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Helping professions - Similarities and differences

There are a wide range of professionals available for different needs.  Knowing some of the differences, similarities, and overlaps can help you clarify and decide which type of support may suit you best.  It could be that by reading this material, you may find one approach more appealing to you than the others.

Mental health professionals in a hospital and or community setting is designed to help you with both your acute and chronic mental health needs.  E.g. may include General Practitioner (GP) or Family Physician, Psychiatrist, Counsellors, Nurses, Social Health Workers and Allied Health professionals such Occupational therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language therapists and Therapeutic Recreational Therapists (Diversional Therapist) amongst several others.

Private Counsellors can offer a number of different counselling approaches.  These may include psychoanalytical and psychodynamic therapies that focus on the unconscious relationship patterns that have evolved from childhood.  A further approach is through using behavioural therapies which looks at cognition and behaviours, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).  Humanistic therapies in turn focus on self-development and is practiced in the 'here and now'.  Some counsellors or psychotherapists practice a form of "Integrative Therapy", which would mean that they draw on and blend, specific types of techniques (Counselling Directory UK). 

A further subdivision within counselling styles is known as, a person-centred approach, the psychodynamic approach, the cognitive behavioural approach and or the solution focused approach.  These divisions may seem confusing and if you are  uncertain and wish to gain further clarity regarding what to do next, but recognise that you could do with some help and support.  Then in that case, the first port of call for you, can be your GP or Family Physician who could then help by referring you on to the appropriate services.

Life Coaches belong to a broad profession with a diverse variety of styles and techniques.  According to life coach directory, UK, ...'techniques' are the practices that can be used during a coaching session.  These examples can be, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), written exercises and interview techniques.  The use of the term 'coaching' refers to the overall direction of the sessions.  Coaches generally start off by wanting to know about you, by asking these types of questions.  For e.g. what does the client want out of the session or sessions? Is it to be more empathetic? or To be more self-confident and or develop greater self-awareness, or would the client want to achieve a better state of wellbeing.  Some clients may wish to work on becoming stronger or fitter, as part of their wellness goal.

These are few examples and by no means is coaching restricted to these areas only.  The client can choose from these and any other area or a concern that they would like to explore further.  The coaches role is to facilitate the coaching process by determining what type of coaching style to use, dependant usually on the outcomes the client hopes to achieve and how they wish to get there.  Some examples of these styles may include, autocratic, democratic, holistic, 3D, vision, solution-focused, zen or mindfulness coaching.  If you remain unsure about these variations in style, or how my coaching practice works and what may be a starting point for you, please feel free to ask.

What does my coaching programme offer?

Wellbeing and Empowerment Coaching  is both a holistic and eclectic practice that uses a combined approach that is selected on the basis of what the client's aims and needs are and how their current life situation may dictate it, and the best way forward at this moment in time, in order to eventually navigate through these situations.  It is a collaborative process where both the coach and client meet a happy medium and the sessions are fine tuned as it progresses.  This and the various styles that can be offered are greatly dependent on the nature of your goal and your particular preferences.  These are noted, reflected and changed as necessary.  The different methods and techniques are borrowed and adapted to suit each individual session with an overall desire or goal guiding the process.  Rather than use one style or approach, having greater flexibility for the client, on the basis of what seems best in their 'here and now' moment is given priority over following a single doctrine or style.  This requires a greater expertise in carefully composing elements drawn from various sources that is purely dictated by the moment and based on what the client wishes to experience.  If during the session, the client totally digresses from their original plan, a gentle reminder is given but again priority of what you as the client wish to discuss has the upper hand. 

According to the British School of Coaching, 'Wellbeing Coaching' is "an approach to understanding wellbeing rather than simply physical health".  Physical health can be a component of wellness coaching.  The individual sessions and coaching programme offered here is used with clients with the above considerations in mind.  Clients may wish to further develop their understanding regarding themselves, or their relationships with others, and or their choices, their capacities, and life aspirations.  This can be achieved for e.g. by increasing understanding regarding ones own autonomy and power in influencing ones own state of wellbeing.  Well such a vision or goal is absolutely fine, but this will require breaking the vision or goal down into smaller aims, tasks, or steps, and working on it, one step at a time.  This is done in order to explore various aspects and specific action steps that have to be addressed first and used to gauge both the attainment of the desired goal and the measurement of its outcome.  Wellbeing however is a relative term and can mean several things to several people such as feeling comfortable in your skin and or gaining resilience.  So getting your perspective on what 'wellbeing' means for you, starts off the discussion.  Once this is established, setting appropriate goals and achieving goals is linked to improved wellbeing.   Improved wellbeing then enables, enhances, and empowers a person to live a fulfilled, inspired, and abundant life.  

