What is the difference between Coaching and Counseling?

I get this question often and the short answer is that counseling focuses on the past while coaching focuses on the future. 

How I will often explain the difference between to is this: counseling/therapy spends 80% of sessions discussing past events, emotions, and how to heal. The counselor initiates the awareness of what's wrong deep inside and helps the client navigate on "fixing" it.

 

Coaching sessions spend 20% of the session discussing their client's past, not to "fix", but to understand how it has informed their present. The coach initiates the awareness of barriers and roadblocks that has prevented someone from moving into action. Coaching helps the client develop strengths and skills so they can move forward or achieve a specific goal.

**Another important distinction is that counselors diagnosis and treat mental health illnesses. If you teen is experiencing severe mental health concerns such as self-harm, suicide, major depression, it is best to seek a counselor and consider coaching at a later time.**