Since you’re here, you have likely decided you want to find a life coach. That’s great! Partnering with a life coach could aid you in improving everything from your career and interpersonal relationships to the more everyday aspects of your life.
Once you’ve said to yourself, “I need a life coach!” the next step is finding the right one. With so many options, that can be a challenge. Read on to discover how to find a life coach that will meet your needs.
What Do Life Coaches Do
Life coaching hasn’t been around long compared to other health and wellness activities. Thomas J. Leonard receives credit for the development of life coaching as a profession in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, he founded Coach University, generally regarded as the first formal training program for life coaches.
Since then, the demand for life coaching services has skyrocketed. In 2019, Oprah Daily published an article explaining what life coaches do. Oprah herself employs a Harvard-educated life coach named Martha Beck. Celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Serena Williams, Hugh Jackman, and even the band Metallica have all benefited from life coaching.
So, what is life coaching? What do life coaches do?
There is a wide range of life coaching packages and services available. However, the vast majority of them center on helping you feel more fulfilled. While admirable and certainly something most people would like, that’s vague.
Everyone has skills and talents that set them apart from the crowd, no matter what low self-esteem, a lack of confidence, or imposter syndrome might tell you. Unfortunately, identifying those qualities and deciding how best to use them can be a challenge. That’s one of the ways in which a life coach can help.
Some instances in which a life coach could aid you include if you:
- Are interested in strengthening the relationships in your life, whether with family, friends, or a significant other.
- Want to improve your work-life balance or find more satisfaction in your career.
- Want to become a better, more effective communicator.
- Are facing a challenge or significant life change and could use a bit of extra support.
Essentially, a life coach can help you identify what your goals are and why they matter. Then, they can assist you in planning how to reach those goals.
Have you noticed that it’s easier to do something after you tell someone you’re going to do it? A life coach can assist you with that too. One of the most vital services a life coach offers is accountability to yourself, the people you love, and your goals.
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A life coach is not a therapist. If you’re seeking treatment for a mental health condition, you should see a therapist or another mental health professional, not a life coach.
If you have health insurance, the company should have a list of practitioners they’ll cover, which can help you know where to start looking.
While there’s no reason you can’t see both a life coach and a therapist if that’s something you would find helpful, the two aren’t interchangeable. Instead, they fulfill different though often complementary functions.
Types of Life Coaches
As convenient and valuable as it would be to be able to offer you a list of the best life coaching programs, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa. Fortunately, there are many different types of life coaches.
When you’re browsing through life coach websites, it will likely be clear which niche the coach in question occupies. Some coaches, as we’ll discuss, gear their practice toward specific identities. Others focus on particular topics, which can be as broad as relationships or as narrow as divorce.
Whether you’re looking for a specialist or a generalist, there are plenty of options out there. Don’t feel discouraged if your initial efforts don’t turn up a coach or program that looks perfect for you. You’ll find one.
Life Coaching Niches
Everyone has unique life experiences, wants, and needs. Because circumstances, desires, and expectations vary so widely, there are many life coaching niches out there. As life coaching becomes increasingly popular, more and more professionals are rising to fill them. Here are some of the most common.
Personal Life Coach
As the job title suggests, a personal life coach focuses on a client’s individual needs. That’s a rather broad job description. Someone’s personal life could include almost anything.
Generally, you’ll focus on your goals when you work with a personal life coach. You don’t need to know your goals to benefit from personal life coaching; that might be the first thing you work on.
Once you identify your goals, a personal life coach can help you stay focused on them, hold you accountable and help you recognize paths toward your goals. In addition, an outside perspective on an issue is helpful when you’re feeling stuck, no matter what that issue might be.
Unless you have something specific in mind already, you may want to begin your search by trying to find a personal life coach. You can always narrow your search from there as you learn more, or you may find a coach or service that suits you right away.
Virtual Life Coach
Not everyone is in a position where they can visit a life coach’s physical office, and that’s okay. Many smaller towns and cities lack life coaches within an easy driving distance or, if there are life coaches present, there are only a limited number of them. They might be what you’re looking for, but they also might not be. You deserve options.
Like those of us here at Blush, virtual life coaches operate solely online, often through a combination of text-based messages and video calls. If you’re more comfortable not meeting face-to-face or a virtual meeting would be more convenient, you may want to find an online life coach.
