Are life coaches actually helpful?

A coach will focus primarily on looking to the future, on finding new ways of acting and thinking, rather than worrying too much about the past. If you have problems such as depression, anxiety, or mental illness, you need a trained therapist. There is no universally accepted definition of what life coaching actually is, and the types of life coaches can vary greatly. A coach can be very unhappy in her family life, but she remains in total denial and organizes a “happy couple” show because coaches are supposed to have happy relationships.

Asking a coach this, rather than, for example, your mother, is an increasingly popular decision-making method, and it seems that nowadays there is a coach for everything. The industry as a whole is not yet regulated, although 95% of the coaches surveyed had completed more than 60 hours of training and 74% had a credential or certification from a professional training organization. Coaching generally doesn't involve therapy or counseling as such, but most coaches employ some positive psychology concepts as part of their practice. The coaching industry creates a stereotype of a “successful coach”, and coaches try to fit that stereotype shallowly.

It's been two years since I graduated from my life training program, about five years since I started doing what I identify as a life coaching service. Although this is a pretty good summary of what life coaching entails, it can have many other aspects, and different coaches have different specialties and approaches, sometimes very different. If you feel that coaching isn't making a positive difference in your life, it's okay to look for a new coach. You can look for a coach who works with entrepreneurs, executive coaching, or neurodiversity in the workplace.

Although the life coaching industry claims that life coaches help clients achieve their goals, there is a lot of ugliness and misrepresentation of the profession. By the way, I noticed that coaches who act as “mentors” and “trainers” in coach training programs do better there than in their own practice.

Kaleb Whitcomb
Kaleb Whitcomb

Wannabe web fanatic. Extreme twitter maven. Subtly charming tv geek. Extreme coffee guru. Typical twitter maven.