Counseling vs. Coaching

Counseling and coaching services have some very important differences. Here’s a simple explanation.

What is the difference between counseling and coaching?

1. Past vs. Present:

Coaching is generally future-focused and career-focused, helping clients set and achieve goals. Coaching may also include some aspects of present-focus as clients work to overcome obstacles. Counseling focuses on the past, present, and future with an emphasis on solving problems of mental health, thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships.

Counseling is mental healthcare. Coaching is not.

2. Certification and Licensure: 

Coaches are typically certified by a credentialing agency and/or educational institution. Licensed counselors must hold at least a master’s degree and undergo several years of internships, while maintaining annual continuing education credits. Counselors are governed by the mental health board of the state in which they are licensed. Some licensed counselors also hold coaching certifications.


If you are interested in counseling services for relationship issues, anxiety, depression, or other mental health related matters, please call our intake coordinator at (615) 212-8894. She will hear your concerns and help match you to just the right person.

If you are interested in coaching, MendingLines Professional Development hosts monthly process groups for busy professionals, with various quarterly topics. These groups are not mental healthcare and are oriented towards professional development through personal growth. To see more, please visit