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Frequently Asked Questions

What is integrative health coaching?

Integrative health coaching is a partnership between you—the client—and a health coach with the goal of moving the client toward a satisfying and healthy lifestyle. The health coach uses both innovative and practical strategies to help you clarify your vision for optimal health, explore options and steps for realizing that vision, enhance your personal accountability, and take action to help you achieve and sustain your goals. Making meaningful and lasting changes to your health-related behavior is the primary focus of integrative health coaching.

What has made health coaching relevant?

With the many challenges facing today’s healthcare system, physicians often lack the time to explore with their patients topics such as nutrition, lifestyle choices, and stress management. Health coaches are able to engage in in-depth discussions with clients by providing one-on-one consultation. Over the past several years, the demand for health coaches has grown exponentially, largely because research has found it is more effective to support clients with a plan to improve their health than it is to simply prescribe medication and hope that they take it. The comprehensive, personalized approach taken by health coaches gives clients the opportunity to participate in their care and understand how changing their actions will positively impact their health and well-being.

What is the difference between health coaching and psychotherapy?

Health coaching draws on the practice of psychology as well as many other disciplines. While there is an overlap between health coaching and traditional psychotherapy, the differences between the two approaches are significant. Some of the major differences are:

  • A coach is a partner rather than an expert
  • The coach works with the client to enhance the ability to make changes—the emphasis of coaching is on enhancing health rather than on diagnosing and treating mental disorders
  • The focus of health coaching is on exploring the present and future rather than understanding the past

What is the difference between health coaching and personal training?

Health coaching is a relatively recent approach in the health and fitness world. Personal trainers tend to focus on exercise, and in some cases, nutrition and diet. Health coaches take a more comprehensive view of their clients. While health coaches are concerned with exercise and nutrition, they take a broader focus on health and well-being that includes such topics as how to reduce stress, increase rest, and improve overall quality of life.


Review the following articles to learn more about health coaching:

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