I view counseling as a resource when you have a specific problem that you want addressed, and you are looking for professional guidance and tools to work through it.
The majority of people come to coaching for a much different reason – typically it is to tap into their potential as human beings, and to create a personal and professional life that is meaningful and fulfilling. There are many different types of coaches, and most will bring in their tools and structures to support you in learning deeply about yourself. This might include getting clear on your purpose, values, defining your unique sense of balance ect.
Counseling is often used to address and work on a certain issue (such as anxiety or depression), while life coaching is centered around motivating, inspiring, lending confidence, and helping with goal-setting.