Health Coaching

  • Sharon Freeman Clevenger


When a client requests help with any health-related problem for general wellness, healthy living and/or adherence to medication management, it is important for the health coach to provide assistance, while navigating boundaries between health practitioner and coach. Health Coaching is a profession designed to be a partnership with a client (or coachee) that requires listening, observation and customized solutions and strategies to support and enhance skills that the client already possesses. In addition, the health coach is very different from a health care practitioner. In many cases, the health care practitioner may use health coaching skills; however, the health coach (HC) who is not a licensed healthcare practitioner, may find it awkward and fraught with ethical quagmires if they cross the boundary into psychological or medical practice. This chapter will provide a basic outline of the differences and definitions of “health care practitioner” and “health coach” along with basic guidelines and skill sets that are critical components for successful health coaching. Health coaching, as opposed to counseling, prescribing or other health related interventions, is a process of collaboration that is focused on the implementation of a plan. The plan may be received from the coachee, nutritionist, medical practitioner, and possibly psychotherapist, with the understanding that the coachee knows what the desired outcome looks like, but may lack the resources, or confidence needed to complete the plan. Theoretical and practical differences between health professions and coaching professionals begin with techniques that are borrowed from athletics, and then integrated with techniques found in the fields of psychology, education, nutrition and medicine. This chapter will use the terms “coachee” or “client” interchangeably for the client, health coach (HC) or “coach” for the health coach, “wellness” coaching for preventative coaching and “health” coaching or lifestyle coaching for specific areas of focus, problems and/or conditions (e.g. weight loss, dietary prescription implementation, etc.).


Health coaching Rational emotive behavior coaching Cognitive coaching 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, P.C., Purdue University Fort WayneFort WayneUSA

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