What is life coaching? It’s the process of helping clients develop new, positive paths in their lives. While counselors and psychologists spend more time seeking diagnosis, emotional solutions, and therapy, life coaches are less structured and emphasize teamwork. In addition, they do not have to be licensed by any state, and many people who practice life coaching are also certified and hold advanced degrees. While the term “life coach” may seem broad, it does have many defining characteristics.
Although life coaching is a relatively new field, it draws from several fields of psychology and the human potential movement of the 1960s. Initially, coaches specialized in relationship counseling and life planning, but soon expanded their scope to include health, career, and financial planning. In addition to focusing on the client’s specific needs, life coaches also work with clients to develop a vision for their future. While life coaching is not a substitute for traditional therapy, it does not require certification.
Unlike EMDR, which involves eye movements designed to speed up processing of trauma, life coaching involves a more structured process. A life coach often begins with an initial session lasting longer than the first. The goal of this session is to get information about the client’s goals, obstacles, and mindset, as well as their personal behavior and mindset. During subsequent sessions, the coach helps the client visualize a more fulfilling future and develop a plan to reach them.