A growing awareness within the wellness community is that people need an ally to work with, and that wellness is a very individual and personal issue. Professional coaches have long been recognized for their skills in helping athletes and executives perform at their best. Now professional wellness coaches are helping people reach their best health and well-being.
Wellness coaching is the application of the principles and processes of professional life coaching to the goals of lifestyle improvement for higher levels of wellness. It is an alliance between a professional coach and you who, through the benefit of that relationship, seeks lasting, lifestyle behavior change.
Wellness coaches are trained to help clients develop and implement personal wellness plans by:
- accepting and meeting you where you are today
- asking you to take charge
- guiding you in doing the mindful thinking and doing work that builds confidence
- helping you define a higher purpose for wellness and uncover your natural impulse to be well
- helping you tap into your innate fighting spirit
- helping you draw a personal wellness blueprint
Wellness coaches are practitioners and life-long students of a vibrant new field: coaching psychology, which integrates more than fifteen other fields. Coaching psychology, in part, is the relational vehicle for implementing the tenets of positive psychology, a field focused on the scientific study of happiness and well-being. We integrate positive into coaching by:
- addressing mental and physical health together
- helping us set realistic goals; small victories lay the foundation for self-efficacy
- harnessing the strengths you need to overcome our obstacles
- helping you view obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow
- helping you build a support team
- inspiring and challenging you to go beyond what you would do alone
Great coaches have several skills you will notice early. They are great listeners and enjoy your stories. They foster self-acceptance and self-respect. They arouse, engage, energize, and challenge you to reach higher at the right moment. They great detectives helping you discover your personal strengths, values, and desires. They are playful when appropriate. They take risks and ask courageous questions. They don’t rescue you from emotional muck – sometimes you need to sit in it for a bit to energize your desire to change. They know that your life is at stake if you don’t take care of yourself. And they know how to celebrate your successes.
The process of wellness coaching progresses through several stages:
- You provide background information through a well-being assessment so that you and your coach are well-informed on the key issues, including medical considerations.
- During the first 60-90 minute coaching session, you identify your priorities and develop a personal wellness plan including a vision, three month goals and the first steps.
- In subsequent 30-45 minute coaching sessions, each week, month, or quarter, you and your coach review the progress toward your vision and goals, explore and resolve the most pressing issues, learn something new, and then agree on a set of goals for the following week. You will enjoy plenty of ah-ah insights along the way.
- By the end of three months, you can expect to reach more than 70% of your three-month goals and feel energized and confident to embark on new areas with or without your coach.
Who Uses Wellness Coaching?
Wellness coaches are being hired not only by individuals but by employers and health insurers as a likely cost-beneficial perk for their employees. Even the healthcare industry itself makes use of coaches as pointed out by the recently released Health Coaching Benchmarks (Larsen, Terry, Reynolds, 2010), which stated “more than three-quarters of the burden of chronic disease is attributed to lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor eating habits and physical inactivity. To reduce the economic and clinical weight of this burden, the healthcare industry is banking on the behavior change that can be facilitated by health coaching programs.”
If you are interested in learning more about Wellness Coaching from Blue Coral Coaching Solutions, please contact us for more details or to schedule a complimentary 20 minute coaching session.
- Larsen, Kate, Paul Terry, and Jim Reynolds. Health Coaching Benchmarks, 2010 Edition. Healthcare Intelligence Network, 2010 ↩