In the world of Health and Wellness, you see a lot of diversification between certification programs and qualified professionals. In this blog, we clarify to understand the background of standards, and how they were created because having an accreditation for Health and Wellness coaches upholds the industry to excellence. In addition, this article should help shed some light on what it is that Health and Wellness Coaches do, and why you may want to add one to your team of Integrative Practitioners to support your optimal health and well-being.
What is considered the standard for Health and Wellness Coaches?
The National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) is a volunteer team of U.S. leaders who pioneered science-based training, education, and research of health and wellness coaches over the past 15 years. Since 2010, the team has developed a broad consensus, created national standards, and formed a partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners in May 2016 to launch a National Board Certification for Health & Wellness Coaches in September of 2017
The objective of the National Board Certification for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBC-HWC) is to provide a minimum standard and measure of foundational competencies: the knowledge, tasks and skills essential to the practice of health and wellness coaching.
According to the NBHWC, “Certified Health and Wellness Coaches are professionals from diverse backgrounds and educations who apply clearly defined, custom knowledge and skills to work with individuals and groups in a client-centered process, mobilizing internal strengths and external resources and empowering the client to achieve self-determined goals of sustainable belief and behavior change related to health and wellness in all of its aspects – physical, mental, relational, emotional, spiritual, and environmental.”
Knowing that background, let me take you through a few areas that may help in understanding what it is that coaches do, and what are the benefits to having a Health and Wellness Coach. Here are a few things you can expect from a Health and Wellness Coaching session:
- Client-centered partnership
- Client is guided to develop intrinsic motivation & skills to create sustainable behavioral change
- Client leads the way in determining goals, with the coach’s support
- Self-discovery & content education are used to work toward the client’s goals
- Client self-monitors behavior to increase accountability within the context of an interpersonal relationship
As we dissect this a bit more, let me take you through what coaches do and what you can expect from a coaching session. Coaching is a specific methodology for changing behavior & attitudes to improve lifestyle choices, habits, and actions for the long haul. During a session, we facilitate a process of discovery for the client where insights and strengths are built and values are clarified, while progress is made and sustained toward the client’s goals.
As Health and Wellness Coaches, we do not instruct the client what to do, instead we engage in a process of self-discovery helping the client to tap into their inner resources, develop their strengths, identify and clarify their values, discover their external allies, set and achieve goals, monitor progress and celebrate outcomes.
We encourage this healthy new behavioral change providing support and accountability along the way. Because of this method, Health and Wellness Coaching has proven results in health outcomes in ADHD, Asthma, Cancer survivors, Chronic pain, Heart Disease, Weight Loss, Diabetes, Physical Activity, Depression, Anxiety and more.
Regardless of the ailment, a person who partners with a Health and Wellness Coach is seeking self-directed, lasting changes, aligned with their values, which promote health and wellness and, thereby, enhances well-being. After all, YOU are the expert of YOUR own body, and no two people are alike, so we work within client-centered goals to find YOUR optimal health.
Angie Hartman, CPT, RYT
Integrative Health Coach
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