Coaching - is helping to identify the skills and capabilities that are within the person, and enabling them to use them to the best of their ability.Health coaching is becoming recognized as a new way to help individuals "manage" their illnesses and conditions, especially those of a chronic nature. The coach will use special techniques, personal experience, expertise and encouragement to assist the coachee in bringing his/her behavioral changes about.
Health coaching, also referred to as wellness coaching, is a process that facilitates healthy, sustainable behavior change by challenging a client to listen to their inner wisdom, identify their values , and transform their goals into action. Health coaching draws on the principles of positive psychology and the practices of motivational interviewing and goal setting.
Process of health coaching:
The process begins with engagement. Engagement and building trust with the client is established by building rapport. Many factors are included in this process. Essential traits to building rapport include: genuineness, eye contact, good energy, warmth, good quality of voice, a feeling of connectedness, being comfortable and relaxed in the exchange, mindful listening, being supportive and positive body language and physical gestures. Rapport is fundamental not only in the initial coaching session, but also in each coaching session thereafter. Although rapport is important, a coach may want to avoid becoming too close with client. Becoming too close to a client can create a barrier for a successful coaching process by being too emotionally attached, having a personal agenda and falling into assumptions based on personal relationships or experience.
Once a coach has established rapport, building strong communication strategies is essential. An effective tool used in health and wellness coaching and other clinical work is motivational interviewing. The basis for support for this method is that motivational interviewing gives shape to the inner-knowledge gained, which then encourages behavior change. Research shows knowledge alone does not promote change, but when an understanding of motive is added to the knowledge base, change is likely to occur.
Motivational Interviewing is also characterized by a focus on the present rather than the past. The emphasis is on the communication that is conducted with clients, concentrating on internal motivating factors and an exploration into individual core values and goals. This allows the client to express their desire to change their lifestyle and identify it themselves rather than having it come from the health coach.
A wellness vision is a creative statement by the client that reveals his/her highest potential and can include physical, emotional, social, spiritual and financial realms of their life. A new life vision empowers one to see new possibilities along with a specific and clear direction, which can be manifested through inner creativity, wisdom and power. It allows one to activate their imagination and then think, feel, speak and ultimately see the manifestation of their unified highest potential. A wellness vision is a tool a health coach uses to help the client move to new levels of wellbeing by connecting the client to their own truth and wisdom that is held within.
The manifestation of a wellness vision is done through the process of goal setting. Goal setting is a collaborative behavior change technique used between the coach and the client. During the motivational interviewing process, after strength, values and desires are determined and the client's vision is set in place, specific goals are set so the client is able to move in the direction of his/her newly formed desires.
Goals promote behavior change through a collaborative process, which includes the coach making a plan to track and evaluate progress. The coach can help the client focus on the success the client has had, even if goal is not yet achieved. Evaluating strengths and what is successful helps the client move forward. Positive feedback helps the client progress and move through any negative self-talk, ambivalence, resistance and other hurdles. Although self-regulation is a powerful behavior change tool, the client may lapse. When the coach promotes the principles of positive psychology and goal setting through the motivational interviewing process, the coach helps the client continue to improve self-efficacy, which supports behavior change.