Wellness Coaching Program


Register for the Wellness Coach Training Program


Learn about optional Wellness Coach Certification for alumni of the Wellness Coach Training Program.

Wellness coaches help healthy clients stay well and clients recovering from illness improve their health. To achieve this goal, students learn how to establish relationships and practice core coaching skills that assist individuals in identifying their values and desires, transforming them into action, and maintaining lasting change over time. Students will also partner in dynamic collaboration with others, respecting the client as the expert in his or her life, and using a strength-based focus and strong grounding in best practices.

Strength-based focus

Wellness coaching employs a strength-based approach based on Martin Seligman's principle that "It's not about fixing what is broken, it's nurturing what is best within ourselves" (Learned Optimism, 1991). Strength-based approaches are grounded in contributions from counseling psychology, positive psychology, prevention research, social work, solution-focused therapy and motivational interviewing. Using this approach, the wellness coach follows the five E's:

  • Engage – Build a trusting relationship with individuals and groups
  • Explore – Assist clients in identifying their values and desires
  • Envision – Facilitate a vision for wellness
  • Experiment – Employ communication strategies to enhance self-efficacy and to transform values and desires into action
  • Evolve – Support lasting change

Opportunities exist for wellness coaches to work as independent consultants or on the staff of sports or fitness facilities and insurance companies, or as part of an interdisciplinary team in clinics and hospitals. Independent wellness coaches can set their own schedules and pay rates, choose their clientele, work from nearly any location, and enjoy creativity and flexibility in their coaching approach.

Program description

Wellness coach training prepares students to work as wellness coaches within diverse settings by:

  • Combining online and on-site learning that maximizes potential for individual growth
  • Providing opportunities for group interaction and practice
  • Respecting individual needs via a flexible training schedule

Training involves online sessions utilizing the Blackboard Learn online learning platform, experiential peer-coaching sessions, conference calls, webcasts and workshops provided on campus at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.


  • Bachelor's degree
  • In lieu of a bachelor's degree, an associate degree in a health-related field with current license to practice may be considered


The Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program is now an approved transition program with the National Consortium for Credentialing of Health and Wellness Coaches. This affiliation enables Mayo to meet the national standards for wellness coaches and prepare students to be eligible and ready to sit for the national examination that is slated to be available early in 2016.

Mayo Clinic's Wellness Coaching Program has historically included three components — training, peer coaching practice and certification. While Mayo Clinic's coach training and peer coaching practice will continue with an updated curriculum, the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Certification is now being phased out in support of the new national certification.

The National Consortium for Credentialing of Health and Wellness Coaches started as a founding team in September 2009 and has grown to 75 participating organizations and individuals, including Mayo Clinic. The consortium is tasked with developing standards for professional coaches in health care and wellness, a path for health professionals from diverse backgrounds to become health and wellness coaches, and a strategy and mechanism for national credentialing.

Teaching faculty

Training for the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coaching Program is coordinated and taught by clinical, scientific and technical staffs of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Faculty members are selected for their commitment to teaching, as well as clinical practice or research.


Jennifer S. Packard, M.A.

  • Program Director
  • Wellness Coaching Program
    Mayo Clinic
    200 First St. SW
    Rochester, MN 55905
  • Phone: 507-266-1093
  • Email: ndep@mayo.edu