What Problems Does a Life Coach Help Solve?
To understand what problems a life coach can help you with, think of it this way. While therapy focuses on helping people with psychological disorders live more normal lives, life coaching helps normal people live extraordinary lives.
Nowadays, researchers in the field of Positive Psychology are discovering how people “thrive”, improve their “wellbeing”, become “happier”, become more “resilient”, and have more “meaning”. These are all outcomes of working with a life coach.
They’ll help you:
- overcome the Monday morning blues
- build confidence
- find a career that you love
- get clear on your goals
- stay accountable to your goals
- do more of the activities that engage you
- form better relationships
- have more meaning in your life
- develop your purpose
- work on the things that you are passionate about
- feel happier
If any of these problems sound familiar, you’re in the right place...
What's the Difference Between Life Coaching and Therapy?
This article is written by Stephan Wiedner, co-founder and "Head Coach" at www.Noomii.com
A common misconception is that coaching is the same as therapy, when in fact they are quite different. Therapy is intended to help people recover from emotional or other psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety. Coaching, on the other hand, is intended to help normal, healthy individuals achieve personal goals such as increased happiness, weight loss, improved work-life balance. etc.
The table below shows a quick side-by-side comparison of coaching vs. therapy:
|Client is emotionally and psychologically healthy||Client is emotionally unwell and needs healing|
|Focuses on the present and future||Focuses on dealing with the past|
|Driven by goals and taking action||Driven by unresolved issues and feelings|
|Works toward a higher level of functioning||Works to achieve understanding and emotional healing|
|Results-based and focuses on exploring solutions||Explores the root of problems and offers explanation|
|Asks, “Where would you like to be and how can you get there?”||Asks, “How did that make you feel?”|
|Acts on information||Absorbs information|
|Done over the phone, internet or in person||Done in an office setting|
|Coach and client collaborate on solutions||Therapist is the ‘expert’|
|Contact between sessions expected (accountability and wins)||Contact between sessions for crisis and difficulties only|
What Credentials do Life Coaches Require?
The short answer: none.
That’s right. Anybody who wants to call themselves a life coach can go ahead and do so, right now. So buyer beware. But there is good news.
Whether or not life coaches should require credentialing is a long standing debate in the coaching industry. Many coaches insist that in order for the profession of coaching to become recognized, respected, and widely adopted, credentialing is necessary. The reality is that the industry faces some challenges before it can do so. I could go into greater detail to discuss what those things are but that’s not the point of this article. Instead, I would like to explain what coaching credentialing bodies exist and ask a potential coaching client, what you should look for when hiring a coach.
What life coaching credentials exist?
When you investigate the education and training of coaches, it can be confusing because there are so many coaching credentials. The ones that count the most are credentials issued by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
From my best estimation, the coaching industry has somewhere between 200 and 500 independent, for-profit coach training schools (a small number of universities also offer coach training programs) and many of them offer their graduates a coaching certificate.
Some of those certificates take years to acquire. Others can be earned during a weekend workshop.
Due to the wide range of coaching programs, a few different governing bodies have sprung up to (try to) establish a standard of education, training, and ethics among coaches. In our experience, the three most commonly referenced governing bodies are:
- The International Coach Federation (ICF)
- The International Association of Coaching (IAC)
- The Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE)
Of the three governing bodies mentioned here, the ICF is by far the largest and most widely adopted credentialing service. They review and approve both coach training schools and individual coaches.
When you hire a coach, you can be most assured of their training if they have one of the following ICF credentials:
- Associate Certified Coach (ACC), 60+ training hours, 100+ coaching hours
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC), 125+ training hours, 500+ coaching hours
- Master Certified Coach (MCC), 200+ training hours, 2500+ coaching hours
Sure, there are plenty of coaches who could get an ICF credential if they simply applied but they have no legal obligation to do so. Maybe one day that will change.
What Coaching Credentials and Training Does Shannon Have?
- ACC (Associate Certified Coach) credential from Internation Coach Federation (ICF).
- CPC (Certified Professional Coach) - 146 training hours with Academy of Coaching Cognition (Training Program Accredited by ICF).
- CWHC (Certified Wellness & Health Coach) - 32 training hours with Real Balance Global Wellness Services (Training Program Accredited by ICF and ICHWC-International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching)
- Professional Development credits - minimum 40 hours training plus 10 hours of mentor coaching every 3 years, as required to maintain ICF credential.
- Hundreds of hours of coaching practice. Working towards the PCC credential with ICF. Member in good standing with ICF.