Life Coaching and Quackery


I have a long list of ‘pseudo-health professionals and spiritual guides’ who I visit when I’m off-kilter and out of balance. I’d rather a Naturopath over a Doctor as I much prefer those smelly herbal concoctions over antibiotics any day. If I’m exhausted I see an Energy Healer, I seek guidance from Psychics and have skype chats with my favourite Astrologer. I get that it’s woo woo but it works for me.

Part of my mission is to be of service and I’m motivated by meaningful connection, providing support and helping people achieve their goals. We all have our karma, life lessons and contracts but as brothers and sisters of the universe (my parents taught me that!) we all have a duty to really care about each other.

I’ve just enrolled in a life-coaching course with the view of doing a post-graduate diploma in counselling. Coaching is classified as a complimentary therapy and tends to be solution and goal driven as opposed to treating dysfunction. I love the idea of it, but I also feel really conflicted about the lack of ethics and regulations within the industry.

In Australia you don’t need any type of formal qualification to call yourself a coach. Most of the available courses are short – less that 1 year – yet coaches are dealing with people (and sometimes children) who are depressed, clinically ill and often unstable.

How can coaches justify a lack of training – in comparison with psychology that requires a rigorous 7 years at uni – when dealing with people who are often very unwell? People with fragile minds and disruptive emotions need therapy and counselling not coaching.

It’s important for coaches to know their place and not to pretend that they’re qualified or can treat dysfunction. Life coaches shouldn’t work with people who are unstable and suffering from major trauma and Health Coaches shouldn’t work with people with eating disorders or major illness unless in collaboration with a proper medical team.

I once had the displeasure of working with 2 coaches who just sucked. One was a business coach who used fear and NLP  (nb. never trust an NLP practitioner!) to manipulate her clients into signing up and committing to her overpriced coaching program and the other was a life coach who was more interested in her own celebrity and getting referrals than really supporting and nurturing her clients.

On the flip side I worked with a brilliant Health Coach, who helped me prioritise and properly manage my overcrowded calendar. I stopped partying excessively and fell in love with a stable, sane and emotionally mature man during the process.

I also worked with an amazing and passionate Business/Blogging Mentor who helped me gain so much clarity around my blog and implement a plan that makes it SO much better.

Both these woman believed in me, cheered me on and encouraged me to make positive changes within my life and business. Their ability to support and guide me only made my life better and so much happier – I only hope that I can offer that type of support to my future coaching clients.

WellnessTanya MahComment