Wellness Coaching

What is Wellness Coaching?

A wellness coach is akin to a football coach — he or she is somebody who helps and encourages you to achieve your goals and have success in the physical and health areas of your life. Wellness coaches work to develop your strengths and abilities, rather than try to correct or force new skills upon you. They provide motivation and new ideas to help you achieve your own goals. Wellness coaches are not nutritionists or physical therapists, but work in service to help you make better and more healthful choices.

Origins in History
Wellness coaching is an emerging discipline that barely existed a decade ago. Coaching for health-related concerns has likely been going on for hundreds of years, but it typically happened on an informal basis among peers. Nowadays, we often seek professional help for such services in our lives, and we can thank various organizations in the United States for creating formal wellness coaching training programs. Wellness coaches are often employed by a health plan or large company to provide their capabilities for people who are enrolled in the health plan or employed at the company, and often deliver such services over the phone.

Because wellness coaching is about working with the specific goals and abilities of each client, coaching tends to be highly individualized. Coaches may have certain activities or programs that they prefer to use. Wellness coaches may also come to this field from a wide variety of backgrounds, from sports and fitness to counseling and meditation. We suggest interviewing any potential wellness coach you want to have a relationship with in order to understand their attitudes and approach, and to ensure that they resonate with you.

What is care like?

Health Benefits
There are numerous benefits to having a wellness coach. Here are a few of the things a wellness coach could help you achieve:

  • lose some weight
  • quit smoking
  • reduce the stress in your life
  • become more active
  • eat better
  • increase overall fitness
  • improve your mood

Actions & Experiences During a Session
You can meet with your wellness coach either over the phone or in person. Your sessions can range from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on your budget and the extent of your goals. You will most likely start by defining your goals and creating a plan to achieve them. Wellness coaches often give out homework assignments to make sure that you are concentrating on your goals outside of coaching sessions.

Duration of Care
The duration of care depends on your budget, how often you meet and what you are hoping to accomplish. Coaching could last for a few months, or a few years! Every situation is different.

Resources & References

International Coaching Federation

WebMD: Life and Wellness Coaches

WellCoaches: School of Coaching

Yahoo! Voices: What is a Health and Wellness Coach?

What next?

Search Find Wellness to find qualified wellness coaches in your area. There are currently no national accreditation standards for wellness coaches, and not all types of coaches are required to be certified. Take a look at hiring tips from the International Coaching Federation to get advice on what questions to ask a potential wellness coach. As with any health and wellness provider, be sure you spend the time to find somebody whom you trust and respect.