Difference between Marriage Coaching & Counseling


Leena, I need urgent help from you. I am facing some marital issues and we both are looking for marriage counseling. You are the marriage counselor…. Right?

Often I come across such questions from millennial married women who are struggling in their relationship but show the courage to repair it. Let me clear your doubts of assuming me as a marriage counselor and not a marriage coach. What’s the difference between the two terms and how does each play a role in helping clients resolve their marital issues?

This article will help you…

  1. Identify the difference between Marriage Coaching & Marriage Counseling

  2. Understand the process

  3. Know the client’s benefits

As the coaching profession is exploding, many of the counselors, therapists are getting trained to become a coach.

Thinking like a coach & thinking like a counselor is completely different.

In India the social stigma and the acceptance level of going to a counselor or a coach is still negative. At some point the struggling married individuals must allow themselves to be vulnerable to seek help. If you unresolve it, you feel stuck in life, the problem remains the same and you remain more confused. In such a case if you want to introspect, where would you go? Counselor or Coach?

With due respect to marriage counselors, Counseling is a guidance. Counselors will tell you, suggest you or advise you how to resolve the current issue. They will focus on your specific problem and guide you to resolve it accordingly.

Whereas Coaching is more action oriented. Coaches help couples move from where they are to where they want to be and recognize that each marriage is different. Coaches will not tell you what to do but, become your external ears/ eyes and give you the third angle on the real issue. In coaching, there is a partnership. In counseling, the counselor is often not seen as an equal partner. Coach holds your hand and shows you the pathway to explore more possibilities to resolve your issue on your own. The process of coaching includes strong and powerful questioning, active listening which eventually results in helping clients to discover for themselves the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, etc. that strengthen their ability to take immediate action and achieve what is important to them. A coach helps the client “DO IT NOW” during the session and provides immediate support. A coach never spoon feeds but works as a catalyst till the client takes the charge of his marriage on his own. A coach shows a subtle, soft but a firm approach to resolve the issue. Once you realise the moodgame of your marriage, you deal with the relationship.

Couples who are facing marital issues are not in a position to look at them objectively and start blaming their partners which results into heated arguments.The need is to go to the root level and work accordingly. This helps the client to overcome the earlier fear, avoidance and resentment and get a new perspective. A marriage coach on the basis of the experience, knowledge, some strategised techniques and special skillsets, helps the millennial married individual spouses build the connectivity with their partner and develop a strong, healthy and exciting relationship.

I sincerely request you to ask for help, do not refrain or feel shy. At the same time, do not take your marriage for granted! The more time you remain in confusion and/or keep nagging, it starts creating a gap in your special relationship. Separation can never be the first option.... I completely understand and appreciate your earlier efforts but if those efforts have not given you the expected results then it’s a high time you need to take new action to get the new result. No matter how much damage has been done, you need to roll up your sleeves, take the charge and reignite the missing love.

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With utmost curiosity to learn & understand about millennial relationships, I made my way to Canada! Initially my purpose was to meet coaches / therapists / counsellors and visit marriage & family cen