What is the Difference Between Coaching and Counseling?

Ask Mars Venus Coaching revolves around personal and professional growth without the mental health aspects on which counseling is primarily focused. When you speak with an Ask Mars Venus coach, he or she will not attempt to diagnose, treat, or manage any mental health issues. What coaches do is help you understand exactly what’s going on in your life and your relationship, and they’ll work with you to figure out what you can do about it. Ask Mars Venus coaching focuses on education and solutions surrounding the differences between men and women—particularly in the way of communication—and is based on the principles found in all of the Mars Venus books.

While coaching may involve a discussion of past relationships or other times in your life, it will not mimic psychotherapy where the effect of childhood experiences on your life are often examined. Coaching is for the present moment and present concerns. Where counseling often takes place over months or years, relationship coaching can be a short-term process. It can also be an ongoing relationship that lasts for years if you so desire.   

Because coaching is based on your needs, and your needs alone, you call the shots about when to meet and how often. If you’re having a week of crisis, you can call your coach every day. If things are going well and you’re not in need of support, a few weeks or months can go by between appointments. The bottom line is this — it’s up to you how frequently you want to meet.

The beauty of relationship coaching is that it is an effective way to bring about change in your life quickly and with great success. Sessions don’t have to happen in any particular order. Certain issues aren’t forced into the discussion—you lead the call in the direction you want it to go. And the good news is that relationship coaching can happen even if you are in therapy—the two complement each other and offer different perspectives to create greater awareness and, therefore, great relationships.