Wellness Coaches work together with others within the interdisciplinary team, focusing on helping clients who are well to stay well and helping others not only to recover from illness but to discover their "best selves" with a new emphasis on wellness. The role of the coach is to help the individual identify personal reasons for pursuing greater wellness, and to enhance motivation for behavior change using evidence-based strategies.
Wellness Coaches are experts in establishing relationships and practicing core coaching skills that assist the individual in identifying values and desires, transforming them into action, and maintaining lasting change over time. They partner in dynamic collaboration with individuals, respecting the client as the expert in his/her own life, using a strength-based focus and strong grounding in best practice.
A strength-based focus
Wellness Coaching employs a strength-based approach. "It's not about fixing what is broken, its nurturing what is best within ourselves." (Seligman, 1999). Strength-based approaches are grounded in contributions from counseling psychology, positive psychology, prevention research, social work, solution-focused therapy and motivational interviewing.
Using a strength-based approach, the Wellness Coach follows the "5 E's": 1) Engage: Builds a trusting relationship with individuals and groups; 2) Explore: Assists clients in identifying their values and desires; 3) Envision: Facilitates a vision for wellness; 4) Experiment: Employs communication strategies to enhance self-efficacy and to transform values and desires into action; and 5) Evolve: Supports lasting change.
Choose a program
Many Wellness Coaches work as independent consultants and have a private office. Other Wellness Coaches work within sports or fitness facilities and offer on-site coaching, as well as health-related wellness seminars to members. Opportunities exist for Wellness Coaches to provide care as part of the interdisciplinary team in clinics and hospitals.
Wellness Coaches can set their own schedule and pay rates, choose their clientele, work from nearly any location, and enjoy unlimited creativity and flexibility in their coaching approach.
Salary is dependent upon many factors including level of education, employment setting and experience. According to the 2010 figures from the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, average salaries ranged from $23,443 to $61,928. The benefits you receive as a Wellness Coach may include a paid vacation, health insurance and a pension plan.