In April 2023, I finished a certification course to prepare me to be a Master Health Coach. Why Master Health Coaching if I’m already a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Registered Nurse?
Master Health Coaching, in my opinion, is a strong adjunctive field that helps people identify their most precious health goals and find within their own stories and experiences a pathway to not only realize those goals but to create habits that they choose to maintain the lifestyle they create. The Coaches role is to be a navigator and collaborator in a dynamic process that supports the self-determination of the client.
After nearly 23 years as a therapist, I have known that one of the possible outcomes of insight-oriented behavioral health treating a variety of mental health issues is that a client can walk away with a lot of insight but little practical understanding of how to apply that insight in their life. In effect, the client may walk away saying, “I understand myself better. And I don’t really know what to do with what I know.” BTW, this is also true of our experiences as we leave the doctor’s office: you find out more about what’s going on, but you might not know what to do with what you found out! Therapy is perhaps at best 90% insight-oriented work and 10% “So what now?” coaching, but counselors cannot bill for therapy that is exclusively coaching and devoid of treatment.
Another way of saying that is, when I am practicing under my therapy license in a contract with a patient, I deliver counseling practice with a small amount of expected coaching practice. And while some of the underpinnings of counseling are similar in coaching, the scope of practice is not. Counseling is counseling; coaching is not therapy.
So what do I do if I long to help people work through the coaching process to take action on the steps that lead towards behavioral changes as applied to their health habits?
Well, I did what I knew would answer that question. I became a certified Master Health Coach. Coaching clients come to me specifically to develop actionable habits.
And then, to make sure that my clients and future clients would have no question about the high standards of practice I insist on having for both Counseling and Coaching, I opted to sit for the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches exam in November 2023. In earning this certification, I will be offering the credibility of board certification in both fields. Regardless of which service my clients wish to pursue, they won’t struggle to see which has value or which one is more affordable.
In the near future, I believe that board certified Master Health Coaching will be given billing codes from major insurance companies via employer based insurance plans. In the meantime, I am pricing my services in such a way as to make them affordable, starting with 1:1 coaching and moving towards live group coaching and go-at-your-own-pace coaching with minimal support through email and video calls. There will be options that people can select, based on their budget, wants, and availability of time.
If you have wondered why I have been silent here on my own blog, it has been because I have been forecasting these additions on Social Media, reaching out to local people, and preparing for a brand change. On Instagram, I have already shifted to @everydaywithimei in this interim time.
I will still emphasize allergy, asthma, and autoimmune disease as a foundation of community members seeking support for these conditions. Adding on, Master Health Coaching will expand the breadth of what I do to help people live more vibrant, healthy, self-determined paths.
I’ll be sharing more about how Health Coaching can help you achieve your health goals. In the meantime, it may be time to consider what your own Vision of Health and Wellness is and what you are already doing to move towards it. Please feel free to connect with me on Instagram @everydaywithimei.