Wellness Coach Training Program and Certification 

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:image-cf6b0a9e5447

  • EngageBuild a trusting relationship with individuals and groups
  • Explore Assist clients in identifying their values and desires
  • Envision Facilitate a vision for wellness
  • ExperimentEmploy 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.


Wellness Coach Training Program Registration


Graduates of the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program are eligible to apply for the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Certification. They are also encouraged to pursue the national wellness coach certification through the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching.  You can learn more about the national wellness coach certification at http://www.ichwc.org

Wellness Coach Certification 2015 or earlier

Wellness Coach Certification in 2016 and after 

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 5 mandatory components:

  • Online: Eleven weekly sessions are taught online and are available through the Blackboard Learn system. The online learning modality allows you to complete the work in a flexible but definite schedule.  Each week, you will have a learning session to complete.  The session may include a presentation or brief film to view, material to read, and assignments to complete.
  • Onsite: This onsite workshop is a four-day interactive training in Rochester, MN at the Mayo Clinic downtown campus. It is an immersive wellness experience led by an array of Mayo Clinic experts. While on-site, learn the Mayo Clinic 5 E’s Wellness Coaching Model and essential coaching communication skills.  The workshop also includes cooking demonstrations, healthy meals, and experiential learning on resiliency and fitness. Concluding each day of the workshop, take advantage of the workout and spa facilities at the world-class Healthy Living Program.
  • Live distance: Throughout the course there are 3 live webinars and 1 conference call that will provide you with further opportunity to interact with Mayo faculty, ask questions, and learn practical coaching skills. These live interactions are mandatory parts of the course, and are offered in Central Standard Time, with a couple options available per webinar.
  • Peer coach practice: For 6 weeks during the course you will meet in peer coaching dyads or triads, using the distance communication technology of your choice. You will have practice coaching assignments to complete together to progress your coaching skills.
  • Mentored coaching calls: Mayo Clinic faculty will mentor and offer feedback in three of your six peer coaching calls. This opportunity provides 1:1 skill development to further your coaching skills and a platform to gain insights from experienced wellness coaches.


  • 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 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.

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.


Tammy L. Schulz

  • Mayo Clinic
    Colonial Building, Third Floor
    200 First St. SW
    Rochester, MN 55905
  • Phone: 507-266-1093
  • Fax: 507-255-0652
  • Email: ndep@mayo.edu
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