In various stages of our lives, we need to have so sort of discussions with people that are in fields of counselling, psychology, mentoring or coaching, we also need friends, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, grandfathers, grandmothers and anyone that can help us navigate our path.  Childhood is a cumbersome stage of life, one cannot handle the various emotions that arise in certain situations, and for that, we tend to talk to those around us.  We may receive great advice, but not really what we need to hear, sometimes we receive bad advice but we may like it and follow it.  But professional help is the best.

The role of these four professions is important as each one of them helps us in certain areas. One deals with the inner fears, some deal with potentials, some deal with our professional lives and some deal with how to handle work situations. So we may at times need all four professionals to be able to continue our lives.  Here, I’m going to provide a description of each and then we will discuss how to become a professional in these fields:


helping students and adults to resolve personal issues and fears, Oxford University has a cute description for it: The Counselling Service is to help you gain understanding and insight into any difficulties you may be experiencing, to develop emotional resilience and put into effect real change, enabling you to fulfil your academic and personal potential.

It is clear that counselling is relating to emotions, fears and other elements that affect you from progressing in your study life. Of course, counselling is more into personal problems and situations, and Career counselling is more into finding ones potential for choosing a major that leads into a suitable careers. Even the latter uses psychological tests to determine the utilization of right or left brain which eventually determines what the student needs to study. There is a huge list of counselling services other than personal and Career, see the link for more info here. There is no medication in counselling, it is basically described as “the art of talking” and by talking to a professional who knows how to probe the situation can be unearthed and cleared.


Merriam Webster dictionary defines Psychology as “the science of mind and behaviour or the mental or behavioural characteristics of an individual or group or the study of mind and behaviour in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity.”  The psychologist is a trained person to deal with mental issues and tries to clear them without medication.  The difference between counselling and psychology is that a psychologist can deal with deep-rooted problems (tormenting dreams and nightmares, suicidal tendencies, acts of harming oneself etc) unlike a counsellor who will deal with mild traumas and certain fears (failing in an exam, inability to speak back, fear of choosing the wrong degree etc). the psychologist is trained to deal with these difficult matters.  This person is not a doctor and cannot prescribe medications, however, if he or she believes that the person requires medication then he or she will refer the person to a psychiatrist.


There are many definitions for coaching, this one is very applicable to what I am trying to achieve in this article “Extending traditional training methods to include focus on (1) an individual’s needs and accomplishments, (2) close observation, and (3) impartial and non-judgmental feedback on performance. Thus coaching is a type of training to achieve one’s goals; it’s always confused with mentoring, but it’s not.


“Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.” Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring. So there is no course for it and no length of time. And most importantly coaching is to be paid for and mentoring is normally free and given by senior people in businesses.

Thus, we gather from this that you will need to study counselling, psychology, and you need to be able to know a subject really well to be a coach, however, you do not need to have formal training to become a mentor.  A mentor can use his or her experience to enlighten a young adult embarking on work journey.