Training, Consulting, Counseling and Coaching

Let us begin with a quick look at the roles of several helping professionals. Say your goal is to learn how to sew. Here is how the goal is accomplished using each of the helping professions listed below.
•A Therapist discusses your past experiences with sewing
•A Counselor explores your anxieties about sewing
•A Mentor shares his own experience of sewing
•A Consultant tells you step by step how to sew
•A Coach supports you and highlights your unique talents for sewing

Now let us look specifically at the differences between training, consulting, counseling, and coaching.

Training and Consulting
Training is very much aligned with the idea of teaching. Training is often suitable for those persons seeking to learn a new skill or to enhance performance on a definite task. Lots of training happens during workshops and classes that geared around a specific goal. What is important to remember with training is that the trainer, not the learner, determines the training agenda, materials, and goals to be accomplished. Consulting is modality of helping that specifically gives advice about a specific problem. Consultants are hired to assess needs and to fix the problem. Consultants bring their “know how” or “expertise” to fix individuals problems or problems within an organization. A good example of this is when your computer breaks and you take it to a computer repair shop. The consultant at the repair shop will diagnose the problem, explain the problem to you, as well as fix the problem for you.

Counseling and Coaching
Counseling as a professional body is trained to work with mental health, developmental and situational situations. The goal for the counselor is to bring the life of their clients into a functional state. The implication here is that clients seek counseling when their lives are dysfunctional. This factor is what separates the counseling and coaching professions. Coaching professionals work with clients to produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Like counselors, coaches are trained to listen and to support client growth. Coaching unlike counseling assumes the client is innately aware of the changes they need to make and/or the goals they wish to accomplish and work with their clients to achieve their goals.

Two things to keep in mind are:
1.Coaches support mentally healthy clients and do not provide mental health services
2.Coaches focus on moving forward i.e. helping clients reach a future goal for greater life satisfaction
3.Counselors work with clients having psychological challenges


1.Patterson, James (2008). Counseling vs. life coaching. Counseling Today.
2.Dolezal, Vlad (2010). Life Coaching.

Author's Bio: 

I Coach | I Counsel | I Teach

Martha Dawson is a Holistic Life Coach who works with clients seeking both pleasure and purpose in life. Her approach to coaching is collaborative, flexible and solutions focused. Faced with the personal challenges of caring for her chronically ill son, who later transitioned, Martha’s philosophy of using all life experiences to activate transformation is the basis of her coaching practice. As such, she connects with clients on a compassionate and empathetic level that permeates the healing power of her work.

By using proven techniques learned from her background and training in counseling psychology, education, and Reiki energy-healing makes her sessions fun, inspirational and transformative. Martha is an expert at excavating root causes that sabotage her clients’ potential. Her eclectic approach identifies and removes obstacles that prevent success.

Martha holds a BA degree in Health from HamptonUniversitywhere she studied Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Martha also received a MA degree from ArgosyUniversity’s Schoolof Counseling Psychology. Her professional coaching and counseling experience includes; grief and bereavement, substance abuse, self-esteem building, skills for personal development and success building.

In addition, lending support to families with chronically ill children is her passion. Martha currently lives in the Atlantametropolitan area with her husband and three daughters. To learn more about Martha or Atlanta Holistic Wellness Coaching visit online at