The Dos And Don’ts Of Health Coaching
ITN graduate, James was speaking with his friend Margaret about how he conducted his health coaching sessions.
He explained to her that his goal was to have his clients play an integral part in setting their own goals.
Margaret looked confused. “How can they help set their own goals?” she asked, puzzled. “How would they know what their goals are supposed to be?”
James smiled. Margaret had clearly been taught the old school way of health coaching. As he explained to her that it was his job to really educate, inspire, and help show his clients their true desires, wants, and setbacks that they had been hiding from themselves, her eyes lit up.
“Oh!” gasped Margaret. “That makes so much sense. When they help discover what they want and how they can reach their goals, they end up holding themselves accountable!”
There is a common misconception that health coaches are supposed to tell their clients everything they’re doing right and wrong and provide them with a plan to change their habits and reach their goals.
In reality, health coaching is about working together to achieve your client’s goals. It’s about you educating them on their options and then supporting their choices.
Many people treat coaching like consulting, so let’s take a moment to get clear on the difference.
COACHING VS CONSULTING
A coach is defined as one who trains, educates, prompts, urges, and helps initiate improvement, growth, and healing.
A consultant is one who provides expert advice.
Certified Transformational Nutrition Coaches (CTNCs) avoid just consulting with their clients and instead coach them on how to create a better life for themselves.
They educate their clients, actively engage them as an active participant in their own health journey, get to the root causes, read between the lines, and help their clients discover their hidden desires and roadblocks so they can finally get unstuck. (Ah, sweet freedom!)
By doing this, their clients not only begin to understand their way of thinking and the root causes of their health concerns, but they can also discover easy, practical ways they can make changes so they can start seeing results.
You see, coaching isn’t about having all the answers or knowing it all. It’s about helping your clients feel empowered on their healing journey.
So what are some other dos and don’ts that all great health coaches follow? Let’s dig in.
THE DOS AND DON’TS OF HEALTH COACHING
HEALTH COACHES DO:
1. Ask their clients what they want to change and allow their clients to help set their own goals.
2. Educate their clients on topics related to health, wellness, and transformation.
3. Support and motivate their clients in managing their own health with educational resources.
4. Empower their clients to become personally accountable for their own health.
5. Ask questions of their clients to help initiate deep thought and clarity.
6. Connect and work with healthcare providers in a supportive role for their clients.
7. Connect their clients to media resources such as groups like the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Overeaters Anonymous, and other beneficial resources.
HEALTH COACHES DON’T:
1. Tell their clients what changes to make.
2. Provide medical advice.
3. Diagnose, treat, cure, or heal any disease or condition.
4. Make specific recommendations. They always let their clients choose their own course of action.
5. Recommend or tell a client to take supplements or to follow a particular diet. Health coaches educate clients on supplements that might be helpful and leave it up to the client to decide if they want to take them.
6. Run tests or interpret lab results. This is out of the scope of practice for a Health Coach and it’s illegal. Don’t believe anyone that tells you otherwise.
7. Use all or nothing types of statements. Instead of “will”, they use “may”, “can”, or “might”.
8. Make health claims without scientific basis.
Not only is it important to work with your clients to set goals and plans for how to accomplish them, it’s also important to help your clients come up with a personalized approach to healing.
Whether that plan includes nutrition, psychological practices, or deepening their spiritual connection, it needs to align with their lifestyle and their needs.
ITN is the only online certification that will educate you, as a Health, Life, or Wellness Coach, how to assist your clients in creating a personalized protocol to fire them up, get them moving towards the life they desire, and finally reach their health goals once and for all!
As you can see, health coaches are a very important part of a client’s healing process. While they cannot diagnose, cure, treat, or run lab work, they CAN and should play an important role in the healthcare seeking process for their clients.
It is also very important to remember that health coaches are not consultants – they are so much more!
They are able to create a connection with clients, motivate them, help them understand what’s going on with their health, and empower them to make changes.
As a Health Coach, YOU get to show your client the strength and power they hold within themselves, and YOU get to help them realize true transformation.
What is one key health coaching do or don’t you never knew prior to reading this post? Share it in the comments!