This is literally my jam. I am a Mental Health Therapist turned Life Coach and love it!
Before my coaching training took place, I will tell you I had a bad taste in my mouth with coaches. I thought of them as glorified cheerleaders who weren’t qualified to help. This is actually true of many coaches today as there is no professional precedent for people to not call themselves coaches.
So basically anyone can call themselves a coach without sufficient training. It’s like going to a heart doctor who had a heart attack, but does not have a medical degree…you get the picture.
Types of Coaches
There are Health Coaches and Business Coaches and other specific types of coaches out there to help people in specific areas. I personally have an Executive Coaching certificate that allows me to help executives and business owners. I recommend if you are interested in a coach, choose one with a certificate that shows they have adequate training from places such as The Center for Credentialing and Education (mine) or the International Coach Federation.
Basically, you want a coach who is professionally trained. A lot of them are pigeon-holed into particular sectors or have expensive group programs where you follow rules to get specific results. If you slip off or cannot follow the group rules, it’s easy to give up and believe coaching won’t work for you.
When you get to this stuck point you’ll know you are working with a decent coach if they jump in to help you work through your blocks. A poorly trained coach will simply cheerlead you and tell you to follow the rules. However, the same rules don’t work for everyone.
For example, I was working with someone last year who was in some keto diet coaching group. They felt discouraged because they were following the program and the coach kept telling them they weren’t because their progress was much slower than the rest of the group. When we discussed it in our sessions, I normalized for her that the keto diet may not work well with her individual metabolism and body composition. I was able to refer her to a nutritionist who was more qualified to help her lose weight for her body type and needs.
My stance on those expensive programs is that they can work, but oftentimes when the program ends, so does progress.
What a Life Coach Does
A Life Coach is a partner in your progress. They work with you to understand your blocks and all aspects of your life.
The main goal with life coaching is to help you fill the gap from where you are to where you want to be.
This is done through:
- Learning all about you (strengths, weaknesses, hopes, dreams, etc.)
- Talking through thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and anything that you want to bring up really!
- Developing a plan to reach your goals
- Working alongside you to reach those goals in any aspect of your life (i.e. career, relationships, self-improvement, etc.)
- Work is done outside of the session
Life Coaching is transformational for those who want someone unbiased and trained. It is also temporary and seasonal in that you work to achieve goals, and when the goal is reached-Life Coaching is over. At least until the next season in life comes and you need a coach again.
What a Life Coach Doesn’t Do
A Life Coach isn’t someone who is going to prescribe advice. They work with you, not for you as a consultant (think accountant or lawyer). Plus, I think we can both agree life is more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. We need to know the choices we make and the actions we take are going to align with our values to help us find happiness along the way.
A Life Coach also isn’t a psychotherapist. In other words, you are not going to have a diagnosis with a Life Coach as you would with a therapist. Being a past therapist, I do refer clients to one if I think they have symptoms indicative of a diagnosis. I also use my psychological background a lot in coaching. This is to help clients understand more about themselves for educational purposes. I do think having my background helps lead to deeper and stronger sessions with my clients.
A Life Coach also isn’t going to make decisions for you. Ultimately it’s your life and you need to make the choices you feel are right for you. That’s the magic in transforming with a Life Coach, you have someone there no matter which way a choice or action goes.
Want to Work with a Life Coach?
Are you ready to work with someone to design the life you want? I am now accepting new clients in 2021. In the first session, I spend a whole hour with you to discuss how I could help or move you in the direction you need to go.