By Jennifer Seigworth
I have been asked this question many times and often, people are surprised by the answer. Some picture the 1970s type of spiritualist who is promoting yoga and incense burning (and some do); while others expect it to be the same as a counselor or mental health therapist.
In reality, a life coach is simply someone who meets you where you are at in life and helps you to achieve a set of goals that you decide upon. Even though many mental health professionals do include life coaching as a service, not all life coaches have a degree or experience in the mental health field.
Most life coaches have several areas that they specialize in for coaching. For example, a life coach may work with a corporation, coaching employees to meet work performance goals. Even top executives will hire a coach to help them meet performance goals that they need to make a plan for.
The term, “life coach” simply identifies a general occupation that encompasses the many different types of coaching that a person may find the need for.
There are many different specialties that you might want to find a coach for, but here is a list of the most common:
Career coach — A coach can meet a client at any stage in their career and help to increase confidence while carving out a path for the client to set goals and find a job that is fulfilling and fitting. This coaching relationship could start with a high school student’s first job or with a top executive who wants to experience a more fulfilling career.
Relationship coach — A relationship coach is someone that can help a client to identify and set goals to develop and enhance any type of relationship. It could be a romantic relationship or it could be family, friend or work relationship. These coaches also often help clients who are grieving the loss of a loved one, and need support to move forward in any aspect of life.
Health and Wellness coach — This type of coaching relationship is not just for bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts. In fact, most clients are more likely to be in need of support and motivation to take care of themselves and work on total wellness. This includes managing eating habits, exercise and all aspects of physical, mental and spiritual self-care.
Family and Parenting coach — Coaching new parents in times of uncertainty is often a popular duty of this type of coach. However, there is a full range of specialties in this realm of coaching. Parents of teenagers may find themselves in need of extra support while navigating this stage of life. Also, empty nesters may seek the help of a coach in learning where they need to go from this point once the children leave home.
So, as you see, life coaches are more like a super support system to help you identify your strengths, identify your passions and develop a plan alongside you with set goals. Coaching fees often range from $25 per hour to $100 per hour depending on the coach’s experience, the specialty, and the planned amount of sessions expected. Coaching can be done in a one-on-one setting in person or online. There are also coaching sessions that are set up as group forums. Depending on whether a group setting would be more beneficial to the clients and what the clients’ preference is.
If you decide to look into getting a life coach for help achieving your next set of goals, make sure you take the time to do your homework. Certifications are not all the same. There are accredited degrees in Life Coaching and there are coaching certificates that may qualify someone as a life coach.
Don’t be afraid to ask about the coach’s experience and specialties. Get a feel for the coach’s personality. You are going to be spending money and time on bettering your life, so it is worth the time to make the best selection specifically for you.