For many of us, the decision to become a health or wellness coach is a hugely important one. It’s often something we come to after struggling with our own health challenges, and usually stems from the desire to help others who are going through the same thing. It’s more than just a job—it’s an opportunity to take the soul lessons we’ve learned and the wisdom we’ve gained and use it to uplift those coming along after us.

So now that you’ve concluded coaching is the path that’s right for you, it’s vital that you choose a health coach training that will enable to you to do that. How do you choose a program that will meet your needs? Here are a few questions to ask when making your choice.

Does the training teach usable skills?

A solid health coach training will include both the factual knowledge you need and the tools necessary to apply it in the real world. Here at the Institute, for example, we work to make sure our program provides an understanding of the crucial concepts in nutrition and psychology, and also offers guidance in terms of how to work with clients and help them take meaningful steps forward.

Is it science based?

New approaches, philosophies, and attitudes toward coaching are invaluable—but they need to be based in fact. At the end of the day, coaching is all about helping clients make real changes—and that can only be done if you’re using methodologies that have been proven effective. Before you sign on to a health coach training, be sure what’s being taught has sound scientific footing. Not only will this give you more effective tools to help you support your clients, it will also give you more legitimacy as a practitioner.

Check out our FREE video series – Dynamic Eating Psychology! You can access this Free Video Series HERE, and learn about the Institute’s powerful new approach to transforming eating concerns, metabolic health, and finding freedom with food and body.

Will it help you understand your clients’ unique needs?

You could have the most exhaustive knowledge of nutrition in the history of coaching, and it wouldn’t mean a thing if you don’t know how to relate to your clients. It takes more than just factual expertise to make an effective coach—it takes the ability to empathize with your clients, meet them where they’re at, and adjust your approach to fit their backgrounds and experiences. A good health coach training will help you develop those skills.

For example, if a client is suffering from low energy, you might suggest healthy snacks throughout the day. But what if she doesn’t follow through? You’ll need to be able to compassionately talk with her to find out what’s going on. Maybe she’s grappling with challenging body image issues and isn’t comfortable adding the extra calories just yet. You should be flexible enough to switch course and approach your work together in a way that respects where she’s coming from.

Does it teach you how to work with people in a results-oriented way?

What’s great about health coaching—and any kind of coaching, really—is that it provides clients with a clear roadmap to help them get where they want to go, whereas some forms of counseling might focus on more extended inner work. Strong health coach training programs will teach you how to first help your clients do the necessary internal reflection and examine any underlying emotional issues that may be standing in the way of their goals, and then empower them to learn from those self-discoveries and start making concrete changes.

Is it delivered by professionals who really care?

This is maybe the most important factor to look for. Does the program have HEART? After all, we become coaches because we want to help people in profound ways—and to do that, we have to be able to connect with them on a human level. Learn as much as you can about the professionals who will be teaching you. Have they (or their loved ones) faced health challenges themselves? What’s their basic philosophy of coaching? Do they seem more interested in the people than the money?

Also, make sure the health coach training resonates deeply with YOU. Even if your teachers are genuinely invested in the work, if their approach doesn’t speak to you, it’s not the right fit. If you aren’t sure, listen to your intuition, it’s usually right.

Warm Regards,
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014


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P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our FREE information-packed video series, The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough, you can sign up for it HERE. It’s a great way to get a better sense of the work we do here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. If you’re inspired by this work and want to learn about how you can become certified as an Eating Psychology Coach, please go HERE to learn more. And if you’re interested in working on your own personal relationship with food, check out our breakthrough 8-week program designed for the public, Transform Your Relationship with FoodHERE.



About The Author
Emily Rosen

Emily Rosen is the Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations in addition to her role as Senior Teacher. With an extensive and varied background in nutritional science, counseling, natural foods, the culinary arts, conscious sex education, mind body practices, business management and marketing, Emily brings a unique skill-set to her role at the Institute. She has also been a long-term director and administrator for Weight Loss Camps and Programs serving teens and adults and has held the position of Executive Chef at various retreat centers. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to teach, counsel, manage, and be at the forefront of the new wave of professionals who are changing the way we understand the science and psychology of eating and sexuality. Emily is also co -founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.