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What is Life Coaching


Life coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives.

Life coaches work in a variety of areas, such as –

  • Debt advice
  • Weight loss
  • Careers counselling
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Self-esteem
  • Practical life skills, such as time management
  • Physical well being
  • Physical image
  • Public and professional image
  • Setting goals

And so on...


Life coaches work in a variety of areas with their clients.  A client may come to them for weight loss, for example. They may have tried every diet going, attending slimming clubs and so on, but been unable to lose weight. So a life coach may sit them down and work through how the way they live their life is affecting their ability to lose weight. They may look at the crunch points in their day when the client eats, they may look at their diet, make suggestions on how they can fit exercise into their day. Some life coaches may also be experts in other areas, for example, fitness. So they may be able to offer fitness and life coaching advice. Whilst others may not be experts in that area, so may refer them to other professionals. For example, a life coach may work with a client on how to change their life in terms of their eating, but may also refer them to a personal trainer to help them with their fitness or a nutritionist to look at their diet. 

Life coaching can often be confused with counselling. They are not the same. There is some overlap in that you are helping a client with their difficulties. But a counsellor encourages the client to see what their problems are and come to a solution that suits them. A life coach can be more directive and offer advice to the client and help them set goals and aims to achieve what they want to.

How to become a life coach varies from country to country? It is possible to take courses to quality as a life coach. Other people may find that they are able to use their experiences from previous jobs, such as coaching, counselling and so on, and use that to develop more as a life coach.  Some countries have certain requirements as to the qualifications and experience required by a life coach. Whilst other countries have not yet formally stated the qualifications or experience required.
It would be useful to check in the country you intend to work in as to the requirements for your country, such as

  • Qualifications required
  • Experience required
  • Registrations with organisations required.



Whilst different life coaches adopt different approaches to how they deliver life coaching, the key aims of life coaching include the following:

  • Helping the client to get closer to what they want to achieve and where they want to be in their life.
  • Finding ways to help clients think more positively about themselves and their achievements.

Some of the key components of life coaching are:

  • Establishing a trusting relationship with a client in which they feel comfortable to openly discuss the areas of their life they would like to improve.
  • Introducing the client to techniques and strategies they can use to combat self-destructive thoughts and beliefs.
  • Helping the client to set goals and find ways to make positive changes in their life.
  • Encouraging the client to identify success and build on it.
  • Providing ongoing support to keep clients on track.

This is an extract from an ebook by academic staff from our school
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[20/04/2021 01:04:05]

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