At times a person has a beautiful family, they have achieved career and financial success, have wonderful support from family and friends, yet continue to feel and experience that something is missing and consequently begin to feel low.  This can be a confusing time as there is no visible or external reason to be feeling such and often I hear clients say, "instead of feeling happy and grateful, which is what I should feel but I don't, I mean I am thankful and all but I am not happy, something is missing...I don't get this and where is this void or emptiness coming from".  Often these perpetuating thoughts and emotions lead to a vicious circle of guilt and the discontentment continues.  At such instances, clients may begin to question the following, their life purpose, spirituality and existential role or the meaning of life and or question death.  Questions such as, is there anything after we die, is there life after death, do we continue eternally in some form and what this form might be.  Does reincarnation exist? What is enlightenment and transcendence.  Sometimes its about connecting to something bigger than ourselves, it could include  questions regarding god, source, nature, higher power or universal intelligence or universal consciousness.  The nature of questions can be concerned with human spirit or soul as opposed to only physical or material things.  This area requires a certain level of expertise too.  Since I have searched and found some answers to my questions, I am happy to share my spiritual process and insights of what has worked for me and hasn't and can support and encourage you to find your own answers and follow your unique ways to bliss. 

Empowerment Coaching

Questions regarding existential role is quite unlike the ones searching for spirituality and oneness.  'Existentialism' often stem from but is not restricted to these only, for e.g. the questions generally emphasise individual existence, freedom and choice.  Here the person defines their own meaning in life and tries to "make rational decisions despite living in a irrational universe" and feels that there "is no purpose or explanation at the core of existence".  It holds the view "that there is no god or any other transcendent force and the only way to counter this nothingness" is to find your own personal meaning in life on your own basis.  And as such you embrace existence only (The Basics of Philosophy.com).         

It is my firm belief that we all need a helping hand at different stages in our life.  When we are ready for this help, the universe aligns us with the right person that is needed at that moment in time.  When this synchronicity occurs empowerment begins.  Personal and professional empowerment leads to transformation.  This Transformation begins when we take a keen interest to improve our sense of wellbeing.  Wellbeing improves when there is a balance within our three integrative systems, known as the body, mind and spirit.  When we are able to reconnect with these three systems or aspects in a harmonious way, our wellbeing, empowerment and transformation results.  Therefore having a balance between life, family, career and work; is seen as crucial steps to shine.       

I hope that this page has helped clarify some of the similarities and differences offered by the various helping professions, and given you a basic understanding of what each particular approach may offer.  In addition to what this particular life coaching service offers, so that you can make an informed choice. 

Simplified Differences 

Psychodynamic Counselling : Represents the YOU, in the past.

Person Centred Approach Counselling: Represents the You, in the hear and now.

Wellbeing & Empowerment Life Coaching: Represents the You, in the future.    

Why to chose Wellbeing and Empowerment Life Coaching?

Because you matter, your wellbeing matters too !!!

Wishing you an empowered and inspired life by learning to ride the wave of life, again. 


I would like to acknowledge and thank the following organisations.  As some of the content used on this page to inform the reader has been extracted from their material and resources section.  For e.g. a section titled 'Types of Therapy' from the Counselling Directory and the definition of Wellbeing Coaching has been used from 'The British School of Coaching'.  For additional information on Life Coaching, please to 'Life Coach Directory.org.uk'.  To look up ' The basics of philosophy', please go to ' Philosophy Basics.com.  Should you wish to gain a more comprehensive and in depth understanding, you are welcome to visit these sites mentioned and various others available online.  However it is advisable to review the credibility of any sites or sources you deem reliable.  A further note about my website, these are my opinions only and I am not being paid for endorsing any of the websites mentioned.  I have used my own personal judgement and professional understanding and experiences on these pages, should you require any further information, feel free to contact me or speak to any other source you consider reliable.  I look forward to hearing from you. 


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