BE CAREFUL WHEN LOOKING FOR LIFE COACHES 

When it comes to selecting a life coach, it truly is buyer beware. Anyone can lay claim to the label, experts say. Interested clients should shop carefully. The International Coach Federation (www.coachfederation.org) is trying to bring order to chaos. The non-profit association, with more than 5,000 members, has created a formal accreditation program for the many schools that train coaches. SEE THE INDUSTRY (INTERNATIONAL COACH FEDERATION) STANDARDS.

The group plans to set up a credentialing process for graduates of formal coaching courses and provide a referral service for consumers.

Its Web site says it lists "business coaches, financial coaches, relationships coaches, spiritual coaches, life planning coaches, a rock 'n' roll band coach and hundreds of others."

And it suggests, "Since coaches often specialize in various areas, it's a good idea for the prospective client to shop around for the coach with the most experience and combination of qualities they seek."

The Web site says prospective clients should:

  • Educate themselves about coaching.
  • Define specific goals to be met through coaching.
  • Interview three coaches before making a decision.
  • Ask about experience, qualifications, skills.
  • Ask for at least two references.
  • Choose a coach who "feels right." There should be a genuine connection between client and coach.

Other experts caution that although no contract is signed, coaches expect clients to make what they see as a reasonable time commitment, which might run from three to six months, or more.

 Melissa Thornton is a licensed psychotherapist 
AND a life coach. She is a member of the International Coach Federation and President of the ICF Connecticut Chapter.

SEE THE INDUSTRY (INTERNATIONAL COACH FEDERATION) STANDARDS.

 


Melissa L. Thornton, MBA, LMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
Personal and Professional Coach 

boldcolorlife@gmail.com

5 Poplar Street, Trumbull, CT 06611 
24 hr. confidential voicemail and FAX: 203-268-5437
802 Back River Road, Boothbay, ME 04537
24 hr. confidential voicemail and FAX: 207-633-6566

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