What difference is there between training, mentoring, psychotherapy, counselling and coaching ?
Although there is some overlap between these various approaches, in terms of both methodology and philosophy, there are also differences between them that one must be aware of:
– training aims at the transfer of information, competencies and knowledge;
– mentoring aims at the transfer of knowlegde on the basis of the experience of a mentor and with his(her) advice;
– psychotherapy is “a psychological treatment for a mental disorder, behavioural disturbance or other problem resulting in psychological suffering or distress.” (Ordre des psychologues du Québec);
– counselling, although often used interchangeably with psychotherapy, counselling tends to aim at issues that are related to concrete difficulties rather than deeper psychological issues; one definition is “the application of mental health, psychological or human development principles, through cognitive, affective, behavioral or systemic interventions, strategies that address wellness, personal growth, or career development, as well as pathology.” (American Counselling Association);
– coaching is defined as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential […] Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.” (ICF);
From the point of vue of the relationship with clients, one can summarize these differences as follows:
– training delivers content to the client from time to time;
– mentoring delivers content over a period of time;
– psychotherapy brings support to the client in his(her) deeply rooted issues;
– counselling brings support to the client in his(her) concrete difficulties;
– coaching brings support to the client in the realisation of his(her) full potential, whether personal or professional.
Are there different types of coaching ?
According to the experience of the coach, one can distinguish between different types of coaching; the following imply interaction between the coach and one person at a time:
– executive coaching;
– career and leadership coaching;
– business coaching;
– personal coaching.
The following imply interaction between the coach and several people at once:
– team coaching;
– group coaching.
When should coaching be considered?
A number of circumstances in which you find yourself, whether in your personal or professional life, will provide a good opening for coaching; here are a few examples:
– the normal flow of your life appears to be disrupted to some degree, your life possibilities have become unclear, or your activities are just too much to handle;
– you realize that you need to develop a specific quality or competence (such as: relational, emotional, decision making);
– your positioning in your work environment is evolving and requires you to face new demands;
– your organization requires that you develop new skills or that you further develop your current skills;
… and any other circumstance resulting from a change, whether aligned with your current life or of an unexpected nature.
The coach will bring you the support necessary to the development you require to face the challenge you wish to tackle and in so doing, will allow you to blossom further.