Teen Counseling vs. Coaching

Teen Counseling vs. Coaching, What’s best for your child?

As a parent, sometimes it’s tough to know what level of support is best for your child. The most basic answer is to always follow your gut. If something feels off to you, listen to that feeling. Many parents wait until their teen is in crisis before seeking help. Perhaps that’s because it’s difficult to determine what level of struggling is simply “normal” for teenagers. My best advice is that if you are worried about your teen and the worry persists for more than a week or two, it’s time to find extra support.

Coaching can pave the way…
Teens are often resistant to counseling and the idea of seeing a coach feels less intimidating. One girl in particular comes to mind. She was struggling with severe depression, but refused to see a counselor because she didn’t want someone to try to “fix” her. Her mom suggested that she meet with me, and explained that coaching is a team effort and I would help her learn tools she could use to improve the way she feels.

As we worked together, and built our coaching relationship, I realized that my client did in fact need to see a counselor. We had a long talk about how I thought counseling could help her with her depression, and thanks to the progress we’d made & her trust in me, she said she would be willing to see a counselor. I call that major progress!

Coaching can prevent your child from needing counseling in the future.
Hiring a coach for your child today is a preventative measure to counseling in the future. Think back to one of the more challenging experiences of your life. If you had a coach to help you through that time, how would that have felt? I know for me, it would have made all the difference in the world.

Counseling is best for teens who are in crisis.
If your child is engaging in self harm or having suicidal thoughts, counseling is the right choice. After working with a counselor, then consider coaching to help your child gain confidence and move forward.

Here is a handy chart that describes the differences between teen counseling and teen coaching, my clients find it helpful!

The Differences Between Teen Counseling & Teen Coaching


Counselor is in charge. The “mental health professional” diagnoses and sets the agenda

“Fix what’s broken”

Focuses on feelings and past

Heal dysfunction and pathology
Improve the “Being”

Depth of Work
Core Beliefs

Explores the root of problems

The client needs healing

Path to Success
Works to bring the unconscious
into consciousness

Works for internal resolution of pain
and to let go of old patterns

Therapists deal primarily with
answering the question
“Why do I….?”


The client is in charge.Coach
works for the client and client
determines the agenda

Develops Strengths

Focuses on actions
and the future

To help client
move forward

Depth of Work
Behaviors and Skills

Focuses on solving problems

The client is whole

Path to Success
Works with the conscious mind


Works for external solutions to
overcome barriers, learn new
skills and implement them

A coach ask the questions
“Who are you? Where do you
want to go? and What do you
want your future to look like?

Did you know that your teen can receive coaching online with me? Click here–> Online Coaching

Click here for a printable version of “The Differences Between Teen Counseling & Teen Coaching”