This is an important question. I love both coaching and counseling students, and I’m qualified to do both. The two services are unique and serve different needs.
People of all walks of life seek professional coaching when they are in a moderately healthy place in life, yet have a desire to move from where they are toward some place they expect will be better for them. As an adolescent mental strength coach, I coach two types of students. Some want to excel to their full potential in academics or athletics, and I help them do so in a healthy way. I also coach students who are finding their academic or athletic performance hindered by performance anxiety.
Individuals may need counseling when life feels too big for them. Significant depression, anxiety, life transitions, or circumstances are having a negative impact on the person’s ability to function well in fulfilling life responsibilities and engaging in relationships. These problems often amplify distress and require counseling intervention. I have been a youth and family psychotherapist for 15 years and have worked for 10 of those years at Maudlin and Associates in Wheaton.
In essence, coaching is a more proactive intervention in self-development, whereas, counseling is naturally a more reactive intervention. Counseling spends more time focused on the past and is a process designed for healing. Coaching is focused on the present and the future, and it is designed to help people who are functioning well to move to the next level. If you have questions about which process is right for you, I would be happy to help you decide.