August 17, 2015
By Joel Kreisberg, DC, ACC
I’ve trained as a health coach, completing a year of course work at Wellcoaches, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition or Duke University’s Integrative Health Coach Training. As part of my excellent program, I coached and was coached in dyads and triads with fellow students. I did my initial coaching sessions with clients under supervision of a trained professional coach. After I completed my coursework, I began to charge for my sessions, completing most of my 100 hours of coaching for certification at the International Coaching Federation. I have some cash coming in from several clients and I get positive feedback. Success is slow but steady. I’m wondering two things: how do I get more clients? And how do I refine my skills to get better results? I know that as I refine my skills, I’ll get more clients, and the more clients I coach, the more skillful I’ll become.
Sound like you? If so, I’d like to meet you. I train health coaches at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). Through my teaching experience I realize that coaches need specific training at this critical juncture. To improve your skills as a coach, I designed the Online Coaching Clinic,in which you’ll work with expert coaches through the Teleosis Institute – as they coach real clients. You’ll actively participate with fellow coaches unpacking the subtleties of Integrative Health Coaching. Let me explain.
In many professions, as students advance in their field, mentoring with a master of the craft is key to refining skills and learning new moves. For musicians or dancers, this is called a master class. In sports, young professional coaches have to volunteer or get paid very little as assistants to successful head coaches. In medicine, young professionals spend three to five years doing residencies with mentors demonstrating advanced skills. In psychotherapy, therapists complete 3,000 hours of private practice with a skilled supervisor. Are you working with a professional mentor?
I teach the coaching practicum at MUIH, the final class of the one-year certificate program. My students work with three initial clients, completing 21 sessions of coaching. Once complete, I feel they are ready to “put up their shingle” and start charging for coaching. Do I think they are done with learning? Not at all – no successful coach ever stops learning. Do I think they would benefit from working with a mentor coach? Yes, I do.
Establishing trust, gaining awareness, asking powerful questions and designing coaching exercises, are among the ICF core competencies that are learned at the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) level, then deepened at the Professional (PCC) level, and mastered – where mastery, in the words of George Leonard, is “staying on the path” – through the Masters (MCC) level. Working directly with clients is the number one way to grow these skills. Working with a mentor coach is number two. There are two ways to work with a mentor coach: first, sit in with the coach and watch what he or she is doing. Next, work in a supervisory relationship with the mentor coach.
This fall, Teleosis Institute is opening a new program – the Online Coaching Clinic. Along with my colleague Reggie Marra, I will be coaching clients – one at a time, in the presence of a select cohort of coaches and health professionals committed to refining their skills. These coach participants (not the clients) in the program will have a front row seat for the coaching process. If you join us as a coach participant, you will be working through the entire coaching process with a client – one client at time. This includes the unique integrative health coaching assessment, the formation of a healing topic, constructing the coaching program objectives and a coaching program.
In the ongoing coaching visits, you will see how the initial assessment and healing topic inform the design of coaching assignments such as awareness practices and foundation practices. You’ll get to unpack the coaching/client interactions with the faculty in a participatory online classroom that allows you to share your observations and learn from faculty. All at your desktop. Each session is recorded so you can return and watch at a convenient time. Participants will have access to the program assessment and assignments for each session. The online forums ask for your input about the ongoing coaching program. There is ample room for question and answer about issues that are coming up in each participant’s individual coaching work.
One more thing: participants in the Online Coaching Clinic will join a group of health professionals who are committed to excelling at their craft. As a member of the clinic you’ll become part of a team of health coaches who are transforming health professionals toward more authentic, transparent and inclusive service. Our commitment is to insightful and elegant action and open acceptance of the deep truths found in integrative healing.
I invite you to learn more about us and our program by attending our Free Online Open House August 26th at 7 pm EDT/4 pm EDT. Reggie and I will be modeling the clinic structure with a live client and you can determine if this is a good fit for you. Hope to see you there!