Very few good things came out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it did result in more virtual events and services becoming available, making many things more accessible to a broader range of people.
Relationship Life Coach
Relationships are hard. That’s why life coaching revolving around them is so prevalent. A relationship life coach generally aims to help you feel more satisfied, content, or otherwise better about one or more of the relationships in your life.
While romantic relationships are likely what comes to mind, a relationship coach doesn’t have to focus on marriage or a long-term romantic partnership. Friendships, family relationships, divorces, break-ups, and grief stemming from the loss of a loved one are also common focuses for a relationship life coach.
Life Coaches for Young Adults
Life coaches for young adults are becoming increasingly common. While the age range that the phrase “young adult” encompasses depends on who you ask—you’ll get answers anywhere between 12 and 28—life coaching for young adults generally focuses on teens and people in their very early 20s.
At first glance, you might be skeptical. What teenager is worried about feeling unfulfilled, after all? However, teenagers are under a lot of pressure between thinking about finding a job or applying to and attending college. There’s also the fact that just existing in high school or college can be stressful, not to mention potential issues stemming from family situations.
Most teenagers are facing major life decisions. Any additional support, guidance, and clarity can make a big difference in their lives. Not every life coach will work with someone under the age of 18, so factor that into your search if you’re a minor or the parent of a minor.
Identity-Based Life Coaches
When seeking a life coach, it can be helpful to find someone who understands you, your life, and the challenges you face. If you and the life coach you eventually find have a hard time connecting, you may not get the most out of the experience.
The most in-demand identity-based life coaches tend to serve Black people, moms, women, or an intersection of those groups.
If you’re Black and feeling frustrated with the effects of racism in your career field, for example, a Black life coach is far more likely to know where you’re coming from. From microaggressions to unwanted and frankly uncomfortable comments about your hair, their understanding won’t come from a textbook. That’s huge. A quick search along the lines of “Black life coaches near me” can help you get started.
As another example, a life coach for moms will better understand the unique challenges you face if you’re a mother. Whether you’re on maternity leave and worried about going back to work or your kids are teens and convinced they know everything, being a mom isn’t easy. A life coach that understands that can better support you.
In the same vein, if you’re a woman, you may want to seek out a life coach for women. From the glass ceiling to an unfair division of household chores to an increased likelihood of experiencing domestic violence, women face specific issues much more often than men. Knowing that the life coach you’re working with has experience serving people in your situation is reassuring.
Don’t hesitate to look for a life coach who meets your specific needs. If you’ve had a negative experience in the past or would simply be more comfortable with a female life coach or a male life coach, add gender into your selection criteria. Your life coaching experience is about your well-being.
How Much Does a Life Coach Cost?
In a perfect world, you would have an infinite budget with which to invest in yourself. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case, so you’re probably wondering how much the services of a life coach cost.
Will Health Insurance Cover a Life Coach?
Because people often compare life coaching to therapy, you may be wondering whether your health insurance will help offset the cost. It won’t, even if your insurance usually covers behavioral health treatments. Insurance companies don’t deem life coaching medically necessary, so they won’t pay for it. With that said, an affordable life coach likely isn’t out of your budget—or reach.
There are lots of factors that will affect how much the life coaches you have access to charge. Geographic location is a big one, with life coaches in major cities often charging much higher rates to account for the cost of living.
A life coach with a lot of experience, a prestigious certification, or an advanced degree may also charge higher rates. If a life coach maintains a physical office space, that might also increase their prices.
At Blush, our services start at $99 a month for two 30-minute video sessions and go up to $399 a month for four 60-minute video sessions and unlimited chat. That’s less than typical prices, which range from $150-$300 an hour.
While nothing will compare directly to the experience of working with a life coach, there are other options if you want to explore further before making a financial commitment. For example, a life coach blog can give you insight into topics you might want to explore.
Some of the best life coach websites feature amazing blogs with articles on everything you could possibly want to know. The tone and content featured on life coaching blogs can also help you decide whether that coach is someone with whom you could see yourself connecting.
Podcasts are another great resource if you’re just starting to look into life coaching. Finding the best life coach podcast for you might take some time, but a brief search on Spotify or your favorite podcast-hosting platform will net you numerous results to sort through. Blush has a podcast called Blush You where you can get to know our coaching team for free!
