This month, we are honored to have Donna Reynolds as our Featured Health Coach. Here’s what she had to say about her health coaching school experience and what her experiences have been with getting started in this profession.
How did you first get interested in the idea of health coaching?
As a licensed psychotherapist in private practice, I have found that many of my clients are challenged by lifestyle choices and behaviors involving nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management.
As I began to realize what a major role these challenges play in emotional distress and relationship conflicts, I became interested in wellness and health coaching.
Did you leave a profession behind to pursue health coaching? Do you have previous degrees or certifications?
I am currently using in my full-time psychotherapy practice some of the coaching tools and techniques I learned in my wellness and health coach certification training program.
Since I just received my certification, my focus now is on researching what coaching opportunities are available in medical offices, corporate settings, and behavioral healthcare companies.
My M.A. degree is in Clinical Psychology, and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Which school did you attend, and why did you select that program?
I successfully completed the Real Balance Wellness and Health Coach Certification (Wellness Mapping 360) training program. After I saw their program specifically mentioned as desirable qualifications in several employer job listings for health and wellness coaches, I decided to look at their program more closely and was impressed by what I learned about them.
Real Balance’s founder, Michael Arloski, PhD, PCC has been involved in this field for over 30 years. His book, Wellness Coaching for Lasting Lifestyle Change, is an invaluable resource for wellness and health coaches.
What is your opinion of the program, length of study, etc.? Did it fit your needs? Why or why not?
The Real Balance Wellness and Health Coach Certification (Wellness Mapping 360) training program turned out to be an excellent fit for my interests, experience, and goals.
Classes are either live on location or via interactive webinar. My class met for two hours via webinar twice a week for eight weeks. With a full-time practice, that time commitment was challenging but doable.
My class instructor was exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate about wellness and health coaching, which I found to be very inspiring. The high level of interaction between the students contributed to a great learning experience overall.
The Wellness 360 model of wellness and health coaching that we learned is comprehensive and provides an exceptionally useful conceptual framework along with a variety of effective skills, strategies, and tools.
Do you have other thoughts about the school you chose that you’d like to share?
Since I had a genuine desire to receive a quality education and certification based on high standards, I was very pleased with my decision to attend Real Balance.
In addition to attendance at 16 classes, we were required to complete extensive reading assignments from a variety of texts, manuals, and articles; five buddy coaching sessions with a classmate along with written progress notes; an intensive two-part examination; and a Case Study based on six coaching sessions with either a paying or volunteer client.
I am proud to be an alumna of the Real Balance program and look forward to a continued relationship with the school.
Have you chosen an area of specialty or a target market? If not, what areas have you worked in thus far?
At this time, I have not chosen an area of specialty or a target market. In my psychotherapy practice, I have helped clients with weight management and stress reduction, using cognitive-behavioral counseling and now I include coaching tools and techniques.
Are you self-employed having started your own coaching business or have you chosen to work for an established organization or company?
While I am currently self-employed as a licensed psychotherapist, I am interested in becoming a coach for an established organization or company. I believe it would be rewarding to work with clients in a medical office, corporate setting, or behavioral healthcare company with access to cutting edge tools and materials.
Is health coaching all that you thought it could be? Why or why not?
Although I did not know what to expect when I first started my training, I have to say that the wellness and health coaching process has truly enhanced my ability to help others. My entire approach to seeing clients and working with them has been transformed in a very positive and powerful way.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share about choosing this career path?
If you are genuinely interested in helping others as a professional ally on their lifestyle behavior improvement journeys, wellness and health coaching could be the ideal career path for you.
It is important that your heart be fully in it and that you choose a school that provides a structured program, with evidence-based methodology and opportunities to practice your skills.
Health Coach and Psychotherapist