WHAT IS HEALTH AND WELLNESS COACHING?
Health and wellness coach partners with clients seeking to enhance their well-being through self-directed, lasting changes aligned with the client’s core values. Health and wellness coach displays unconditional positive, respectful, and non-judgmental regard for the clients and a belief in their capacity for change and honors each client as an expert of their own life (NBHWC, 2021).
Scope of practice
Health and Wellness Coaches are partners and facilitators. They empower individuals and groups to develop and achieve their self-determined health and wellness goals based on the client’s own desires and consistent with the prescribed by healthcare providers treatment plans. Using a client-centered approach, the health and wellness coaches support clients in the mobilization of client’s insight, internal personal strengths, and external resources as well as in the development of self-management strategies, goals, actions steps, and accountability toward making healthy and sustainable lifestyle and behavioral changes. Health and wellness coaches do not diagnose health conditions, prescribe treatments, or provide psychological therapy. Health and wellness coaches may provide expert guidance in the areas they hold active, nationally recognized credentials and offer resources from nationally recognized authorities (NBHWC, 2021).
What to expect from the health and wellness coaching services?
- Coaching helps people to achieve a higher level of well-being and performance in life and work and reach toward their best health and wellness potential
- Coaching allows to elicit client’s autonomous motivation, increase the capacity to change, and facilitate a change process through visioning, goal setting, and accountability, which at its best can lead to sustainable changes.
- Coaching is a partnership with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires and supports them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
- Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work, and they believe every client has the potential to be creative and resourceful in order to fully self-actualize.
- Health and wellness coaches assist clients in connecting the dots between who they are and who they want to be, and in taking the incremental behavioral steps that will enable them to succeed in their desired changes, leading to a higher level of health and well-being.
- Health and Wellness Coaches utilize Positive Psychology, a field of psychology studying happiness and well-being (Wellcoaches, 2021)
Health and Wellness coaches are trained to help clients to develop and implement personal wellness plans:
- Accept clients and meet them where they are in the moment
- Ask clients to be in the driver’s seat and be in charge of their own health
- Guide clients in practicing mindful thinking and building confidence
- Help to define a higher purpose for health wellness
- Uncover the client’s natural impulse to be well
- Help clients to tap into innate strengths and talents
- Address physical and emotional health together
- Help clients to draw a personal wellness blueprint
- Assist clients in setting realistic health and wellness goals
- Celebrate the small victories that lay the foundation for self-efficacy
- Harness the client’s strengths to overcome obstacles
- View the obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow
- Help clients to build supportive resources (Wellcoaches, 2021)
Health and Wellness coaches:
- Enjoy listening to client’s stories about wellness goals and health-supporting practices
- Foster acceptance and self-respect
- Engage, energize, and challenge clients to reach deeper at the right moment
- Focus on the client’s strengths, values, hopes, and desires
- Can be playful when appropriate
- Take risks and ask courageous questions
- Know that clients’ life is at stake if they don’t practice appropriate self-care
- Celebrate clients’ successes (Wellcoaches, 2021)
Health and Wellness Coaching can help the client to develop:
- Self-motivation, self-regulation, self-knowledge, self-efficacy, self-awareness
- Positivity, optimism, hope, mindfulness, sense of purpose and meaning
- Resilience, personal responsibility, sustainable behavior changes, self-mastery (Moore et al., 2016)
The Health and Wellness Coaching work progresses through several stages:
- Before the first coaching session, the coach shares with the client a short biography, a summary of coaching basics and expectations, and an agreement form to complete. Also, the client completes the assessment questionnaire to provide background information and important health and wellness issues. It covers the seven areas of life such as life satisfaction, energy, exercise, nutrition, weight, mental and emotional issues, and overall state of health.
- The first coaching session lasts 75-90 minutes (it can be broken down into three 30-minute sessions if desired). It includes identification of the priorities and development of wellness vision, 3-month goals, and first steps.
- The follow-up sessions last 30 minutes and can be scheduled on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. They include the discussion of the progress toward the client’s wellness vision and 3-month goals, exploration of the priorities, and setting new weekly goals. During the coaching process, the client may enjoy some aha moments and new insights and discoveries (Wellcoaches, 2021).
The small baby steps, practiced consistently and with a commitment, can create the foundation for sustainable lifestyle changes. I look forward to supporting you in reaching your health and wellness goals.
Harvard Health Publishing (2020). Health coaching is effective. Should you try it? https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/health-coaching-is-effective-should-you-try-it-2020040819444
Moore, M., Jackson, E., & Tcshannen-Moran, B. (2016). Coaching psychology, second edition.
National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). (2021). NBHWC health & wellness coach scope of practice. https://nbhwc.org/scope-of-practice/
WellCoaches School of Coaching. (2021). https://www.wellcoachesschool.com/