Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
WHAT IS COACHING?
The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. Coaching is based on the following principle: We are all creative and we have within us the resources to face situations. A coach does not provide you with answers. They encourage you to better know yourself, clarify your vision of your best self, explore your inner wisdom, imagine life differently and find your own solutions. They support you in deciding and implementing change. They boost your confidence and believe in you and your potential, celebrating your successes. Here’ s a video explaining the principles of coaching in a simple way.
And here’s a quote by Chris Kresser that I think particularly captures what a health coach is.
“A health coach is someone who:
supports you unconditionally
empowers you to discover your own wisdom and strength
helps you discover your own solutions to problems, wherever you are, without judgment”
WHAT DOES A HEALTH COACH DO?
As a health coach I don’t treat disease, practice medicine, diagnose, nag, lecture, or prescribe. You receive support for lifestyle change that can bring optimum health and weight.
I have the patience, knowledge, and skills to guide you on your own individualized path toward a life of vitality. I hear your concerns and help you find strategies that work to establish healthy habits that resonate with you.
WHAT DO YOU OFFER THAT A DOCTOR DOESN’T?
Just to get this straight: I am not a doctor. In my capacity as a health coach I do not diagnose, nor do I prescribe medication.
What I have that a doctor doesn’t is time as well as the skills needed to help you implement behavioral change. I am trained to use positive psychology, character strengths, motivational interviewing and behavior change principles. All are valuable tools that can put you on a path towards healing and help you succeed in making lasting changes.
CAN I STILL WORK WITH YOU EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT WORKING WITH A DOCTOR?
Yes you can! Although I am primarily trained to collaborate with doctors that are practicing Holistic or Functional Medicine, the lifestyle factors we will address (Sleep and Relaxation, Exercise and Movement, Nutrition, Stress, Relationships) are universally acknowledged as contributing to better health. No doctor will ever tell you not to work on these things. In any case, I will not interfere with any prescription of other treatment you are following.
I DON'T SUFFER FROM ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR, BUT I'M CURIOUS TO TRY OUT HEALTH COACHING. HOW MAY I BENEFIT FROM IT?
In fact, everyone can benefit from health coaching (including myself). Even if you don’t think you have any particular issues in the areas I work on with my clients, you can most certainly benefit from health coaching sessions with me. There is always room for lifestyle improvements. We will look at your life in a holistic way, helping you realise what you can improve and what you need to prioritise. You will get time to reflect on your life and health and be listened to in a non-judgmental, fully supporting way.
HOW LONG DOES EACH SESSION LAST AND HOW IS IT LIKE?
A session typically lasts around 50 minutes. How many you take depends on you and the complexity of the issues you want to work on. I advise my clients to go for a package of 6 or 11 sessions. The sessions take place every 1-2 weeks. During our free introductory session we can discuss what the best package for you would be.
A session typically goes like this: First, clients share what’s on their mind and how they’re feeling. The coach helps the clients identify barriers to healthy lifestyle changes. The coach offers information, only with the client’s permission, on strategies to improve health. These strategies may include a mind-body technique, a food to try, an article to read, a breathing exercise, etc. A plan is co-created: Clients, with the coach’s help, make a concrete plan that feels comfortable and attainable.
IS A COACH DIFFERENT FROM A NUTRITIONIST?
Yes. While food and nutrition are a key part of Functional Medicine Health Coaching, as a coach it is not in my scope of practice to prescribe food plans nor supplements. However, throughout our sessions we will touch upon having a diet based on anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense and healing foods and eliminating foods that might not be ideal for you. We can also work on your relationship with food and intuitive eating.
IS COACHING DIFFERENT FROM THERAPY?
Yes. A coach is not a therapist and as such does not hold an expert stance. A coach is your ally. In addition, during coaching sessions one does not go back in time to analyse past experiences. The approach is more solution and future-oriented, based on your character strengths.
CAN YOU HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT?
With health coaching, weight loss is not a goal in itself. You will never get a calorie-restrictive food plan from me. However, as your coach I can certainly help you understand the possible causes of your weight gain and help you apply lifestyle changes accordingly. Rest assured; more often than not, weight loss is one of the many positive consequences of functional medicine health coaching.
DO ONLINE SESSIONS WORK THE SAME AS IN PERSON SESSIONS?
Coaching sessions take place online using a video-conferencing software for which no installation or IT knowledge is needed. All you need is a stable internet connection and a laptop or a PC with a webcam so that we can see each other. In my experience the conversation flows just as well online as in person, but this obviously also depends on the client and how comfortable they are with technology.