Counseling, Coaching & Consulting – What’s Best for You?

Jun 2, 2014 | Couples Counseling, Mental Health, Self Improvement

When clients contact us at Pace Counseling Group, we often times here their stories very quickly. Whether it is difficulties at work or school, problem communicating with teenagers, family stressors and so forth, the people whom reach out to us are primarily interested in “therapy” or “counseling” services. As these clients take the time to discuss each issue with us, they begin to understand that each issue should be dealt with in the context of 3 different categories. This is when we may suggest either counseling, coaching or consulting services, based on the needs of our clients.

First let’s define each service, with the key words underlined for each definition:

  • Counseling (Psychotherapy or Therapy)Treatment of psychological, emotional, or behavior disorders through interpersonal communications between the patient and a licensed counselor or therapist.
  • Coaching (Life Coaching or Mentoring)Training & development process where an individual is supported while achieving a specific personal or professional result or goal.
  • Consulting – Providing opinion, advice, and counsel in order to make informed decisions.

Once our clients understand the basics of each service, we can further examine the differences between these services as outlined below:


Deals mostly with what’s right, the present, and growth. Explores creative ways to solve problems to create significance, success, and reach your potential. Draws out of you what’s inside from your experiences and resources.

Co-creative, equal, goal oriented partnership. Works to move you to higher levels of functioning and get you better focused in life. Helps you learn to make wise choices, solve your own problems, and build decision making abilities.

Focus on action and results for the future in every area of life. Assumes you are healthy, whole, and have strengths to draw from. Emotions are natural and normal.

Coach stands with you and helps identify challenges. Then works with you to turn challenges into victories by challenging you for better results, to overcome barriers, learn new skills, and implement effective choices. Holds you accountable until you reach your goal and get results.

Therapy and Counseling

Deals mostly with what’s wrong and unresolved past issues or trauma. Explores the root of the problem. The goal is to heal what’s broken, create stability and relief.

Doctor – Patient, process oriented relationship. Works with you to understand feelings and achieve emotional healing so you can start making healthier decisions.

Focus on feelings and past events. Assumes you have deficits and need healing. Many emotions are the symptom of something wrong. Helps develop healthy emotions.

Therapist diagnoses, aims to create a better feeling, provides a path to healing and comfort. Works towards internal resolution of pain and to let go of old patterns. Relationship ends when you are healthy enough to move forward from the past and start setting goals for the future.
counseling or coaching

The main takeaway is to remember that counseling focuses on past events that have mis-shaped the way we think, feel or behave. The focus is on healing the individual. Coaching & Consulting focus on current and future events and decisions; in which the goal is self-improvement. Remember, Health insurance does NOT pay for self-improvement; it ONLY covers the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

Pace Counseling Group is a professional counseling firm located in San Antonio, Texas. We are focused on continuously improving the quality of life for our clients and their families. To learn more, visit us at Pace Counseling Group or call (210) 481-3727.

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