Often people ask me the question “counselling and coaching… what’s the difference?” Hopefully, the explanation below will give you a deeper understanding of both. They are two areas that can be extremely beneficial for an individual, but two specialisms that address totally different areas.


Counselling works with clients around the past and the present and will usually involve touching sadness, and building self-awareness. This enables clients to resolve the issues from the past, embrace change in the present, and move to a place of acceptance and emotional health.

Counselling isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ process. Different models of counselling achieve different results. It’s vitally important that you select a suitable counsellor, with the correct area of expertise, to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Counselling is designed to give you space, time, focus and encouragement to explore and understand what is going on for you. Counselling helps you to examine situations that are happening to you in the present, or negative experiences from the past. These experiences may be impacting on your life in the present, and the lives of those around you. The aim of counselling is to follow a process which will help you to:

  • Express your true feelings without judgment.
  • Understand your situation more objectively.
  • Become more aware of the impact of your legacy
  • Break negative patterns of behaviour, often learned from others in your past and present.
  • Change negative behavioural attitudes, patterns and cycles
  • Make better informed decisions from the choices available to you
  • Resolve emotional issues from the past that still impact the present
  • Work with issues in the present that need attention to allow you to move forward.
  • Help to develop tools that will assist you as you resolve and move on.

It is a wonderful feeling to talk to someone who is really listening to everything we have to say with no interruptions. To have a space where no one is robbing the conversation and talking about themselves. When situations get on top of you, and you feel sad and overwhelmed, counselling can really help you.  A counsellor is trained to listen, not to judge or blame. Their aim is to build a strong relationship with each client based on trust, empathy, honesty and respect.

Effective counselling is all about movement. The objective is to move from where you are now to a better place. Counselling aims to enable you to find some clarity and, inevitability, help you to feel so much better so you can move forward.


Coaching works in the present and shapes the future by setting goals and committing them to a plan of action. It brings excitement, fun and hope that you can build the life you want. All the process needs is a positive frame of mind, belief, and commitment.

Coaching is about forward-thinking and planning. It is the process of identifying your desires, talents, dreams and goals and bringing your vision to reality with confidence, self-belief, structure and accountability.

Coaching enables people to discover their potential and maximise their ability to achieve significant success in their personal and professional lives. It enables you to stand back and take stock of what is important to you, what you are trying to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and how best to reach that success.

Coaching is about movement and asks some simple yet powerful questions:

  • Where am I going?
  • How do I get there?
  • What do I want the future to look like?

The International Coaching Federation adheres to a form of coaching that honours the client as the expert in their life and work, and believes that every client is creative, resourceful and whole.

The coach’s responsibility is to:

  • Ask the client questions to allow them to explore their own resources and solutions for moving forward
  • Identify what the client’s goals are
  • Explore ways of achieving these goals by generating solutions and strategies
  • Explore ways of changing negative attitudes and patterns of behaviour from the past to allow the process to proceed
  • Encourage the client to build confidence, self-belief, and self-awareness
  • Empower the client and hold them responsible and accountable
  • Offer guidance and support
  • Monitor and celebrate success

Coaching is solution and results orientated.  When you feel the movement from coaching, and really understand the benefits, you will move to a place of personal excellence and fulfilment. You will learn practical tools and techniques that you can use every day to help you create lasting and positive change.

Florence Gray our Managing Director and Senior Counselling Consultant brings you a service that combines both counselling and coaching, a truly unique mix of skills and experience that are extremely rare to find amongst other counselling or coaching organisations. Leaders, Managing Directors, CEOs, senior management, and medical professionals can all really benefit from this service.

We all need someone to talk to who is really listening, never judging, and has your best interests at heart.

Get in touch with Florence today on 0141 353 9373, by using our Contact page, or by using Florence’s personal mobile number 0794 643 4045


Florence Gray is the founder of Nightingale Counselling. She has over 20 years’ experience as a counsellor and she is a leading authority in marriage, couple and relationship counselling.

Prior to counselling, Florence spent 20 years working in, and with, large corporate organisations in business development, training, and coaching. Florence continues to work with company owners, CEOs, Managing Directors and senior management. This service is unique as it draws on counselling skills and moves into personal and professional development and coaching.