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Semantics or substance? Preliminary evidence in the debate between life coaching and counselling

By Kerryn Griffiths and Marilyn A. Campbell


The similarities and differences between life coaching and counselling are vigorously debated in the literature and amongst practitioners. However, to date there has been insufficient empirical evidence with extensive focus on the distinctions and significantly less acknowledgement of the similarities. This paper presents findings from in depth interviews in Australia of five internationally trained life coaches and nine of their clients in various countries. It reviews the distinctions between coaching and counselling presented in the literature and provides qualitative evidence to support, clarify and challenge current claims that the distinction is principally definitional. In so doing, it demonstrates substantive similarities between coaching and counselling and recommends collaboration rather than competition between the two disciplines

Topics: 130305 Educational Counselling, coaching, counselling, therapy
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1080/17521880802328095
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