Unique Qualifications Needed to Bridge Coaching and Counselling:
As a client, you might ask yourself these questions:
Are there guidelines and expectations that separate the work of a Coach from a Counsellor?
What are the intentions of a Coach, and how are they the same - or - different from a Counsellor?
What informs a client when trying to decide what kind of support is needed; and very importantly, what training does the practitioner have?
Caution: It is easy for professionals to use trendy language and professional jargon. It is then easy to lead potential clients to think they would be receiving the latest trend in treatments. Personally, as member of the "helping professions", I aim to be clear and concise in describing the work I do. In offering a "Bridge between Coaching and Counselling, I want you to know how I think about the two roles. I want your expectations to match how we would work together.
Counsellors (Therapists): Those of us who have joined professional organizations such as the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors have had to prove ourselves in formal training. We have had to complete a Master's Degree, document our schooling, have a professional internship, plus clinical supervision (in my training, 800 hrs. were required). Being part of this kind of association guides potential clients to find a Clinical Counsellor who: holds credentials that ensure competency, which requires professional insurance, who will follow ethical guidelines and, hopefully, one who will suit them personally.
A Counsellor or Therapist is a person who, through conversation and questioning, helps a client who has mental health issues due to their personal history, a problem they cannot solve or a situation they cannot fix and who may feel 'stuck'. The counsellor helps with wider life issues. Counselors bring a different skill set to their clients than coaches. The stance of a therapist is usually "more still, composed, and thoughtful". Counsellng clients may be voluntary, but are also mandated and/or part of conditions for meeting legal, employment or other social matters.
Coaches: have a wide range of training. Not all coaches have followed degree programs. However, many programs are geared to meet the requirements of the International Federation of Coaches. Many times, a coach will be part of an organization (either internal or external) and will work with an individual (or a team) in the organization on career-related issues. I am not talking here about sports. Coaches help a client reflect on their position and/or performance, recognize patterns, face challenges and stretch capabilities.
A coach's focus and emphasis is on development, learning and growth of the client. The coach's stance is "about learning to be with peoples as they navigate through their world, finding key moments when they are most open to learning". An essential identifier of a coach is that a client participates voluntarily. Coaches work with clients who are willing, to some degree, to face their own challenges through questioning, feedback and release from unsuccessful patterns. Questioning is action oriented, measurable results are set as goals, and the client initiates the goals supported by the coach's questions. In addition, the coach will encourage a client towards self-directed reflection.
Your decision to step into active change can be enhanced by walking the Bridge between Coaching and Counselling. I have the training and experience to be both a Counsellor and a Coach. I can safely connect your areas of concern, and can help re-focus on issues to the depth you request. I always ask permission to switch between the Coaching and Counselling role. I will help you achieve personal goals, shifts in performance, and attend to your psychological health. Many areas of your life will benefit.