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Perspectives, news, and announcements from the Center that will ignite your passion for wellbeing.

Would Health Coaching Work for Me?

April 2, 2018

I often get asked the question, “Why would someone work with a health coach?” It’s a great question and one that has different answers. Let me start with the stories of a couple of my recent clients to illustrate. One had just finished acute treatment for cancer and found herself in the strange transition time between actively receiving treatment and finding the new normal in her life after a major health crisis. For her, coaching allowed her a place to stop and figure out what kind of a support team she needed to navigate this new phase of the ongoing maintenance of her condition. She also took some time to define the new normal in her life and figure out what she most needed to feel like she was in charge of her life and thriving again.

Another client was really waking up to the fact that she had always lived her life in a way that met the expectations of others. She had a hard time imagining her life fully in her own control. She needed help getting clear of the limiting beliefs that involved her always seeking the approval of others. She was ready to move past the stress of abiding by the impossible people pleasing habits that consumed most of her time and energy. She was tired of carrying resentment towards others because it always felt like the needs of others came before what mattered to her.

I share these stories with you to give a couple of examples on different ends of the spectrum, so I can paint the picture of why a person seeks partnership with a health coach. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • A new or recent health condition is overwhelming, and the client needs help navigating the medical system, making choices about treatment, understanding integrative health options, and managing her personal experience of how the condition impacts her sense of normal life.
  • A client may have recently completed acute medical treatment for a condition and finds himself navigating the place between acute treatment and a new normal where ongoing maintenance for his health condition is part of his daily life.
  • A client is dealing with a transition and needs support working through the uncertainty of the transition, exploring possibilities, making choices for a new life, and finding resources in the process.
  • A client may wish to have an improved baseline state of well-being and needs support working on prevention goals like losing weight, getting more exercise in her day, sleeping better, eating a more highly nutritious diet, managing stress more effectively, and accomplishing other prevention goals for health and wellbeing.
  • A client may be a caregiver for someone with a clinical condition and needs support caring well for himself while caring for others.

With some of the common scenarios in mind, I want to share what integrative health and wellbeing coaching offer that is unique. By first creating a safe and sacred space to explore deeply, using nonjudgmental and authentic communication to work through the client’s experience including challenges, beliefs, barriers and other roadblocks that happen along the way, and utilizing self-awareness and mindful presence to stay with the client’s process, a coach creates a place for people to create shifts in thinking and behavior that help them move forward with their wellbeing goals and intentions. We focus on uncovering the client’s inner wisdom and personal empowerment amidst change.  Coaches view clients holistically knowing that change in one area of a client’s life impacts all areas of the client’s life. Our lens is a combination of working with a person’s mind, body, and spirit to foster positive change. And we know that the biggest thing we can do to impact change is help someone realize they are the ultimate authority for their own wellbeing.

Would health coaching support you in making a wellbeing change?

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The Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing blog covers a range of integrative health and wellbeing topics. For more information about our blog, contact us at csh@umn.edu