Which one is right for me – Coaching, Mentoring or Counselling?

Victoria Canham in a navy blue shirt with a Coach Vicki sign in the background

I have used all three modalities in my own life as discussed in each section.



Therapy is a personal service that aims to identify and repair the root cause of thought patterns, which are no longer serving the client. Therapy tends to deal with specific, more significant issues such as addictions, abusive relationships or emotional trauma following an accident or death.

Counselling/ Therapy focuses on identifying and overcoming underlying problems and usually has an historical basis. Therapy should not be dismissed as a sign of weakness; sometimes we all need help to move through the hurdles life presents to us.

I sought counselling to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after experiencing the extremely traumatic, unexpected death of a close friend in Hong Kong. It provided me with strategies to cope with the flashbacks and night terrors, and gave me the confidence to continue with my dream of travelling the world both alone and with friends, but never without Travel Insurance.


Mentoring is usually a trust relationship formed between an experienced individual within an organisation and a less experienced individual. The Mentor will encourage and support the Mentee in a variety of situations, with the aim of empowering them to make decisions, improving their communication skills and learning from someone who has literally “been there and done that”.

Mentoring is a mutually beneficial process in that it also enables the Mentor to improve their leadership and listening skills, as well as providing knowledge retention within an organisation.

I am a Prince’s Trust Mentor, mentoring Young People who are looking to get into education, full-time work or training. It is a wonderful experience and I so enjoy seeing the progress my Mentee makes towards achieving his goals.

I have also had my share of mentoring from many, many wonderful people throughout my career who have provided advice, a sounding board, adjustments to attitude (I’m not ashamed to admit this now but it was pretty embarrassing at 24) and outlook. Mentors who have generally empowered me to believe in myself and to always keep taking giant steps towards my wild and crazy goals.


Much like sports coaching, Transformation Coaching focuses on enhancing the talent the client already has, latent or otherwise and also on improving areas in which the client may not be achieving the standard they seek.

Coaching focuses on bringing out the best in the client, and finding the opportunities in every situation. Coaching helps clients to identify the potential to develop themselves and achieve their goals, by collaborating with the client to identify tools and actions to move them towards their end goals and beyond. Coaches provide accountability to their clients, which drives them to achieve more than they ever believed they could.

I have had many, many coaches too. Each one has served a purpose of the years, some of them very importantly, have taught me what kind of Coach not to be. I came across Coaching in 2009 when I felt like I was chasing my tail and not making any progress, repeating the same mistakes without identifying the opportunities in each situation. I learnt so much about myself that I have never looked back. I grew, I developed and I discovered and chased my dreams like I never had before. Most importantly, I identified my own potential and turned that into massive progress. In fact if “2009 Vicki” and I were to meet, it’s safe to say we would not recognise each other, nor would we get along and that’s not a bad thing. I thank Coaching daily for bringing authenticity, clarity and strength to the forefront of my life.

Now that I am a Certified Coach, I help clients, both individuals and organisations to identify their potential and turn that into progress by creating a powerful alliance that sees the client heard, acknowledged and ready for positive, aggressive action.

Victoria Canham ~ Ahead Together

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