Life coaching is a practice with the aim of helping clients determine and achieve personal goals. Life coaches use multiple methods that will help clients with the process of setting and reaching goals. Coaching is not targeted at psychological illness, and coaches are not therapists nor consultants.

Life coaching has roots in executive coaching, which itself drew on techniques developed in management consulting and leadership training.[citation needed] Life coaching also draws inspiration from disciplines including sociology, psychology, positive adult development, career counseling, mentoring, and other types of counseling. The coach may apply mentoring, values assessment, behavior modification, behavior modeling, goal-setting, and other techniques in helping their clients.[citation needed]

Government bodies have not found it necessary to provide a regulatory standard for life coaching, nor does any state body govern the education or training standard for the life coaching industry; the title of "coach" can be used by any service provider. Multiple coaching schools and training programs are available, allowing for many options (and sometimes causing confusion) when an individual decides to gain "certification" or a "credential" as they apply to the coaching industry. Multiple certificates and credential designations are available within the industry.

There are six self-appointed accreditation bodies for life coaching: the International Coaching Council (ICC), the International Coach Federation (ICF), the International Association of Coaching (IAC), the Certified Coaches Federation (CCF) and the European Coaching Institute (ECI)International Guild of Coaches (IGC). No independent supervisory board evaluates these programs, and they are all privately owned. These bodies all accredit various coaching schools as well as individual coaches, except the IAC and ECI which only accredits individuals.

Some assert that life coaching is akin to psychotherapy without restrictions, oversight, or regulation. The State legislatures of Colorado after holding a hearing on such concerns, disagreed , asserting that coaching is unlike therapy because it does not focus on examining nor diagnosing the past. Instead coaching focuses on effecting change in a client's current and future behavior. Additionally, life coaching does not delve into diagnosing mental illness or dysfunctions.

According to a survey of coaching clients, "sounding board" and "motivator" were the top roles selected for a coach. Clients are looking for a coach "to really listen to them and give honest feedback." The top three issues in which clients seek help are time management, career, and business.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia © 2001-2006 Wikipedia Contributors (Disclaimer)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Life Coach and Life Coaching. The Official Guide to Life Coach and Life Coaching is Dr. Bess Permut. Dr. Bess Permut, is a graduate student of psychology and philosophy, has taught life's truth’s, Life Coaching and spiritual growth for over 60 years and is the author of two books (soon to be three) on these subjects. She also has countless articles and lessons published that have helped thousands of people worldwide to experience the Abundant, Happy, and meaningful life they were meant to live.

Additional Resources on Life Coaching can be found at:

Website Directory for Life Coaching
Articles on Life Coaching
Products for Life Coaching
Discussion Board
Bess S. Permut, The Official Guide to Life Coaching