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What Is the Difference Between Grief Coaching and Counseling?

Grief coaching and grief counseling are both forms of support for individuals who are experiencing grief, but they differ in their approach, focus, and goals.

  1. Approach:

  • Grief Counseling: Grief counseling typically involves a therapeutic approach focused on exploring and processing emotions related to loss. Counselors may use various techniques, such as talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or narrative therapy, to help clients navigate their grief and develop coping strategies.

  • Grief Coaching: Grief coaching, on the other hand, is more action-oriented and forward-focused. Coaches work with clients to identify goals, overcome obstacles, and create actionable plans for moving forward after loss. Coaching may involve setting goals, developing resilience, and implementing practical strategies for healing and growth.

  1. Focus:

  • Grief Counseling: Grief counseling often focuses on addressing the emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of grief. Counselors help clients explore their feelings of loss, navigate the grieving process, and find meaning and purpose in their experiences.

  • Grief Coaching: Grief coaching tends to focus on the practical aspects of grief recovery and rebuilding life after loss. Coaches help clients identify areas of their lives affected by grief, set goals for personal or professional growth, and develop strategies for moving forward with resilience and purpose.

  1. Goals:

  • Grief Counseling: The primary goal of grief counseling is to facilitate healing, understanding, and acceptance of loss. Counselors may help clients process complicated emotions, resolve unresolved issues, and integrate their loss into their identity in healthy ways.

  • Grief Coaching: The primary goal of grief coaching is to empower clients to take action and make positive changes in their lives despite their grief. Coaches may help clients set and achieve specific goals related to their personal or professional life, regain a sense of control, and create a new sense of identity and purpose after loss.

  1. Professional Background:

  • Grief Counseling: Grief counselors typically have formal training and credentials in counseling, psychology, social work, or a related field. They may be licensed mental health professionals who adhere to ethical guidelines and standards of practice.

  • Grief Coaching: Grief coaches may come from various professional backgrounds, such as counseling, psychology, coaching, or related fields. While some coaches may have formal training and certifications in grief coaching, others may offer support based on their personal or professional experiences with grief.

In summary, grief counseling focuses on exploring and processing emotions related to loss, while grief coaching emphasizes action-oriented strategies for moving forward and rebuilding life after loss. Both approaches can be valuable forms of support for individuals experiencing grief, and the choice between counseling and coaching may depend on individual preferences, needs, and goals.


Mimi Rothschild

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder and CEO of the Global Grief Institute which provides Certification training programs forGrief Coach, Trauma Coach, End of Life Coach, and Children's Grief Coach. She is a survivor who has buried 3 of her children and her husband of 33 years. She is available for speaking engagements and comments to the press on any issue surrounding thriving after catastrophic loss. MEDIA INQUIRIES:

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