Will Life Coaching be Regulated? An Expert's Perspective

Anyone can call themselves a life coach but should they? Learn about the legal implications of being a life coach from an expert's perspective.

Will Life Coaching be Regulated? An Expert's Perspective

The concept of life coaching is one of the least regulated professions in the world. Anyone can call themselves a life coach, as long as they do not intend to treat mental health conditions. They are free to train without a license or supervision, and there is no U. S.

government organization that currently regulates life coaches. Just like any other business, there are a couple of general laws and legally binding terms that coaches should keep in mind. For example, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (Department) includes both an advisory board and a psychology board. A Counselor (Defendant) with a PhD in Counseling Had a “Limited License” in Michigan, and also maintained a private practice as a life coach, although he was not certified by any entity and had no training as a life coach.

The State of Michigan does not regulate life coaches, and life coaches are not subject to discipline under the Michigan Public Health Code. However, certification is offered through the International Federation of Coaches (ICF), an organization of members of trained coaches. This type of certification can equip coaches with structured frameworks and a coaching methodology that has been tried and tested. Michele Nealon, psychologist and president of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, has stated that there is not much evidence that life coaching actually helps clients set and achieve goals.

Many life coaches apply behavioral regulation and other psychotherapeutic techniques in their practice, but without nearly as much training as therapists receive. At this time, demand for mental health services is outpacing supply, which raises questions about an unregulated industry such as life coaching. One possibility is that mental health professionals can evaluate potential coaching clients before embarking on training. Another option is to look for people who are licensed therapists and certified life coaches.

Getting certified gives life coaches an edge over those who don't, as many clients prefer to work with someone who is certified. It also provides them with insurance that protects them from any charges related to negligent provision of their services. Setting your own terms (and following them) is what ultimately makes you a professional life coach and what helps you deliver the best experience to your clients. Joseph James, 35, from Ibiza, Spain, sought life coaching because of his emphasis on immediate goal setting. As employees left their jobs en masse, seeking better working conditions and more satisfying careers, LCS trained a record number of aspiring life coaches.

This highlights the importance of understanding the legal implications of being a life coach, as well as the need for certification in order to provide the best service possible to clients.