Strength- Based focus
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 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.
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:
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.
Wellness coach training prepares students to work as wellness coaches within diverse settings by:
Training involves 4 mandatory components:
The Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program is an approved transition program with the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching (ICHWC). Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible to apply for the national certification currently in development.
The ICHWC 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.
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.