Talking about Health and Wellness coaches is a quite a hot topic right now, and this week Fiona Cosgrove and I discuss a few key question to help listeners really get clear on who they are, what they do and how to distinguish themselves.
Topic: How does a health and wellness coach would distinguish themselves from a psychologist, counsellor or a therapist?
Discussion: In these categories of people, these people work mainly on past issues and how the past influences the present. They are trained to work in many situations, but they are not trained in health information and lifestyle related behaviours.
There is a difference in the balance of power between client and professional, comparing a a health and wellness coach to the professions listed above.
Sharing or giving knowledge rather than prescribing.
Commonly people do have past issues that they want to talk about, and coaches don’t necessarily ignore those issues, but it’s not what they are trained to do.
Health and Wellness Coaching is about helping people avoid getting sick in the first place. We help people maintain their mental and physical wellbeing. We collaborate and support . If we are expert in anything it’s in healthy habit formation.
Health and Wellness Coaching is about:
- creating a preventative space,
- maintaining and improving habits
- working in a collaborative and supportive way specifically about changing habits.
Topic: What if a friend questions the validity of the coaching profession?
Discussion: It’s quite common to encounter this kind of scepticism at the moment, as this is still a relatively new industry.
The first thing to do is to draw back on our coaching skills. Thank them for sharing, and question them – “what do you know about coaching?” Listen to their response, and then explain that as health as wellness coaches our role is to support our clients in lifestyle change. Changes they choose.
So many people struggle to make simple changes that will improve their health and their energy, and yet they lack confidence to make those changes. Our job is to help people believe in themselves and work out simple truths about their own lives. We help people explore, gain awareness of what’s important to them and what they want to do about it.
We don’t provide motivation, we simply support people along the way. It may be the first time someone actually believed in their ability to change, and that belief is hugely powerful.
Discussion: As a new industry, the area of qualifications can get quite murky. Some “coach” training isn’t actually what we are describing; it’s just misuse of the term. But standards are now being developed internationally, and memberships that hold coaches to stringent standards. In the US there is Board certification, and in Australia we have HCANZA. This means that coaches can assure their clients of their professionalism and awareness of the scope of their practice.
Any credible profession has an industry body, an association and infrastructure around quality and training, and Health and Wellness Coaching now has those things.
How do we position coaches from Allied health professionals like dieticians and exercise physiologist?
Allied health professional is the person who prescribes the treatment plan. Health and wellness coaches do not prescribe those things. We share information on safe quidelines, if we think the client may benefit, but we do it gently and we give the clients choice.
What we try to do is find out what the client wants, not what they have been told the “should” want. It’s tapping into their internal values and needs, which makes for a stronger foundation for change.
Health and wellness coaches work with a client to change what matters to them, and the client is always the one in control.
Topic: Why planning is so important.
Discussion: Our roles is also to help people figure out how to implement changes suggested by allied health professionals rather than another add-on thing to do.
As we know, the things that stop them doing them are simple things that they’ve never even thought about. Health and Wellness coaches ask the questions to find out what going on in their lives and what’s gone wrong in the past, we try to look forward to find out what could make them come undone and stop them from making the change.
Being clear on how you respond rather than react, even practicing some of these points, so you have a clear idea about how you will respond to be really clear on your professional position.
Find the things that speak to you, that are close to your heart about what you do as a coach, and maybe what you don’t do.
Looking for more clarity and in confidence in what you do?
Even coaches need coaches! The Habitology Membership as the perfect tool if you’re ready to break old habits and start a new chapter.
Learn more here: