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Life Coaching

Are looking to find a life coach or business coach. Life coaching draws inspiration from a number of disciplines including sociology, psychology and counselling. A life coach draws upon these theories and helps you determine and achieve personal goals. Life coaching is a relatively new industry and finding a life coach can be difficult. Use our site for information on life coaching and to find a life coach.
Life Coaching

In This Article
History Of Life Coaching How Does It Work?
A Typical Appointment What To Expect
Timings/ Cost/ Sessions Is It Right For You?

The 'life coach' as a profession has become prominent over the last decade but the beginnings of life coaching can be traced back only as far as the 1980s when it was founded in the United States. Drawing from the techniques used in psychology, sociology and counselling, life coaching owes much to the work of Sigmund Freud and his contemporaries.

Attributing the start of life coaching to any one person is difficult as it was primarily used as a method for business consultation and executive training programmes. In 1989, Stephen Covey published a self-help book that laid out seven habits for an effective life and is considered by some to be one of the first life coaching books. Life coaching also developed through early practitioners such as Laura Whitworth and Thomas Leonard.

Whitworth and Leonard set up successful coaching schools in the early 1990s and developed the method and philosophy of coaching used throughout industry today. It was during the 90s that life coaching arrived in the UK and it has been growing in popularity ever since.


Before you find a life coach it is a good idea to understand a bit more about what to expect and how it works. Life coaching can employ various methods to help a client achieve goals whether in their personal or professional life. A life coach will look to increase a client's positive beliefs, encourage them to be decisive and set out a clear direction of how to achieve what they want from life. This is done by understanding the client's current situation, discussing personal attitudes to life and motivating them to set and achieve goals.

Some life coaches use Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP aims to alter neurological networks in the brain that dictate the way we think and act. It is believed that a person will associate certain words or phrases with negative feelings and behaviour and by changing these words, people can effectively start reprogramming the neuro networks for a more positive life. Progress can then be made in achieving specific goals or overcoming particular issues.  


Be prepared

There is currently no regulation for life coaching and anyone can use the term 'life coach'. When you find a life coach and make an appointment, it is advisable to choose an accredited practitioner with membership to a professional organisation.

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the largest worldwide organisation for business and life coaches with over 800 members in the UK. Its members have achieved professional training and work to a code of ethics as laid out by the ICF. The Association of Coaching (AC) is one of the largest professional bodies in the UK for accredited personal, business and team coaches. The AC's full members must meet certain standards of training and ethics.

Life coaching can take place face-to-face, by phone or online. Think about how you would like to have life coaching and find a suitable practitioner. Many life coaches believe seeing their client is the most effective way but the location of the coach could affect your decision, or you may just feel more comfortable talking on the phone or communicating via email. Discuss this before taking your first session.

Consider what you want to accomplish with life coaching, whether it be a specific problem or your life in general. It may help to write this down and use it during your first session. Some life coaches provide a questionnaire for you to fill in before seeing or talking to them. 


Your life coaching session, if done face-to-face, will take place in a relaxed environment and be completely confidential. If you prefer telephone coaching then by its nature this can be done in an environment of your choosing but it is recommended this take place at home where you can guarantee less noise.

Many life coaches have a medical background or could be trained in alternative therapies such as hypnotherapy. They may use their skills in these areas to help you during your session but will discuss this with you first.

Your life coach will expect you to do most of the talking as they start to gain an understanding of your current situation, issues with your life and any concerns for the future. They will then work with you toward setting goals and how best to achieve them. While life coaches may give advice in achieving your objectives faster, many believe it is up to you to find the answers and to take ownership of your new direction.


Session time with your life coach can be dependant on where the coaching takes place and the first session is likely to be longer than subsequent sessions. Some life coaching can also be intensive and take place over two or three hours but generally an appointment will last about 45 minutes to an hour.

Costs vary and payment is usually in advance. Some life coaches will expect a commitment of a set number of sessions. Face-to-face sessions range from £30 - £90 with discounts available for multiple session bookings. Telephone sessions are a little less with prices ranging from £25 - £60. Check with your practitioner before making an appointment.

The number of sessions you need depend upon you, but many life coaches will suggest a minimum of four to six sessions so they can assess your progress and make any adjustments to keep you on track with your goals.


Life coaching can be used by the majority of people and has proved beneficial in helping improve many issues including confidence, time management and relationships. The nature of the coaching and its ability to be conducted face-to-face or via the telephone can be particularly appealing for those with busy lives or in awkward locations.

Some life coaches will not see people with drug or alcohol problems or those with mental illness.

This therapy or modality may help with:

Abandonment Addiction Alcoholism
Anger Management Anorexia nervosa Anxiety
Bereavement Betrayal Bulimia
Chronic Fatigue Depression Despair Anguish
Drug addiction Eating Disorders Exam Nerves
Excessive Sweating Grief Habitual Behaviour
HIV Hyperhidrosis Hysteria
Indecisiveness Insecurity Jealousy
Learning difficulties Low Self Esteem Obesity
Panic Attacks Performance anxiety Personal development
Personality disorders Phobias Rejection
Relationship Problems Relationship Problems Couples Relationship Problems Twins
Seasonal Affective Disorder Self Harm Separation
Sexual Addiction Smoking Addiction Stress
Tiredness Weight Management Withdrawal Symptoms

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About Therapist Qualifications

Association For Coaching (AC) Association For Coaching (AC) More Info The International Coach Federation (ICF) The International Coach Federation (ICF) More Info


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Jan Slater

Counselling & Life Coaching Cheltenham

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