Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What are the differences between counselling, consulting and coaching?

A: Although these three professions are each valuable, there are several differences to note that will assist individuals in identifying which one is the most appropriate for their current needs. 

Counselling is typically focused on the past and is intended to break up issues or traumatic events that are blocking the client from moving forward in their lives.  It is often based on a diagnosis or concern.  The counsellor-client relationship typically takes the form of an expert and a patient.

Consulting is appropriate in situations where an individual or organisation requires new or improved expertise in a specific area.  The consultant will advise or train them to gain this expertise or new skill.  A consultant will provide advice and input in the form of telling the client what to do.

Coaching is primarily focused on the present and on moving forward into the future.  It is based on the premise that clients are healthy, creative, resourceful and whole.  The coach-client relationship is intended to be a partnership, with the coach providing a mirror or shining light into new areas through a process of conversation and inquiry.  This allows clients to gain their own new insights and perspectives and to move forward past concerns, habits or behaviours that have limited or stopped them in the past.  It is based on the knowledge that clients are much more likely to follow through and succeed with solutions that they have arrived at themselves. 











Q: What is the format of the coaching?  How much of a time commitment will be involved?

A: At Power for Life, coaching typically consists of one 60-minute session per week, or an average of 4 sessions per month.  Sessions are conducted over the phone, or occasionally in person.  The coach will also be available for occasional urgent between-session calls or emails.  During the sessions, the coach and client will develop practice areas that the client can take away and work on between sessions. The practice areas are designed to inspire insight, or enhance an insight gained during the session, or to move the client forward on a project or goal.  Practices are varied and creative.  Examples include anything from reading, journalling or just noticing, to blurting, calling people and asking questions, setting an intention for an event or trip or doing something outside their comfort zone.  The coach provides accountability by following up on agreed practice areas.

The duration of coaching relationships varies, and depends to a large degree on the nature of the client's projects or goals.  Clients should plan for a minimum of 4 months of coaching, however many partnerships last significantly longer.  One month's notice will be requested prior to ending the relationship to ensure that all open issues can be managed appropriately.




Q: What qualifications should I look for when I am hiring a coach?

A:One of the things you can look for is to see if they are a member of the ICF (International Coach Federation) (  "...the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches."

You may also want to ask whether the coach has graduated from or been "certified" by an ICF-accredited coach training program.  The ICF provides accreditation to Coach Training Programs worldwide; there are currently only 42 programs that have this accreditation.  They also provide credentials to coaches that have achieved certain levels of competency, based on the number of hours of coaching experience accumulated, and a live assessment of their coaching skills.  ICF credentials available include "ACC" (Associate Certified Coach), "PCC" (Professional Certified Coach) or "MCC" (Master Certified Coach). 





Presence - (prez' ens) - n. - pleasing or dignified bearing; an invisible influence felt to be near.
Who you are is speaking so loudly that I can't hear what you are saying. Ralph Waldo Emerson






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