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While looking on the IDEA Connect site today, I noticed that there were several, and I mean several individuals who are now identifying themselves as wellness coaches. Some of these people, I know personally. They are not trained wellness coaches. They are former (or current) trainers, yoga instructors or Pilates instructors… In other words they have not been trained properly as wellness coaches. This is a major concern for us.
We are still in the midst of a struggle to verify our work and credibility as coaches. These unscrupulous trainers that are stamping their business cards with the moniker “wellness coach” are doing us all in. They’re not doing us any favors. They’re not helping.
Please let me explain. In our wellness Coach certification program we describe the expert approach. This is a situation whereby coaches disseminate information about fitness or nutrition to their clients, but the problem with this is that it’s assuming the client doesn’t already know this. In addition to this, not every client will need coaching on the physical or scientific dimensions of wellness. Furthermore it doesn’t really get at the heart of changing behaviors. Behavior change is the cornerstone of wellness coaching. We don’t need to tell clients that they’re overweight and that they should lose weight by changing their food intake and by exercising. This expert approach is concerning in that it assumes that the client is not bright enough to see what is plainly right before them.
Furthermore, what’s even more problematic is that the general public won’t get the proper instruction on how to select a wellness coach unless they are getting it from the Internet or from television. So until Oprah and her colleagues or contemporaries tell us what to look for in a wellness Coach, it’s a free-for-all out there. In other words, if you’re looking for a wellness coach, and you go to the IDEA Connect site, then you’re going to be faced with a very long list of very smart people with a lot of credentials – but unfortunately there’s no indication that they are certified as a wellness coach. In fact, in my initial search, I found that many of the folks posting in the forum were really looking for more detailed wellness coaching certifications, because there are so few available.
I think I need to get on the phone with Oprah. I want to get this straightened out, because it infuriates me as a certified wellness coach.
I won’t give up. Even if it means blogging incessantly about this topic, because our future as coaches is at stake. Even if I have to try to win people over one at a time, I’m willing to put forth the effort. Because that’s what wellness coaches do. They go the extra mile.