Welcome back empowered readers,
For this week’s empowered blog, I have chosen to discuss the key aspects and differences that separate a counsellor, life coach and a psychologist. As an instructor at a college part-time, the students asked me what the difference between a counsellor, life coach and a psychologist. This struck me as an important key concept that every individual should understand, especially when one is reaching out for support.
What is a Life Coach?
A life coach can be someone who does or does not have any formal education or preparation when working with clients. This does not mean that life coaches haven’t undergone some sort of training or have life experiences to share, this is not a regulated practice in Canada. Basically, this means that anyone can become a life coach. Typically, a life coach can offer guidance, support and advise as it pertains to one’s career, relationships or profession and create goals and plans in accordance to dealing with those challenges. Personally, I find that support from a life coach and a counsellor do over-lap, but the biggest difference lies within formal training and educational pursuits. Please, bear in mind that this does not mean that a life coach has not had a level of training, it just means that they do not have to or are bound by ethical guidelines.
What is a Counsellor?
A counsellor is a professional who has undergone some sort of formal training to provide support to others. For example, within my own personal training I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a Master's in Counselling Psychology and undergone additional educational and training pursuits to develop my skills further. These educational pursuits have helped prepare me with a foundation to provide support to others. This includes such areas as ethical guidelines, counselling skills and techniques, the understandings of diagnostic disorders plus many, many more. A counsellor is also obligated to continue to grow their knowledge and skills as it pertains to updated information that better the well-being of our clients. Counsellors are trained to provide support to an individual, whether it is career guidance, goal pursuits or resolving past trauma and conflict. One of the biggest key aspects that separates a counsellor from a psychologist is that counsellors do not, and cannot, diagnose. This means that they have not undergone specific training for the assessment and diagnosis of mental health issues.
What is a Psychologist?
Within Alberta, a psychologist is a professional who can either possess a master’s degree or a doctorate degree in psychology or in counselling. A psychologist can provide assessment and diagnosis for mental health issues and can also provide counselling treatment.
The goal and purpose of this blog was to really stress the importance of inquiring into a professional’s accreditations, approach and experience when choosing to work others when looking for support. As a “consumer”, whether you choose to work with a counsellor, life coach or a psychologist, be sure that the level of care that they can provide you aligns with what you are seeking. That way, you will get the most return for your investment.
To your empowered living,