These days, it seems like customized wellness is the craze. Various forms of personalized wellness include physical health (personal trainers, chiropractors, body workers, nutritionists, etc.), mental and emotional health (psychotherapy, rehab programs), and spiritual health (spiritual counselors, religious authorities, retreats, etc.). What I believe is not clearly understood is how to address theinterconnectedness of all aspects of “whole person” health. This is where Holistic Life Coaching fits into a personal wellness plan.
THE POWER OF COACHING
Life coaching is about learning to take conscious action that supports personal growth and enhances life experience. Holistic life coaching includes additional processes that support healing at all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
A coach helps individuals “connect the dots” of dissatisfaction, life circumstances, beliefs and behaviors; then guides and supports the implementation of day-to-day solutions. A coach can empower a client to break destructive patterns, co-creating new ways of living and seeing the world. The goal is for a client to feel a sense of wellbeing and experience more joy in all aspects of life.
WHAT COACHING IS
Successful coaching relationships empower clients to resolve their own issues, now and in the future. While Coaching can take many different forms, look for these underlying capabilities and intentions:
- Provide clear reflection, enabling a client to see the big picture of cause and consequences of personal choices
- Has access to a variety of techniques and knowledge in order to customize a client’s experience
- An unwavering and candid advocate for a client’s health, prosperity and personal growth
- As needed, provide useful information and resources derived from the coach’s experiences and formal education
- Ability to listen “between the lines” and ask questions that lead to increased self-knowledge
- A relationship committed to client empowerment
- Real-world, practical, action-oriented solutions and support
WHAT COACHING IS NOT
Coaching is not about a client surrendering responsibility for personal growth to a coach or anyone else. A counselor/advisor that relies heavily upon any of the following is probably providing a service that is not empowerment coaching.
- Advisory service
- Religious instruction
- Perpetuating coach-dependency
- Coach-driven solutions
- Philosophical observation that is detached from real-world solutions
- A stated sole-source for health and well-being
EVALUATING A COACH
If you are considering working with a coach, here are some suggested interview questions and observations:
- How long have you been practicing as a Personal Coach? What was your work prior to becoming a Personal Coach?
- What are your relevant training, education and certifications?
- Will you provide at least 3 client references who will talk with me?
- Notice if the coach is doing a good job of inquiring about and listening to your wants and needs, or if the coach is more interested in impressing you with knowledge and opinions.
- Notice your gut response to the Coach. Do you get a warm, comfortable feeling of connection; or do you feel uneasy and unsure, possibly in the form of butterflies or anxiety?
- Ask for an explicit statement of expected benefits from the engagement. Are the expected benefits in alignment with your goal(s)?
- Be clear about cost. Are fees charged by the hour, by the month, by the project, etc.? Ask about a service guarantee.
Coaching is an unregulated and unlicensed profession. Qualifications and techniques vary widely. Investigate thoroughly and follow your instincts!