Life coaching originated in the USA in the last decade and is now a recognised method of receiving professional mentoring, in both business and personal areas of life.
A life coach works one to one with a client, over an extended period of time (usually one hour per week for three months). The sessions can take place face to face, over the phone, or by email. The coach will help the client to set and achieve goals, provide encouragement and feedback and assist them to discover new ways of tackling situations.
Life coaches assist people in all areas of life, where there is a desire to unlock potential and achieve new goals. They may be business goals or personal ones, such as improving a relationship. The idea being that the goals will become more achievable with the help of a professional mentor who can help with motivation and focus.
Many people who do not feel comfortable seeing a counsellor, may find a life coach helpful to provide the necessary direction that they initially require for making changes in their lives.
As life coaching has become more popular in recent years, niches within the area have been established, including holistic and spiritual life coaching.
A holistic life coach (sometimes referred to as a holistic healer) is one which looks holistically at the body, mind and spirit when working with an individual on various areas of their life. In this way, not only will the coach look at the physical health of the client, but also their mental, emotional and spiritual states and how these are balanced. Typically, a holistic life coach will use the Life Balance Wheel when working with clients, to ascertain whether the various elements of their life, such as career, money, personal growth, spirituality and health, are balanced and working in harmony with one another.
As the name suggests, spiritual life coaches incorporate spirituality into their practice with clients. Usually a spiritual life coach will focus on one particular area of spirituality such as Christianity. Others will focus on a range of spiritual doctrines or adopt a more holistic spiritual approach. Spiritual life coaches typically use many traditional life coaching techniques, though they may also introduce life or dream journaling in their work with clients.