What is the difference between counseling, coaching, and spiritual direction?

January 12, 2021 | 0 comments

Glad you asked!

The beginning of the year is a good time to implement changes. And perhaps you’re ready to, but you’re just not sure where to start. Maybe you need counseling? Or maybe you could use a coach? You might have heard of spiritual direction but it sounds a bit woo-woo and weird. Yet, having a spiritual director may be just the next step God has for you.

I wondered how professionals in each area would see the overlaps and the distinctions between the three areas. Since four of the Global Trellis specialists are in these three areas, we thought we’d record a conversation in which they discussed what is similar between counseling, coaching, and spiritual direction; what is distinctive, and how to know which resource (or resources) is for you.

Tim Austin who is a life coach and Global Trellis transition specialist hosted the conversation on his podcast. Lane Arnold and Lori Ferrell are both spiritual directors and the spiritual direction specialists for Global Trellis. Katie Brown is a professional counselor and the grief specialist for GT.

You can listen to the conversation here:

For those of you who would like to read the transcript instead of (or in addition to) listening, good news, you can! You can read the transcript here:

Tim’s podcast is a wonderful resource and you can listen to other episodes on Tim’s podcast “Navigatehere.

On Thursday, we will have a resource for you called “Counseling, Coaching, and Spiritual Direction FAQs.” For today, enjoy the conversation with Tim, Lori, Lane, and Katie.

If you have additional questions you’d like for us to answer in regards to counseling, coaching, and spiritual direction, ask in the comments, and we can have a follow-up conversation for you.


Is debriefing only for crisis or the end of a term? Sure, if you want to get a fraction of the debriefing benefits. But what if you want to live a rich fully intergrated life in the midst of the realities you face? This workshop is for you! (The bonus takeaway tool Lauren shares is a must-have for every cross-cultural worker!). Get “Rethinking Debriefing” today.

Photo by DAVID TAPIA SAN MARTIN on Unsplash

CategoriesSoul Tending

Amy Young

Amy Young

Life enthusiast. Author. Sports lover. Jesus follower. Supporting cross-cultural work.

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