Frequently Asked Questions About Wellness Coaching

1. How is Wellness Coaching different from therapy
or from working with a fitness trainer or nutritionist?

One of the main differences between a Wellness Coach and other allied health practitioners such as therapists or trainers is in the approach used to help you to make changes in your life.

You will find Wellness Coaching is not about focusing necessarily on understanding experiences in your past or why you may be stuck as you might explore in some therapy work. It is, instead, more future and action oriented. The main focus of Wellness Coaching is to help you notice what IS working in your life and help you leverage your strengths to create possibilities and positive changes in your future.

Unlike a personal trainer or nutritionist, a Wellness Coach won’t directly lead you through exercises or give you a specific diet to follow, but rather will help you develop fitness and nutrition goals that are meaningful and self-motivating for you… and help you integrate them into your life in sustainable ways.

It’s not the role of a Wellness Coach to offer expert advice. The effectiveness of working with a coach is in the power of being asked where you want to go with your wellness, why it matters to you, and in the holistic support that helps you translate your vision into specific and personally meaningful goals.

Because this kind of coaching is holistic in nature, it almost acts like a bridge between therapy and fitness or nutrition work. There will always be mental, emotional and physical aspects to embracing changes in your health and well-being. Conversations with a trained coach can support you wholly as you take on your life.

It is very important to note that coaching is not meant to be or replace therapy. You can read more below about the training and credentials of Wellness Coaches. In general, coaches work with people who are already doing some things well in their lives and who are interested in developing areas where they don’t feel strong. Clients who are also struggling with deeper and more complex issues in their lives, often find that working with a psychotherapist simultaneously or prior to working with a coach is an important and empowering choice.


2. What kinds of credentials does a Wellness Coach have?

Many Wellness Coaches, such as myself, are certified through an organization called Wellcoaches. Wellcoaches, working in collaboration with the American College of Sports Medicine, is a national leader in the field of Health and Wellness Coaching education and training. Their coaching program provides rigorous training and examination in the understanding and application of coaching psychology models – theories and fields such as positive psychology, stages of behavior change and motivational interviewing. Additionally those trained in the Wellcoaches certification program must already be previously credentialed in a health related field such as exercise, bodywork therapy, nutrition or counseling.

Certified coaches adhere to a professional code of ethics and work only within their scope of practice. It is not the role of a coach to make diagnoses or offer health related advice or counseling in areas outside their areas of expertise. Rather, a coach may refer or suggest if appropriate, that clients seek additional support from other health care professionals such as a licensed psychotherapist.


3. How long should I work with a coach?

In areas of wellness and healthy living, I have found that three months is an ideal time frame for working with the consistent support of a coach to experience transformative goal setting and lifestyle changes. The combination of commitment, ups, downs, and obstacles you learn to handle over that time period, allows you to experience growth and enables you to begin seeing a real and sustainable difference in how you live your life.

After this foundational amount of coaching time which involves frequent contact for support and accountability, options for continued coaching support can vary.

You may feel confident and in the flow enough to continue on your own making the new patterns and strategies you’ve created part of your everyday life.

You may also enjoy an opportunity to check back in with your coach once or twice a year going forward to keep your vision and goals in perspective.

Or alternatively, you might find an additional 3 or 6 months of less frequent coaching support valuable – something that enables you to taper off from intensive weekly support toward a once a month check-in to help you integrate and sustain your changes over time.

Whatever your time frame choice, the commitment both you and your coach bring to the wonderful, collaborative effort of focusing on growing, transforming and loving your life is valuable time spent!


4. Is there a way for me to sample your coaching before I hire you?

Yes, in fact I encourage you to do just that! I offer a Complimentary Coaching Session so that not only can you get all your specific questions answered about what coaching is, but you can spend some time with me and experience a little of what coaching is like. It’s a no obligation 45 minute phone call to help you decide whether wellness coaching with me is right for you. Click HERE to request and schedule a complimentary session.