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Kevin Zahri

LEApro, 14/08/2019 – We live in a time when no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of wellness, and with it – we hope at least – happiness. The health and wellness industry is now worth an astounding $4.2trillion (£3.5trillion), a colossal figure that reflects the scale of our preoccupation with being ‘well’. Where once we would go for a quick massage to address a stressful few months, now we’re meditating, intuitively eating and attending silent retreats daily, all in the name of self care.

The parallel rise in the popularity of wellness coaches – or life coaches as they’re also known – is one that has been met with some controversy. Who are these people? What do they do? And do we really need to be taught how to feel well?

What exactly is a wellness coach?

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A good question, and one that is difficult to answer definitively, such is the variety of definitions and titles bouncing around in the wellness lexicon. An umbrella term that can refer to life coaches, holistic coaches or health coaches, different ones offer different expertise. From looking at diet, energy levels and exercise routine to assessing mental health and general lifestyle, a wellness coach helps a client to address imbalances in their life, and set out clear goals for their future.

“We support clients step-by-step to implement and sustain lifestyle and behaviour changes that contribute to achieving their personal health and lifestyle goals. And all at a pace that is comfortable for them,” says health and lifestyle coach Milla Lascelles.

But while Lascelles approaches wellness coaching with a holistic touch (and costs from £70 per session), life coach Nick Hatter, whose services can cost up to £30,000 for a year and a half, is much more hard-hitting, focusing on quantifiable results and working with clients to help them achieve their full potential in business as well as in life in general.

Importantly, wellness coaching is not therapy – many more qualifications are needed for that – but it does have the potential to enhance your life and how you live it in ways that you might not have considered before.

Who should try a wellness coach?

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“Many of my clients are busy and stressed, and need clarity and help with their direction in life,” says mind coach Anna Williamson, who is also a counsellor, “Clients come to me complaining of anxiety, depression, lack of direction, low self-esteem and a certain inner conflict.” Those that feel rudderless sometimes need a helping hand to in order to choose a path that works for them, and could well benefit from the guidance of a wellness coach.

Lascelles says many of her clients are seeking solace from exhaustion and the negative feelings they suffer daily. “Most commonly, it’s those that have zero energy, zero time for themselves and are incredibly stressed and anxious,” she says, having seen a health coach herself before training to be one, while suffering with exhaustion. Williamson sees a common thread. “There’s a need to offload feelings, thoughts and emotions, to be listened to in confidence without judgement, and to receive clarity from someone other than a friend.”

How to find a good wellness coach?

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To be a wellness coach, you don’t need to have any specific qualifications – formal or academic – at all, which is why it is sometimes looked upon as a potentially murky pond in the world of wellness. There is the risk of vulnerable people spending a lot of money on a fruitless quest for happiness.

Hatter’s qualifications include a diploma in life coaching, training in psychodynamics and training in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), while Williamson too has diplomas in coaching, counselling and NLP, and is a member of a professional accredited body. Looking for qualifications like these can help you to find someone you can trust, but it’s also wise to go for a consultation and see how you relate to one another. After all, if you are going to work together long-term, it’s important you get on. – VOGUE