The Difference Between Counseling and Coaching

Counseling, Coaching & Spiritual Work

Because Royce Fitts is trained as both a therapist and a life coach, he gets this question a lot.

Generally speaking, Counseling deals with the past and coaching deals with the future. The chart below describes many common issues and how they are addressed in both approaches.

Because of his background, and the fact that he provides both counseling and coaching, he understands the similarities and the differences. While coaching and counseling are the same in that both provide you with a helpful relationship with a person to support your wellness and growth, coaches and counselors can have significant differences in their training, their methods, and their goals.

How is Spiritual Work different? This is where it gets interesting. Spiritual work with Royce allows for a custom-created course of action using the most useful tools from the coaching and counseling worlds. This approach can allow you to clear up the past while determining the best path to your desired future.



  • Past-focused
  • Problem-focused
  • Works towards emotions
  • Gives advice and recommendations
  • Asks the question “Why should we change?”
  • The counselor has the answers – gives diagnosis and treatment
  • Paraphrasing – restatement of a statement or text using other words

Spiritual Work

  • Soul-focussed
  • Fulfillment-focused
  • Works toward harmony
  • Asks the question “do we need to change?”
  • The deeper soul resonates with answers


  • Future-focused
  • Solution-focused
  • Works towards outcomes
  • Does not give advice
  • Asks the question “How can we change?”
  • The client has the answers – assisted in finding their own solutions
  • Backtracking – using client language and tone to recap important words or phrases

While it is important to note that these professions are different in a number of ways, there is no reason to suggest that one is better than the other or that they cannot coexist.