Unsurprisingly, life coaching is all about coaching someone in order to aid them with particular goals and aims in their life. Whilst some may believe that life coaching is similar to counselling, psychotherapy or other forms of therapy, it is actually a separate discipline. Whilst those previous disciplines are generally focused on dealing with the general well being of a patient, life coaching is much more tailored towards a specific set of circumstances. Life coaching is also not necessarily related to health – it may focus on relationships or business.
The word coaching is used in this particular discipline in order to draw attention to the fact that it is a progressive activity that is intended to assist the client or patient over a period of time. Similarly to a football coach, a life coach will set goals and aims for their client, and will seek to help them and guide them through the process of completing those goals.
There is a massive variation between life coaches as the discipline is extremely diverse and consequently one life coach may be good for one client, but not for another. Some of the things that life coaches focus on include relationships, stress, spirituality, business, career advice, motivation, time management, financial advice, family and parenthood, lifestyle and creativity.
Whilst life coaching may have been going on in various different guises for quite some time, in terms of the actual term being coined to refer specifically to this discipline, most would point to the motivational speaker Benjamin Karter who was extremely popular in the 1970’s and 80’s. There are a number of life coaching websites online that can provide further information for those that are interested in learning more.
Some coaches are qualified counsellors or therapists, accredited by organisations such as the BACP or UKCP and would then be bound by the Code of Ethics and Practice demanded by these professional bodies. Other coaches are individuals who have achieved success in their personal or business lives and offer their advice and experience to help others.