When it comes to improving one's life, many people turn to life coaching as a way to achieve their goals. But is life coaching really the best option? To answer this question, I spoke with therapists, life coaches, and people who have received life training. Through these conversations, I discovered that while many life coaches have good intentions, the lack of educational and licensing requirements needed to promote themselves as a coach could cause real harm. As with any industry, especially one that is not heavily regulated, the buyer should be careful.
Life coaching is often seen as a safer alternative to therapy because it focuses on concrete strategies and objectives. It is also supposed to be more collaborative, brief, focused, future-oriented and informal than psychotherapy. However, it can be difficult for a coach to appear to be anything other than a therapist. Common themes for leadership coaches (maximizing performance, workplace relationships, and professional anxiety) are the bread and butter of many therapy sessions.
The confusion is even greater with coaching outside the work environment, which can encompass just about anything. Life coaching may try to help a client follow a more disciplined workout or wellness regimen, but the reason they don't sleep or exercise may be because they have anxiety or depression. What life coaches are really bad at is checking reality and verifying the adequacy of the goals they promise to help achieve. Another option is to look for people like Brigham, who are licensed therapists and certified life coaches.
Good studies on life coaching interventions outside of the work environment are difficult to find due to the challenges of conducting in-depth independent analyses of an inherently personal circumstance in which confidentiality is paramount. But like celery juice, yoni eggs and other wellness trends fraught with exaggeration and scant evidence, life training triggers my arachnid sense of being a health journalist. I watched people like Tony Robbins and how he created a movement with years of experience in life coaching. The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a creative and stimulating process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.
Let's take a look at the research most closely aligned with the methods used and the desired outcomes of life coaching. An important aspect of many life coaching programs involves observing the client's mindset and finding ways to build healthy thinking patterns and beliefs that help the individual move forward, be the best version of themselves, and achieve their goals. Life coaching as an industry is nothing more than an echo of ego-driven consumer culture, which is slowly but surely being destroyed with its own greed. In the early 2000s, she saw a cropped life coach named Martha Beck on The Oprah Winfrey Show who specialized in working with overprogrammed women. Some life coaches use a non-scientific approach called Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), which aims to help clients through reprogramming behavior patterns. People live in the illusion of greatness for years while paying life coaches for their company in this house. Training usually doesn't involve therapy or counseling as such, but most coaches employ some positive psychology concepts as part of their practice. When it comes down to it, life coaching may not be the best option for those looking to improve their lives.
It doesn't give you joy or space to breathe when you feel depressed or anxious; you end up assuming too much. It's important to remember that good studies on life coaching interventions outside of the work environment are difficult to find due to challenges involving confidentiality.