How to choose a life coach

Life Coaching – Fad or Fixture?

 The Personal Coach follows the personal hair-stylist and fitness-trainer as the latest accessory. But should you have one? How do you avoid the worst of them? What should you expect?

Coaches have been a fashion thing for celebrities for years but now that life-coaches are within reach of the rest of us, should we have one? Apart from the status-appeal of having your own life-coach, coaching can have very positive results. Good coaching helps us to be happier and more effective in our lives, without having our childhood dragged up endlessly! People now want to deal with their issues in the present rather than looking back. Coaching answers that need since it focuses on the present and the future.

Life-Coaching: can help with any life desire or goal, from wanting to write a book, leaving home, changing career or starting further education. Some coaches will specialise, so try and see someone who is experienced. Ask them what they specialise in BEFORE you tell them your issue(s).

Avoiding the Worst!

Unfortunately, life-coaching has attracted many business people who set up as ‘coaches’, ‘academies’ and even ‘universities’. Few are professionally regulated by an academic or professional body. That is because coaching is not one discipline or approach. Methods are usually borrowed from a number of professional disciplines including counselling, psychotherapy, transactional analysis and neuro-linguistic programming. For that reason, it can be better to obtain coaching via one of these professional routes.

Do ask for references or go to an established clinic. If they are professionally qualified, is that by an independent professional body? Ask the life-coach for the telephone number and ring them if you are not sure. Always ask for a free interview to begin with and ask lots of questions so you know what to expect and how many sessions you are likely to need. Do not commit to sessions until you are back home and had time to think about it.

 Set Your Own Agenda

  1. What specifically do I want to work on?
  2. How long exactly do I think that might take?
  3. Can I imagine that being a longer or shorter time? By how much?
  4. Can I have shorter or longer sessions if I need them?
  5. How much ‘work’ can I do at home to save time and money?

Finding a Life-Coach:

Good life-coaches will have an air of ‘grace’ about them. They will be achieving their own goals because they walk their own talk. Your coach will be unfazed and unflappable. They are free of judgements about you and will rarely give you advice. Ideally they will have training and experience in more than one discipline, including counselling. They will be adaptable to your needs but YOU will be doing at least 80% of the talking.

Try the NLPtCA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Association 01642 310 022, or for referrals. An alternative and cheaper option is to consider is training in co-counselling. You can train around the UK and you receive co-counselling in return, for nothing! Contact: John Talbut at the Co-Counselling Institute on 01530 836780.

In the UK the life-coach directory also provides coaches.