Life Coaches are Important

Created as a motivational tool for the corporate world, life coaching has gained popularity over the years, and it isn’t just for CEOs. In fact, most clients are everyday people who generally have their lives together but perhaps are stuck in some aspect of it. Whether they are having difficulty mustering the courage to make a career change or ask their significant other to move in, a life coach can serve as a partner in defining a better future.

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It’s more popular with men to have a life coach, and this is because of two reasons. First is semantics: men respond to the sports terminology favorably, and second: there is no negative stigma surrounding using a life coach the way, say, having a therapist is.

Clients of life coaches aren’t incapable, they just realize the value of having someone help them think outside of the box. A client once regarded the service she received as helping her “tap into my own genius, what I’m naturally good at.” Life coaches are action and solution-oriented, concentrating on their clients forward motion and not focusing on the past.

Often taking place over several months, most clients see their life coach on a weekly basis for half-hour to hour-long sessions. Most insurance companies won’t cover the tab, and prices can vary from $300 an hour to $350-$600 a month. The beginning of the process is marked by the coach asking the client a series of extensive, specific questions in order to hone in on a precise set of goals. Often coming with homework, clients are expected to work on things such as journal entries, exercises like building a “life blueprint” and reporting on progress.

However, life coaches walk on a thin line between being a motivated and organized cheerleader for their clients and being a therapist. The realm of discovering and creating versus the realm of healing and uncovering.

Because the power of positive thinking can only take people so far, the efficacy of life coaching is often regarded as questionable. There are ultimately no qualifications to become a life coach, virtually anyone can do it. While many coaches are well-seasoned and have taken extensive courses, just as many are without credentials.

There is no unified approach to the coaching or oversight board; it’s effectively an unregulated field and thus the virtues of what some of the coaches are offering are unproven in their success. The biggest issue lies in that these untrained coaches don’t realize when they’re dealing with a truly troubled client, and are not qualified to, nor do they intend to, meet them in the dark places where they are most alone, desperate, fearful, and angry.

About Richard Battista