There are a lot of health coach training programs out there, and it’s natural for women to be curious about which programs suit their unique needs and interests. It’s important to understand that there is no single “best” training for women, but the ones that tend to be better matches for them are those that acknowledge that women often have different learning styles and interests.
It’s crucial for women to seriously consider what’s the best health coaching training for them before committing to a particular option. A health coach training should inspire the student. It should make them feel confident about their path as a coach, and should help them begin to figure out what kind of practice they hope to establish. What coaching approaches do they hope to bring to their work with clients? What underlying philosophies will inform their work? A program that’s well-suited to the student will help her start to answer these questions, whereas one that does not meet her needs will make it more challenging for her to find direction professionally.
In general, are there some types of health coach trainings that women tend to resonate with more than others? In our experience here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, we’ve found the answer to be yes. Many women have a “feminine” coaching and learning style. This is not about gender stereotypes, and some men may also learn and coach in a more “feminine” way. What this means, simply, is that women often prefer programs that promote relating to clients on a deeper emotional level, that honor intuitive wisdom, and that include facts and information that are relevant.
Here are some factors that tend to make a health coach training a better choice for women:
A lot of health coach trainings tend to focus on facts and information. While it’s crucial for a program to be solidly grounded in nutritional science, putting facts above everything else tends to make or a “cookie cutter” training program that may not take into account the unique experiences of each client. It’s not always easy for a client to follow through with a dietary plan, even if he or she intellectually understands that there are good reasons for doing so. So bombarding a client with the facts about eating too much sugar, for example, won’t help her change her unwanted eating habits until the coach works with her to help her understand the underlying emotional reasons that cause her to binge. This kind of emotional communication is something many women are skilled at, and women tend to thrive in training programs that make this a priority.
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Many of us have heard about “women’s intuition.” As it turns out, many women do, in fact, tend to value their intuitive wisdom. This is related to emotional intelligence. Women often have the ability to attune to their emotional responses to people and events in their lives, and to have an understanding of these things even before their logical minds have fully processed the situation. Of course, some men have this quality, as well, but it is a trait that, in general, seems to be quite common among women. What this means for a coach is that she can use this intuitive sense to develop a deeper understanding of the kinds of dietary protocols that are likely to work best for her client.
An emphasis on embodiment
This, in many ways, is connected to honoring one’s intuitive sense, because body wisdom is a form of intuition. Culturally, we are not usually encouraged these days to pay attention to the signals our body sends us. We see symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and poor digestion, for example, as commonplace and not worth paying attention to. And this belief is reinforced when we notice that a lot of people around us seem to be suffering from the same symptoms. By contrast, a program that values embodiment teaches coaches to encourage their clients to be aware of how their bodies are feeling from day to day. Do certain foods make them feel worse or better, for example? What impact are lifestyle changes having on their physical well-being? Body wisdom offers a wealth of information, once we’re in the habit of listening to it.
A holistic approach
A health coach training program that appeals to women will recognize that a client’s concerns and struggles around food do not exist in a vacuum. In fact, unwanted eating habits are often a reflection of what is going on in other area’s a client’s life. A stressful job or a toxic relationship, for example, will frequently impact what and how a person eats. Food related issues, therefore, are often the starting point for deeper healing.
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Includes practical science
As mentioned earlier, a solid scientific foundation is a must for a good health coach training program. But those trainings that often resonate most with women often present the facts an information in a way that can be readily used and understood by their clients. With some clients, a basic explanation of the science underlying the dietary protocols a coach is suggesting will be quite reassuring. Most clients want to know that their coach’s advice has a solid factual grounding. But if the science is overly detailed and overwhelming, it might only confuse the client and could actually make it more difficult to understand why a coach is recommending a particular course of action. A strong health coach training program will teach coaches how to present the science to their clients in a way that is relevant and to-the-point.
Here at the Institute, we synthesize all of these dimensions into our internationally acclaimed Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training. This is an 8 month, 250 hour, online distance learning training that’s attracted students from all over the world. We’ve worked diligently to create a program that honors and values a woman’s unique skills and interests. The result is a life changing professional educational experience where students learn to serve others while transforming their own relationship with food and body.
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