What is Life Coaching?

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

Life coaching is still in its infancy with most people starting to understand the profession. However, there are those that look at you with a puzzled stare and say, "Is that the airy fair stuff". I have to take a deep breath when people say this to me just after I mentioned that I am a Life Coach. Once I exhaled, I think to myself this is my chance to shine and educate them on the world of Life Coaching. It is an industry that emerged in the 1990s, and now it has become a competitive market with over 53,300 International Coaching Federation members worldwide (ICF, 2019). A recent article by Joanne Jaroza (2016) explains the role of the Life Coach as a profession that is all about motivating and changing behaviours in people by setting achievable goals. These goals can lead to improving personal well-being and overall mental health (Grant & O'Hara, 2006). Life coaching is different from other therapeutic domains, those domains see someone who needs to be fixed.

Life coaches do not see their clients as broken. Instead, they focus on future outcomes rather than on past issues. Hence why I became a Life Coach, I started on a different track to become a Psychologist and soon realise, it wasn't for me. The majority of clients were not well, and yes I could take the time to work with them, however what about giving tools to people before they become overwhelmed and stop functioning in the Community. Then I asked myself if this person had the skills before they started drowning in their own thoughts, would they have come to see me. This is research I would like to do in the future to answer that question.

So here is a tip if you feel that anxiety or your thoughts are becoming overwhelming then perhaps a Life Coach is for you. When seeking out that Life Coach make sure to check their credentials, as there is no formal training required to be a Life Coach. However there is hope, and I believe that majority of people who want to be coaches do it with the best intentions, yet if they don't have adequate training, then there is a chance for poor outcomes for the clients. Organisations such as ICF is a professional body advancing the coaching profession, so coaching becomes an integral part of society. Our members lead this journey by representing the highest quality in professional coaching. In summary, I love being a Coach. However, I am confident knowing that I have the skills of a counsellor to know if my client is ready for coaching or do they need therapy.

Thank you for reading.

My sources and for further information.




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