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Health-Based Coaching and Wellness

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There are so many other complementary purposes for health-based coaching, some of which our authors address in this issue. They could be small but significant shifts in habit—say, for changing diets for diabetics and those with depression, or implementing patient conducted physical exercise or therapy for stroke and myocardial infarction patients. They can be addressing potentially existential questions—like the issues of identity which sometimes arise when health concerns change the way people interact with others (such as the onset of significant hearing loss) or their environment. From accountability, to perspective taking, to redefining personal relationships, there are many, many highly useful and impactful tools in the coaches’ toolbox.

In this issue, as in the case of our first two issues of 2018 Future of Coaching, we are assisted quite knowledgably and ably by our colleague, Margaret Cary. She provides a unique perspective as a physician and as someone who has been an advocate for new healthcare policies and improved training and education of healthcare professionals.

We begin this issue by offering several road maps for a health-based coaching strategy. The first road map describes a four tier approach to health-based coaching that is presented by one of us (WB). It is based on a metaphor offered by Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones of the American Public Health Organization.

The second road map is provided by Gay Teurman (a clinical and health psychologist) and one of us (WB). It surveys many of the dimensions of health-based coaching and wellness.

We provide a third essay that focuses on the emerging professionalization of health and wellness coaching. The authors, Frank Ardito and Leigh-Ann Webster describe the formation of the aforementioned International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching, while pointing toward the future of this emerging area of professional coaching.

Our fourth essay points directly to one of the major forces driving the emergence of health-based coaching: a growing focus in the healthcare community on wellness. Petra Platzer describes the illness-wellness continuum and shows what a focus on wellness looks like and can be engaged in working with both the providers and recipients of healthcare services.

We bring to this issue of the Future of Coaching an article that was first published by the Library in 2013, Written by Joyce Odidison, it concerns coaching to a specific aspect of this wellness challenge. Odidison writes about interpersonal wellness and offers a systemic model of wellness that complements Petra Platzer’s presentation.

In the sixth essay we direct attention to yet another force that is driving the emergence of health-based coaching–this is the evolution of work-life models and their application to coaching practices. Laura Mendelow and Ann Deaton identify four stages of work-life, as well as the upsides, downsides and key coaching questions associated with exploration of work-life issues.

Our seventh and eighth essay move into the heart of the matter with regard to the provision of coaching to clients faced with major health challenges. Our seventh essay is written by a widely-respected professional coach, Judith Glaser, who writes about her own battle with cancer through the engagement of health-oriented conversations. This essay was first published in 2016. It is profound statement about health and healing: Judith sustained a high quality of life for several years based in part on the “miraculous” role played by coach-based conversations. She passed away in 2018 (and will be celebrated by the Library of Professional Coaching in 2019 through posthumous awarding of the Lee Salmon Award for exceptional service to the professional coaching community)

The eighth essay provides a compelling case study of how a team of professional coaches (who had worked primarily in the are of leadership and team development) found that their coaching strategies could be just as effectively applied when working with members of an organization with breast cancer. Written by Miguel Morgan,  this essay provides us with a brief blueprint about how one might address health-related issues within an organizational setting–in this case a Mexican organization.

We conclude this issue of the Future of Coaching with an item from our tool box (a frequent entry in our digital magazine). In this issue, the tool is “Managing Life Transitions.” It builds on the classic study of life change and health conducted by Richard Rahe and his colleagues. A Life-Change Scale is provided along with a Life Transition Grid and a list of strategies for managing major life transitions.



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