Duke University is on the forefront of change in the realm of preventive care, accentuating self-responsibility and honoring patient value systems. They are taking major steps to add credibility and validity to the health coaching profession by way of research and upcoming policy change. Duke boasts an incredibly inspiring health center on their campus in Duke Integrative Medicine, that serves the patient or client in numerous alternative health therapies in addition to traditional physician-focused care.
Since 2008, Duke has been leading the Duke Integrative Health Professional Coaching Training for people who are interested in changing careers, or adding onto their current training. Wellness coaching, from their standpoint, is much more than goal setting for nutrition or weight loss. They emphasize the client-centered approach in a way that promotes the client’s own self-discovery. Through dialogue, discussion of values, motivation and personal experiences, the client begins to choose their own goals. Readiness and confidence levels are assessed, both through introspective self-assessment check-lists, and through informal, but highly trained, guided client-focused conversation.
Their program involves some on-campus instruction, in the form of modules. A week of full day classes are held approximately once a month for 3-4 months during their Foundations course. There are also online assignments between classroom sessions. A second series of classes are given during their Certification training, and students are required to conduct practice and real-life coaching sessions as part of their qualification process. Taken back to back, the entire coursework lasts about a year.
Information on their admissions policies, tuition fees and educational format can be found at their website: