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While looking over some web traffic statistics, my Webmaster buddy wrote to me and suggested that I take note of the fact that we are now in the midst of another change in the coaching industry. This is not an earth-shattering change, but we might still want to make a note of it…. It is the tendency to label us once again… as health coaches.
So, exactly what is a health coach and how was it different than a wellness coach? One powerful force in the wellness field, Fiona Cosgrove (no relation), has clearly defined the different coaching styles in the past. Ms. Cosgrove also delineates the distinctions between life coaches, health coaches and wellness coaches. This information is included in the Cosgrove group wellness Coach certification program.
Yes, wellness coaches and health coaches are different. But how so? Health coaches are those who practice along with accredited professionals and work to apply evidence of psychological counseling and coaching. These coaches typically help clients or subjects that are considered to be more like patients than clients. Wellness coaching includes those who work with clients and basically want to improve some behaviors that they are maybe currently doing already and some that they are not. The more formal definition of wellness coaching is that it is focused on coaching behaviors that include exercise, weight control, stress or any physical or mental dimension where behavior change is desired. Wellness coaches, by definition don’t simply tell people what to do or how to live. Since Wellness coaches would only offer advice as an expert when it’s necessary to help a client, it is considered to be a little more passive or even friendly.
But in the end, does it really matter how we are labeled? Or does it matter what people call us? From a coaches perspective, I find that I really don’t care what people call me. Sometimes my clients in corporate environments will simply call me “coach”. Others, who might work with me just on physical dimensions for strength training, might call me a trainer. In the end, I don’t really mind whatever label people want to assign to me. I just want everyone to know that I can be their coach and this is what really separates those who coach with an inherent passion and ability from those who do not.