How to Find a Mentor or Life Coach
As of 2020, there were roughly 71,000 ICF-certified life coaches and many more with other qualifications. There are plenty of options out there. While it’s nice to have choices, too many can feel overwhelming.
If you’re just beginning your search into how to find a good life coach, a life coach finder of life coach directory might be an excellent place to start looking. A simple search of “find a life coach near me” on Google or the search engine of your choice can also yield valuable results.
However, once you have a list of life coaches to choose from, you need to narrow it down. What makes a life coach good? How can you tell if they’ll be a good fit for you?
Are There Specific Credentials You Should Look For?
The part that makes many people leery of approaching a life coach is that there aren’t any credentials required to be one. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t life coach credentials available, though.
While there aren’t necessarily any specific credentials you should look for when searching for a life coach, it can be reassuring to know what training the person you might work with has received.
The International Coach Federation (ICF), founded by Thomas J. Leonard, is the primary organization offering accreditation for life coach training programs. To be ICF-certified, a coach has to complete training in ethics, mentoring, and, of course, coaching skills with an accredited program. Prospective recipients of the certificate also have to pass an exam and have someone observe them practicing their skills.
The ICF offers three levels of certification for coaches:
- Associate, meaning the coach has at least 60 hours of training and 100 hours of experience.
- Professional, meaning the coach has at least 125 hours of training and 500 hours of coaching.
- Master, meaning the coach has at least 200 hours of training and 2500 hours of experience.
The ICF isn’t the only organization that offers training or certifications for life coaches, although it is among the most well-known. You can look up other programs and their requirements if you come across them.
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Just as there aren’t any required certifications to become a life coach, there aren’t any educational ones either. Life coaching is a relatively young industry, so that might change in the future. As of right now, however, you’ll see life coaches with a range of educational levels and degrees.
At Blush, all of our coaches have master’s degrees in counseling. Other popular degrees you’ll see in the field include psychology, social work, education, and business.
One educational path isn’t necessarily better than another, although your life coach’s educational background will likely influence how they approach your situation. For example, we all have counseling backgrounds. As a result, we draw from cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused theory to help our clients.
Questions to Ask a Life Coach
You’re allowed to be picky when selecting a life coach. It’s your time, money, and goals at stake, so when you’re looking to hire a life coach, you can afford to be selective. Here are some questions to ask a life coach when you’re considering working with them:
- Do they specialize in anything in particular? Is there anything they won’t work with clients on?
- How old is their life coaching practice?
- Why did they get into life coaching, and do they have a favorite part about their career?
- Are they ICF-certified or certified through another program? If not, have they done other training? How did they gain experience and knowledge as a life coach?
- What can you expect during a session with them? What would they expect from you during a session?
If there’s anything you’re curious about that would help you decide whether to move forward with a life coaching service, you should ask. Think of it a little like a job interview. Why should you hire them over another option?
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Questions to Ask Yourself
Working with a life coach is a partnership, and you’re just as big of a part of it as your coach. That means there are some questions you should ask yourself to help narrow down which coach is right for you.
Chief among these questions: what do you want to accomplish by working with a life coach?
You don’t have to have a firm, clear idea by any means. Part of what working with a life coach should do for you is provide clarity. It’s helpful to have some idea of the direction you want to move in.
Other questions you may want to consider while searching for a life coach include:
- What are you struggling with right now?
- Where do you find motivation?
- What does the life you want look like?
- What does your financial budget look like?
- What about your time budget?
Having an answer to all of these questions can help you expedite your search process as you look into how to get a life coach.
Are Life Coaches Worth It?
At this point, you might be asking yourself, “are life coaches worth it?” That’s a valid question and worth considering. If you’re seeking treatment for a mental health condition, it will better serve you to see a therapist or other mental health professional. However, in many other instances, life coaching is worth it.
If you’re feeling unsatisfied with your life or otherwise stuck, consider looking into life coaching. You deserve to feel happy, fulfilled, and confident, and life coaching could be what helps you get to that point. Life coaching isn’t a miracle cure for all problems, but it can help you begin to address anything causing you stress or dissatisfaction.
At Blush, an overwhelming 96 percent of our clients report that they would decide to use our services again. More exciting statistics:
- 73 percent of our clients felt their relationships had improved.
- 80 percent felt more confident.
- 70 percent felt they were performing better at work.
You can sign up to learn more about Blush and how our life coaching services could benefit you today.