Frequently Asked Questions
What is integrative health coaching?
Maintaining health and well-being amidst the business of life can be a major challenge and particularly so during the early stages of motherhood. Comfortable conversations with an integrative health coach, a partner who is invested in the client’s success, will help her make self-directed, significant and sustained changes in her wellness. The process is integrative and takes a whole-person approach — considering body, mind and spirit as well as the community and environment in which she lives and work. We believe clients are the experts in their own lives and what is essential to their well-being. The coach provides the structure and space to support change.
Who can benefit from integrative health coaching?
Anyone who wants to make a significant transformation in her health and wellbeing may benefit from coaching. It is for anyone who wishes to address anything from typical health concerns to social and emotional ones and live a fully-present life.
Examples of people that might benefit from coaching:
A new mom hoping to re-establish healthy habits and/or develop new tools for dealing with stress in her new life as a mother.
A researcher seeking to re-ignite her passion and find tools to help combat work-related stress to increase career satisfaction and happiness.
A person attempting to lose weight. She may already know what she should be doing, but is struggling to incorporate those behavior changes into her busy life.
A person who wants to take their wellness to the next level by incorporating less considered healthy habits into their life such as reducing exposure to toxic chemicals, cultivating a meditation practice, or developing stronger relationships.
How is coaching different from therapy?
While integrative health coaching does include one-on-one work between the client and coach, it does not involve diagnosis or treatment of medical issues. The focus is on helping the client achieve insight on what optimal wellness truly means on a personal level and take action toward that goal. The coaching process is extremely practical and forward-focused.
How is it different from other types of coaching?
Integrative health coaching is similar to other types of coaching because the coach is there to challenge and inspire the client to achieve her optimal health vision. It is different as the integrative health coach does not provide expertise in a given area of health. Rather, the coach’s expertise is in helping women discover what they want, why that is important, and how they can take action for achievable and sustainable change.
What does a typical coaching engagement look like?
Usually clients work with their coach for 3 to 6 months, meeting weekly or every other week, with homework assignments in between. Over that time, the coach will partner with the client to explore her big picture vision of optimal health and wellbeing, help her choose a focus, set up goals and action steps, and help hold her accountable for putting those steps into action. Meetings are in person, by FaceTime and Skype, or by phone. Coaching ends when the client feels like she has achieved the changes she set out to make.
Who certifies/credentials health and wellness coaches?
Integrative health coaching is an emerging field. There are a number of existing programs that train and certify coaches. The International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching (ICHWC) is currently leading an effort for National Certification of health and wellness coaches. The Duke Integrative Medicine Integrative Health Coach Professional Training program is a leading ICHWC-approved program.
What if I am busy and don’t feel like I have time for coaching?
We completely understand. Sometimes it feels like there isn’t time for one more thing, but coaching can be an integral part of the client’s self-care routine and will actually provide the space they need to feel less stretched. You need to put on your oxygen mask first before you can take care of anyone else.
I want to make changes to thrive, but I don’t know what I need to do. Can coaching help me?
Yes, we begin by defining what health means to each person and then taking stock of how they feel they are doing in these areas. This provides us with direction even if clients aren’t quite sure what they are looking for yet. Coaching helps provide clarity.
“Everything is better because of the reframing you helped me to do. It really helped me to acknowledge the things I have done right not just where I have so much to do. I slept better, I woke up better, I am more focused in my work.”