Counseling and Coaching: Understanding the Distinctions

The profession of coaching is exploding and many therapists are training to become coaches. However, the differences between counseling and coaching can seem vague and ambiguous, making it difficult for some to truly feel like they have made the transition from counselor to coach.

This five-session course clarifies the differences between coaching and counseling, explores thinking like a coach, illuminates how a coaching session differs from a counseling session, and helps students create their coaching identity.

Course Objectives: As a result of this course, students will:

  • Identify the distinctions between coaching and counseling
  • Recognize the difference between thinking like a coach and thinking like a counselor
  • Explore the structure of a coaching session
  • Understand the issues that are and are not appropriate for coaching & when to ethically refer a client
  • Create a personal coaching identity

This course has an additional one hour a week requirement of Peer Group Meetings as well as weekly assignments of approximately one hour.

Frequency:  This course is offered once or twice a year, depending on level of interest.

Course Prerequisites



Laurie was very prepared, thought provoking and she had a lot of great examples to help us in application. She also had a skill of inviting input where everyone shared, interacted and asked questions. She wanted to be there as was evidenced by her energy, tone and attentiveness.
- S. McAward