encounter in a safe, confidential environment.” The purpose behind this to find the root cause of the problem so that it can be worked on and healed, rather than just putting a bandage on it. In the simplest terms, it is about finding out how your past is influencing your present.

What is coaching?

Coaching, on the other hand, is forward focused. The International Coaching Community defines it as unlocking “… a person’s potential to maximise their performance. Coaching helps them to learn rather than teaching them.” The purpose behind this is to help facilitate change by working with individuals to decide who they want to be, where they want to go, and how they are going to get there. In the simplest terms, it is about finding out how your present is shaping your future.


GLC RESILIENCE COACHING is designed to fit in after a person has been through a talking therapy such as counselling or psychotherapy. It aims to aid the transition to independence and help individuals become strong, confident, and well. We take lessons and coping mechanisms from the counselling process and apply them to build futures that people can be excited about.

Making choices

Is counselling or coaching right for me?

This is a very tricky one to answer because it is very personal to individual circumstances. However, we believe there are some general rules that you can apply:

  1. If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness and have not been through counselling, you think you might have a mental illness, or you have been to see a counsellor who feels you would benefit from more of this type of therapy, then counselling should be your first port of call.
  2. If you are worried about your mood or behaviours, feel like you are struggling to cope, or have any thoughts of harm, again counselling or psychotherapy is the most appropriate option for you. Please also speak to your GP about the way you are feeling.
  3. If you have been ‘signed off’ by a counsellor or psychotherapist but would still like a bit of support to get where you want to go, then coaching, especially resilience or wellbeing coaching, could be really beneficial for you.
  4. If life is generally positive but there is one nagging issue that seems to be blocking your path then coaching could be the trick to helping you look at the problem in a different way, or look at solutions that you might not have thought of.

How do I find the right person?

Both counselling and coaching are relationship-based, which means that they tend to work better if you have trust and a good relationship with your counsellor or coach. Many counsellors and coaches will offer a free or discounted introductory session so that you can understand more about how they work and who they are as a person; this should help give you an idea of whether they are the right person for you to work with. Try to keep an open mind, and be honest with whoever you choose, but ultimately, this is a decision about your health and wellbeing, so if you feel in any way like it isn’t working, find someone else.

What now?

If you would like any more information on what you have read or would like to chat, you can contact us on or via any of our social media which can be found on our Contact Us page. You can also find some more of our frequently asked questions here.

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