Coaches, Psychologists or Grandmothers - Who’s More Qualified_

Some of the greatest “psychologists” I’ve ever met aren’t even psychologists – they’re grandmothers, farmers, grade school teachers, hippies, hairdressers, prisoners, and the neighbor next door. Likewise, some of the worst psychologists I’ve ever met were actual psychologists. Go figure. There was a time when seeing a shrink meant you had to hold your head down in shame. Nowadays, it’s way more okay. What’s even better though, is that the old model of mental health where you see a practitioner because you’re “broken” is thankfully a thing of the past. The explosion of the “coaching” paradigm onto the scene has profoundly changed the universe of psychology and personal growth. Coaching is here to affirm the best in us. It’s designed to see the brilliant potential within us, and light it on fire.

I have no doubt that if my grandmother was alive today, she could comfortably charge $250 an hour as a coach because she simply was that good. She had so many of the great qualities you’d want in a human potential expert – insightful, bold, loving, experienced, no-nonsense, intuitive, and with zero tolerance for baloney. And her qualifications looked like this – no formal education, born and raised in poverty, escaped persecution in Eastern Europe, and raised 4 amazing children during the Great Depression years. So please, either give my grandmother an honorary PhD or let’s just proclaim her “a coach.”

The coaching paradigm has done something quite amazing: it’s leveled the playing field. It’s allowed so many of us to shine.  You’re automatically qualified to be a coach based upon the simple fact that you’re a human being alive on planet Earth who’s gone through ups and downs, who cares, who’s driven, and who comes to this world with God-given talents that can’t necessarily be taught in the hallowed halls of academia.

So I’m not knocking psychology. I have a degree in it, and I consistently immerse myself in studying the great psychological thinkers of our times. I’m just loving on the coaches of the world. I’m saying thank you to all of them, and I’m appreciating how so many of us now have the professional opportunity to help and serve in ways that really count. I love watching the tremendous influx of new health coaches, life coaches, business coaches, performance coaches, and more. You don’t need to go to a university for 6 to 8 years and go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt to have a meaningful career helping others.

Over the years, as I’ve watched the student body grow here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating I’ve noticed these very interesting attributes about so many of our students:

  • Many of them have faced and still go through their own eating challenges
  • Many of them have navigated through personal health issues
  • Many students have a strong background in the helping professions
  • A number of our students have been through other health coaching programs and come to us to solidify their skills and learn techniques that yield lasting success
  • And every single one of our students – no matter how much or how little formal training they have – has a fascinating personal journey and unique resume that qualifies them to be of service to others

We can’t do it alone. We’re here to help each other.

Even if you fancy yourself as independent and not really needing anyone, you’re fooling yourself. You needed the mother that carried you in her womb, you need the people in the factory that made your clothes, the low-paid workers who farmed your food, and everyone else in life who has helped you along the way. My point is this: the time is now to embrace your gifts and empower yourself to give them to others. I love to remind our students here at IPE that you only need to be one step ahead of your client in order to truly help them. The same holds true for anyone you’ve ever given advice to, whether it’s a friend, child, coworker, or some character on the street. In other words, we don’t need to be epic experts who come down from our ivory towers and sound overly smart when we tell other people what to do. You just need to be you, and then get some training.

So if you’re thinking about being a coach, allow me to give you some coaching:

Go ahead and do it.

Furthermore, if you’re considering our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training, here’s just a little more coaching:

Go ahead and talk to us.

I wish you great success and satisfaction in your journey.

My warmest regards,
Marc David
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014
Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating

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  • Thank you so much for this post, Marc. I think many of us forget that our skill set comes not just from our university training, but the training field of life itself. Before I was a health coach for women, I was an elementary school teacher for over 10 years. And yes, of course, my formal training in education certainly helped to make me a powerful educator, but it was the experience I gained while teaching and my personal life experiences (including my deep love for children) that was the most beneficial of all.

    I am so excited to keep training in your program because it is unlike any other I have seen. It’s so much deeper than theory…finally there is a program that really speaks to the spiritual, emotional, and heart-centered aspects of coaching, something that is deeply missing in the dialogue.

About The Author
Marc David
Founder

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.