Sometimes people just get caught in an emotional cul de sac and have trouble getting out of it on their own. Someone stuck may look for help to find a new path. It could be just getting a little extra support to keep you from spinning in circles. Many people, especially many career-minded people chose the path of Personal Life Coach.
Coaching and Counseling
There are alternatives of course. There are two important specialties of talking and helping professionals for those stuck in life glitches. The traditional counselor or psychologist will have an advanced academic degree (an MA or Ph.D.) and is trained in a process that uses the past, especially past behavioral habits and perceptions, to define your current issues and work out solutions. Life coaches tend to help by suggesting alternative life paths to move out of your circle of malaise and into a more desirable course. Counselors are academically trained in techniques and theory derived from abnormal psychology and tend to view problems as being caused by issues of development, unconscious conflict, or long-standing negative habits of action or perception. Life coaches may or may not have any particular training. Although they may be counselors or psychologists who have chosen life coaching as a method of helping which they prefer. Life coaches are not regulated and have no special training standards. They are, however, encouraged to obtain certification through accreditation programs like the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
A counselor or psychologist is really a health professional specializing in behavioral health. The life coach is really a coach, acting like a coach who builds confidence and focuses on performance. Life coaches are generally classified along with natural remedies. In essence, a life coach is just someone whose wisdom and experience you respect. The relationship that you establish with a life coach may resemble the relationship you establish with a counselor, but the emphasis will be different. You will meet with your coach to discuss your needs, goals, and sources of current frustration. You will work with the coach to develop change strategies.
Life coaching and life skills training
The concept of life coaching is derived from sports coaching. An American financial planner named Thomas Leonard is acknowledged as having been the first life coach. Most of Leonard’s practice was to give investment advice. He observed that his clients, though emotionally stable and not needing counseling in a clinical sense, wanted more from him than just investment advice. They wanted advice about organizing their lives, planning, and achieving goals. So he wrote a book entitled “The Portable Coach,” (published in 1998) which has become a highly influential classic and underlays the formation of the life coaching movement. In the early 1990s, Leonard established a training program for life coaches he called Coach University. He was also one of the founders of the ICF.
Thomas Leonard is also credit with the outgrowth of the Life Coach movement called the Life Skills coaching movement which has its own non-academically accredited training programs. Life skills coaching is often part of the training of young people who have been institutionalized or educationally impoverished. The program develops skills in activities of daily life.
The culture of life coaching
The growth of life coaching is part of a common sense movement toward recognizing and making use of the experience of smart people from a wide range of professions and circumstances. The movement has formalized the practice of using the advice of respected people to help foster growth and success. In many civilizations, a counselor, teacher, or therapist role is regularly filled by community elders, judged to have practical experience that can be applied to improving and developing the lives of less experienced people, usually young people in the community. Life coaching is born out of that philosophical idea. It separates the idea of needing help from the notion of mental illness or impairment. It supports healthy healing and helping relationships on a peer-to-peer basis. It incorporates the value of ordinary experience into help-giving for people who need some additional focus.
Your Certified Personal Life Coach
Certified as a Wellness Coach through WellCoaches, Marcia’s approach to wellness is rooted in science and nourished by years of personal experience. She is also a certified coach through the Am I Hungry?Mindful Eating Program, and certified as a DISC Profile Trainer through Everything DISC.
WellCoaches functions in collaboration with the American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. It was co-founded by the co-founder and co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
“I am passionate about helping adults uncover their potential as they gracefully move into the next chapter of life. Together we can make changes that lead to more vibrant and whole-hearted living.”
-Marcia Keener, Certified WellnessCoach