Coach, Mentor, Counsellor – what’s the difference?

Coach Suzi here – I have been all three of these roles. I am a qualified counsellor and coach, and I had
five years experience as a mentor within a formal government mentoring program. I have also personally benefited from counselling, coaching and mentorship. So let me explain how they differ.


A coach is someone who is in your corner and helps you to get where you want to go. They will often first identify your values and test out whether or not your goals align with them. They help you see the bigger picture to make sure the goal you are working on is the one that is most important to your success.
Sometimes what is good can be the enemy of what is best. We go for what is easy rather than tackling the hard stuff. A good coach won’t let you get away with that and will work with you to help you level up to bigger things.
Coaches aren’t normally directive or superior. It’s more like they get who you are and what you want, and they get beside you to help you make it happen. They ask great questions, listen deeply, and challenge you to realise your true potential.

Coaches do not have to be specialists in the areas you are seeking coaching on – they can explore a wide range of topics with you, including relationships, health and well-being, parenting, career development, finances. These days information is easy to find, what is harder is overcoming resistance, not being able to see our limiting beliefs, lacking the strength to go against the tide of popular opinion, or not believing in yourself enough to push through to your goal.

What you are paying for when you work with a coach is a lasting transformation, personal growth together with an increase in confidence and autonomy that will play out in positive ways right throughout the rest of your life. The coaching industry suffers from a lack of regulation in that there is not standard accreditation or training required to work as a coach. Pricing also varies widely. However coaches can be truly gifted and talented individuals who are deeply passionate about getting great results for their clients. So don’t shop for a coach on price alone. Look for genuine testimonials and evidence of ability to produce lasting change. Also look past the sales pitch and place a high value on authenticity and honesty in your coach.


Mentors are usually someone in your industry who is further ahead and more experienced than you. A mentor can share their professional knowledge, experience or expertise to help you progress with your career.

Mentors generally do not have any training to fill their mentorship role. Mentoring is free of charge, however the mentee needs to be respectful of the mentor’s time by preparing for sessions, taking notes, accepting and acting on guidance given. 

A good mentor can open doors for you by introducing you to their contacts who may be able to offer new opportunities for your career development and progression. The experience of being a mentor is satisfying, and seeing a mentee make progress and achieve their goals is very rewarding. For the mentee, a quality mentor is highly desirable and worth pursuing.


Counsellors are trained and accredited professionals who follow a medical model and are seen as an authority on a particular topic. They help people with physical, emotional and mental health issues to improve their sense of well-being and resolve crises. They can assist with depression, anxiety or addiction issues. Their training and expertise affords a safe space to uncover, resolve and heal from past traumas and emotional distress. A wise coach will refer clients on to a counsellor with specialised training to deal with deeper issues such as trauma or post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Counsellors can be high cost although they may be covered by health insurance.

The problems that have led you to seek out counselling are often deeply embedded and therapy needs time to resolve them.

When looking for a suitable counsellor consider their specialisation and whether it matches the problem you need assistance with. Having a good relationship with your counsellor is also very important, so don’t be afraid to have an initial session to test the chemistry and try someone else if you sense it is not a good fit for you.

In summary

I hope you can see the benefits of each of the three roles: coach, mentor, counsellor. They are not mutually exclusive. You may work with all three at once, to deal with distinct areas and benefit from their unique approach to resolve different issues.

Your Wemind coaches have a range of training, expertise and experience to provide counselling and coaching services.

Suzi JennerWellness and Vitality Coach,
Weight Loss Specialist,
Counsellor and Hypnotherapist
Evi VinogradovaMental Health Coach,
Entrepreneurial Mindset & Resilience,
Career Development
Olga VolginHigh performance & Productivity Coach,
Leadership and
Workplace Dynamics

We offer a free 15 minute discovery session so you can feel comfortable that there is a good fit before booking your first coaching or counselling session.

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