This month, we are honored to have Stacey Frattinger 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?
I first became interested in Health Coaching about 4 years ago, back in 2009. Working at that time within a wellness and weight management clinic, I realized my skills as a Registered Dietitian needed to be improved upon in terms of my ability to effectively counsel and help others when motivation was fading or a patient was feeling stuck. Given that I have a degree in Psychology as well as nutrition, I’ve always been interested in behavior change and self-actualization.
Did you leave a profession behind to pursue health coaching?
No, I still work part-time as a Registered Dietitian; however, I am extremely passionate about the field of health coaching and I have developed a true passion for spreading the word about the benefits of integrative health coaching.
Which school did you attend, and why did you select that program?
I went through Duke’s Integrative Health Coaching program. After enrolling in 2 different programs and being left extremely disappointed by the course work and class format, I decided to take a chance and apply for Duke’s program. I found Duke’s “in house” approach to be unique, and being a firm believer in the idea that individuals are multi-faceted, the curriculum matched my belief that behavior change is complex and influenced by so many dimensions of one’s personality.
What is your opinion of the quality of the program, length of study, etc.?
I found the length of the course work to be perfect. I can’t say enough good things about the quality of the program and the instructors were outstanding – truly caring and organic individuals who no doubt have a passion for their work.
Do you have other thoughts about the school you chose that you’d like to share?
I would highly encourage anyone interested in hiring a health coach to do their research and look through Duke’s website to see just how different their approach is compared to other coaching programs out there.
Have you chosen a target market? If not, what are you leaning towards?
No, I haven’t chosen a target market at this point, but I seem to attract individuals interested in weight loss, disordered eating, physical fitness, stress management, and hormonal management (i.e. PCOS and menopause). I believe I attract this population because of my own journey with health and wellness and my current passion for self-care through proper nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness. I believe in time I will find my niche, but for now, I’m enjoying the opportunity to coach anyone who is open and interested in the process.
Is health coaching all that you thought it could be? Why or why not?
It is more than I thought I could be quite honestly. Because of my exposure to two other coaching schools prior to my enrollment at Duke, I thought coaching was about providing “expert” information and educating others on how to make change. Now I know that coaching, at least integrative health coaching, is meant to tap into the knowledge an individual already has, but he or she isn’t sure how to access and utilize this knowledge to produce a desired change.
For some, they can’t even grasp the concept of a health and wellness vision because they believe that they have failed at behavior changes one too many times and achievement of a health-related goal isn’t possible. However, anything is possible when you have the right support, accountability, and drive to achieve things that you never imagined were even possible.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share about choosing this career path?
I couldn’t be happier to be working as a health coach now. It is amazing to watch others grow and change, and I’m so appreciative of the learning that I’m able to take part in as I share in the lives and thoughts of others.
Whispers for Wellness