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.Download Article 1K Club