Counseling is primarily a process of talking together about how people are dealing with their problems and dilemmas and what is getting in the way of the change they seek. Good counseling involves the counselor listening and speaking compassionately, but honestly.
Good counselors will offer suggestions and insights, recognizing patterns of thinking or behavior. Shelly tries to ask the right questions, make the right comments, give a point of view where it might be helpful, and tries to leverage the discussion to a more meaningful level. He wants his client to actually learn something more about themselves, and those they love.
Coaching is not intended to be therapy or counseling. Rather, it is a psycho-educational process, designed to learn and apply specific approaches to meet specific agreed upon goals. It is more behavior focused. Coaching is very useful for specific purposes such as learning specific forms of parenting, being a better spouse or partner in specific ways, learning to be more assertive, being less angry, being more caring, or making specific choices.
Whether counseling or coaching is desired, Shelly believes in engaging in purposeful conversations that leave clients with new insights, understanding and approaches that will enable deeper satisfaction.