Home Applications Personal & Life Coaching Ten Trends in Personal/Life Coaching

Ten Trends in Personal/Life Coaching

36 min read


Coaching and Health

Back in the early Seventies, when life coaches told people that they were a coach the usual response was, “What sport?” Coaches had to go on to describe what Life Coaching was. A decade ago that explanation rarely included concerns that athletic coaches had, such as diet, exercise, physical challenge, sleep patterns, physical health and fitness. This is changing. A foundational cornerstone of one major coaching school (CTI) is “Focus on the whole person.” (Kimsey-House, et al 2011). Coaches are beginning to realize that their coaching also needs to include paying attention to the parts of the person located below the neck—as we noted above with regard to stress ruts. Specialties in personal and life coaching now include fitness coaching, nutritional coaching, coaching clients with chronic physical conditions, stress reduction and mindfulness coaching and finally health coaching as an adjunct to medical treatment. As Baby Boomers age and begin to redefine retirement, coaches working with this population are learning how to dovetail their coaching with medical breakthroughs to make life after sixty meaningful and rewarding.

One health-related coaching specialization appeared early in the history of coaching: coaching clients with addiction issues. (Skibbins, 2000). As the entire addiction field began to move from self-help perspectives, to approaches that included medication, family therapy, and group therapy, coaches have also created a niche in addiction treatment. Coaches were not successful as a resource in the early stages of recovery, but began to be utilized by individuals and recovery centers in later stages of treatment, to help the client make the transition from treatment into a sober or functional lifestyle.

Another area where coaching and psychotherapy has had a very successful marriage is in the area of Attention Deficit Disorder treatment. Prevatt and Levrini, (2015) points out how the practical coaching skills of accountability, brainstorming, and time management can aid any mental health professional working with these clients. Often teams of therapists and coaches can make a powerful difference through working together to provide a wider range of services to this population. In the future, coaching may be utilized in the treatment of a number of medical conditions in which a radical change of lifestyle is necessitated, such as stroke, Parkinson’s, loss of limb, or diabetes.

In the future, insurance companies may see that health-related coaching, post-medical-treatment coaching, and medical compliance coaching are cost effective approaches. That will be a two-edged sword for the coaching industry. Coaching has been a relatively lawsuit-free enterprise because there have been no deep pockets in which to reach for high judgement rewards. If insurance begins to compensate coaches that may situation may change for the worse.

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One Comment

  1. Rey Carr

    June 9, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Something about this article left me thinking that I missed the connection between coaching and any of the 10 items mentioned. For example, all the three points that neurobiology is allegedly responsible for in contributing to knowledge of human behaviour (and changing behaviour) were clearly known prior to the advent of the current craze to quote brain research. I don’t think that neurobiology has contributed at all to improving the coaching relationship. And as if to strengthen my point, the authors give no examples or evidence of how coaches have actually used these principles to make a difference in their interactions with clients.

    The same holds true for the nine other trends mentioned. Cognitive psychology (via Jerome Bruner and others) as well as solution-focused work and the work of William Glasser and Albert Ellis and countless others are all cognitive approaches that turned traditional psychotherapy on its head and dumped it from working with dysfunctional individuals.

    I wish the authors had provided more direct evidence of the way in which these trends have actually influenced the work of coaches.


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