Choosing to seek help can sometimes be a difficult decision. Trying to find the right health or life coach in New York City can make this process more stressful. Finding the right person who understands your struggles, who is relatable, knowledgeable, educated and experienced, who is financially affordable and available to see new clients can seem like a daunting task.
By the end of this post, you’ll be able to navigate this new territory and search for a health coach that is right for you.
What is a Health Coach, and How is Coaching Different from Therapy?
Before we get into how to find a health coach in New York, let me first say coaching is NOT therapy. Coaches do not diagnose or treat disease or illness, including physical and mental. While most people struggle with emotional issues, such as anxiety, sadness, anger, etc. at some point, if these issues are having a substantial impact on your life, it is probably a good idea to consult a therapist.
If you experience some of these issues, but are still functioning at a high level, and are interested in addressing them, coaching might be right for you.
So, what exactly do coaches do? Health coaches use a wide array of evidence-based strategies to assist and guide the client along their path to healthy behavioral change.
Coaches provide scientifically-backed health related data, to keep the client apprised of the most recent health related research and breakthroughs. Through conversations and interviews, the coach assists the client in identifying his or her core values and developing a set of challenging yet attainable goals. Once the client creates an action plan, the coach is always there to help keep the client accountable to themselves.
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How to Begin the Search for a Health Coach in NYC
1. Ask friends and family members.
Friends and family probably know you well and sometimes are very aware of the issues you are looking to address. They can be a good source of information and they are easy to talk to.
2. Ask the Internet.
Psychology Today, for example, has an exhaustive listing of most coaches by location and specialty. When searching in NYC, you can filter your search by zip code or neighborhood. You can also read a short blurb from the coaches explaining their education, training and coaching philosophy.
3. Ask your school.
Plenty of colleges are located in the city that may have counseling centers. School guidance counselors or counselors based in college counseling centers may be able to provide you with names of coaches.
4. Ask your trusted professional.
Primary care physicians, nurses, midwives, acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors, massage therapists may have health coaches in their network and could refer you to the right person.
What are Coaching Specialties in NYC?
1. Health Coaching
The goal is to improve the client’s well-being by focusing on nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc. Education is important to ensure the client as a working knowledge of basic nutritional facts. Some clients that seek out this coach may be looking to address weight loss, blood pressure, mobility, longevity, and stress management amongst other things.
2. Life Coaching
The focus is more centered on leading the client to more fulfilled and enjoyable social and professional lives. While there is plenty of overlap with the goals of a health coach, a life coach may put more of an emphasis on improving relationships, confidence, procrastination, assertiveness, and life skills.
3. Executive Coaching
Professional development and increased productivity are emphasized in this type of coaching. The coach works with the client to help him or her grow in the chosen occupation or potentially switch jobs if that is determined to be the best plan of action. Ideally, the client will become happier, more effective and more efficient as a professional.
3 Types of Coaches You Can Find
1. The Cheerleader
This type of coach is enthusiastic and quick with to provide a quote that is meant to get you moving. He or she will rely on the client’s knowledge and ability and will be present to keep them motivated through positive talk. There may not much in the way of planning or analysis, but there will be an unending stream of emotional support.
2. The Planner
This coach focuses on preparing the client for implementing the action plan and emphasizes initial education and game planning. Much like someone who folds a paper boat and sets it in the stream, most of the work is put into the time before the implementation of the action plan. This coach is concerned with setting things in motion and may focus on sticking to the same plan with a call for increased effort if the client begins to struggle.
3. The Analyst
While this coach will provide education and assist the client designing and implementing a plan of action, the focus will be more on the back end. Once a plan has been engaged, many clients will face obstacles or will not see the desired effects as they expected. This type of coach will emphasize navigating the obstacles by using a number of different tools and skills and may possibly advocate adjusting the goals or plan when necessary.
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How to Find the Best Coaching Style for You
1. The Manager
This coach takes a more authoritative approach to coaching. Here, the coach provides the blueprint for action and ensures the plan is followed according to the agreed upon rules. The client has limited agency in this relationship and looks to the coach for guidance.
2. The Consultant
This coach provides education, brainstorming, advice and other lessons he or she has gleaned from personal and professional experience. The client is in charge of creating a plan and is empowered to solve problems, but the coach is always present to listen, ask, and advise.
3. The Facilitator
This coach believes that all the tools and skills needed to make meaningful changes in life already exist insides the client. There is no advice, expertise, or guidance provided by this coach. Questions are asked which are meant to bring the client’s knowledge and skills to the surface.
Contacting Your Prospective Health Coach in NYC
When you have a shortlist of coaches, call each of them. This call is important for two reasons:
- Ask any questions that you may have.
- Notice how you feel talking to this person.
Ask your prospective health coach these questions:
1. What’s your specialty?
Depending on your specific needs or desires, certain coaches may be more suited to assist you reach your goals. Some of the different coaching specialties were addressed in a previous section.
2. Do you have experience with my particular issues?
You may not care whether a coach has personally experienced your issue. But you may believe it will be easier to share with someone who has struggled and perhaps effectively coped with a similar life circumstance or diagnosis.
3. How would you describe your theoretical orientation?
Ask questions about what would happen in coaching sessions, how his/her particular orientation would be helpful in your case. Two of the most popular models are the FUEL model and the GROW model. These are basic frameworks that allow coaches to help clients plan and implement action plans.
There are also modalities such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) coaching and Rational Emotive Behavioral (REB) coaching. ACT coaches emphasize mindfulness skills to assist clients along the path to healthy behavior change. REB coaches help clients to identify and address irrational beliefs and negative self-talk in order to reach their life goals.
4. What are your fees and how does payment work?
Most coaches do not participate on insurance panels, but offer sliding scale fees (the fee is flexible depending on your financial situation, time of day, etc.) Many coaches offer different types of packages depending on type, number and duration of sessions. Be sure to inquire about all of the packages offered.
5. Ask yourself: How am I feeling while I talk to this person?
- What kinds of thoughts and feelings come up?
- Do you think you can trust this person?
- Do they seem knowledgeable and a good fit personality-wise?
- Did they answer all of your questions in a satisfying manner?
- Trust your judgment on this. If it doesn’t feel right, find another coach!
What To Do After You Have Chosen Your Coach
1. Call to make an appointment.
Are you ready to get started? Schedule an appointment today!
2. Get your paperwork out of the way.
If the coach sends you any paperwork ahead of time, complete them. You won’t then have to spend time on it during the first session.
3. Know it’s okay to feel nervous.
If you feel nervous before your first session, it is completely normal. The coach anticipates different reactions in people and will be able to help you through it.
4. Notice how you feel during the session.
- How do you like talking to this person?
- Do you feel heard and understood?
- How do you like the coach’s energy and warmth (or lack thereof)?
It is perfectly okay to be blunt with the coach about what you are looking for and if you find that he/she is not the right fit, there is no reason to return.
However, sometimes it takes a little time to decide if the particular coach is the right one for you. Take your time and give it a couple sessions. Remember, just because the coach is asking you questions, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get a chance to ask yours.
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What to Expect From Your Health Coach
Coaching is hard work. It takes time and effort on both the client’s and the coach’s part. A strong and honest relationship will facilitate this process and make it more meaningful. Do not expect to be “cured” or “fixed” just by showing up.
But with a high level of motivation and an effective coach, improvement can be achievable. And in New York, there are plenty of options, so be sure you are confident you have found the right partner for this work.
There is no time limit on coaching. Some people can experience improvement in as fast as a few weeks, for some people it may take longer.