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Cautionary Tale-Choosing the right Life Coach

"Trust is the union of intelligence and integrity"

Beautiful People!! Let's Go!!

This was not to be the blog post for the day; however, I felt the pressing need to address the issue of choosing the right life coach after an individual reached out to me and conveyed the disastrous experience he had with a life coach that not only led him to seek psychiatric treatment but question the validity and mass saturation of unqualified life coaches out there.

I want to make clear what life coaches do; more so because, In recent years, life coaches have acquired a considerable presence in the mainstream. A growing number of creatives, executives, and entrepreneurs are now teaming up with life coaches to attain success in their professional and personal lives as well as everyday folk.

A life coach is what I refer to as a wellness professional who helps people make progress in their lives in order to attain greater fulfillment. Life coaches support and work with their clients in improving their relationships, careers, and day-to-day lives.

Life coaches can help you clarify your goals, identify the obstacles holding you back, and then come up with strategies for overcoming each obstacle. In creating these strategies, life coaches target your unique skills and gifts by helping you make the most of your strengths. Life coaches provide the support you need to achieve long-lasting change. Now let me be very clear LIFE COACHES ARE NOT MENTAL HEALTH THERAPISTS!!

Unlike life coaches, therapists and other mental health professionals focus on healing, treating mental health conditions, and helping people work through trauma and other issues from their past. Mental health professionals are governed by a state regulatory board, have strict ethical standards, and must comply with HIPPA ( Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). While working with a life coach may help you to deal with certain unresolved issues, life coaches cannot treat mood disorders, anxiety disorders, addiction, or any other mental health condition and should not do so..should anyone who is reading this blog and is working with a life coach who is trying to function as a mental health professional, RUN! unless the Life coach is a certified, degreed or a licensed mental health professional there is to be no mental health treatment involved.

Life coaches, on the other hand, are not governed by a board and don't have to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and its privacy rules that help protect your personal health information; I look forward to the day when life coaching is regulated and held to the same ethical standards as mental health professionals; there are too many individuals who are not qualified to do this work- much to the detriment of the client. . To that end, a life coach should never be considered as a substitute for a mental health professional.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health problem (such as feelings of hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, sleep disruption, and mood disturbance), it’s crucial to consult a mental health professional as soon as possible.

I look on social media and see it flooded with advertisements on life coaching classes, priced as low as 12.00 (I am not kidding); anyone who seeks life coaching should ask the potential life coach about training and additional education credentials. For myself, my life coaching certification is endorsed by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) to which I am a member. ICF is the regulatory body that endorses certified life coaching programs around the world. In addition to my life coaching certification and ICF membership, I am a master's level educator, a clinician, and certified in a number of mental health competencies so in the likelihood that there are mental health concerns, I will address and in keeping in alignment with the life coaching track (and maintaining boundaries) I will more than likely refer my client to a mental health practitioner if the issues are beyond life coaching.

If you’re thinking of working with a life coach whether it be with me or someone else, please do your homework; keep in mind that it’s up to you to decide what you’d like to focus on in your coaching sessions. Each session should leave you feeling empowered and uplifted, so it’s critical to find a coach whose style and philosophy resonate with you as well as the SOLID credentials that will validate your experience and skills set.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health problem (such as feelings of hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, sleep disruption, and mood disturbance), it’s crucial to consult a mental health professional as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one are struggling with a mental health condition, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.


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