CONSCIOUSNESS-BASED Health AND WELLNESS COACHING
Client-centered relationships. Strengths-based conversations. Individualized goals.
An Emerging Profession
Health and Wellness Coaching is a rapidly emerging profession gaining greater recognition and respect - not for practicing medicine or providing therapy, but rather offering a new paradigm in reducing the impacts of chronic disease and rising healthcare costs.
The number of jobs for wellness professionals focused on preventative health, such as Health and Wellness Coaching, are set to increase by 21% over the next six years, being one of the fastest growing sources of employment in the country. The demand for Health and Wellness Coaching is growing because the health of individuals and the effectiveness of our current healthcare system continues to decline despite advances in clinical care and an abundance of health information available. With roots in humanistic psychology, professional coaching, and behavior change, Health and Wellness Coaching is bringing to light the key factors that support total well-being.
What is Health Coaching?
A whole person approach
Health coaching recognizes that people are whole individuals who are not to be fixed but rather empowered to reach their full potential.
A client-centered relationship
The field of health coaching puts individuals at the center of the change process. The client-centered relationship is a positive relationship that results in more effective and personalized experiences for the client.
An empowering conversation
The coaching conversation is an empowering conversation that is value-driven, strengths-based, collaborative, and a catalyst for allowing greater possibilities for change, health, and well-being.
A co-created individualized plan
Health coaching emphasizes the integration of information and insights as a key step in the change process and is represented in the co-creation of an individualized plan with goals and action items.
A sustainable approach to holistic change
Through appreciative inquiry, a positive client-centered approach, and individualized action strategies the health coaching process serves as an effective catalyst for change, health, and well-being.
"Health coaching provides a dynamic process for a client to evaluate multiple dimensions of their life and supports integration of the client's awareness, goals, actions, information, and experience towards whole person health and well-being."
- Diana Prince MA, NBC-HWC, CSCS
Scope of Practice
Health and Wellness Coaches work with individuals and groups in a client-centered process to facilitate and empower the client to develop and achieve self-determined goals related to health and wellness. Coaches support clients in mobilizing internal strengths and external resources, and in developing self-management strategies for making sustainable, healthy lifestyle, behavior changes. While health and wellness coaches per se do not diagnose conditions, prescribe treatments, or provide psychological therapeutic interventions, they may provide expert guidance in areas in which they hold active, nationally recognized credentials, and may offer resources from nationally recognized authorities such as those referenced in ICHWC’s healthy lifestyle curriculum. As partners and facilitators, health and wellness coaches support their clients in achieving health goals and behavioral change based on their clients’ own goals and consistent with treatment plans as prescribed by individual clients’ professional health care providers. Coaches assist clients to use their insight, personal strengths and resources, goal setting, action steps and accountability toward healthy lifestyle change.
*adapted from NCCHWC Health & Wellness Coach Scope of Practice - February 1, 2017
Education & Training
Like many growing industries, there has been a wide variety of professional standards, educational methods, training requisites, and opportunities for credentialing associated with the role and title of health coach. All of that changed in 2017 with the first National Board Certification in Health & Wellness Exam.
Fortunately, efforts to legitimize this emerging discipline, are taking shape through concerted efforts from practicing health coaches and thought-leaders in the field - most notably the collaborative work of the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).
The NBHWC's current educational and training standards are leading the charge. Their consensus is providing an improved professional representation of the health coaching role, health coaching education, and training programs in health coaching. In addition, their dedication to the process of applying theoretically grounded, evidence-based approaches to lifestyle improvement is bringing respect and inclusion in the health care field and by the public.