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Life Coaching Programs - How to Choose One - by Mary L. Weinstein

How do you choose a life coaching program when there are hundreds out there available?  There are eight major areas to consider when choosing a program that will produce effective results.  


1.     Price.  All the programs range in costs, some are as high as a few thousand dollars.  Although cost does not determine how good a program is, it does determine whether a person can afford it.  The program should be reasonable for what they’re offering.  It is also good to know who founded the program and what credentials they have.  This can tell you a little bit about whether their program is strictly a money-making business for them or they really do want to produce effective coaches.


2.    Techniques.  Most of the programs make their money by the price they charge, therefore, they will claim they offer the best techniques out there.  It is probably best to inquire about a program’s techniques through word of mouth.  If that’s not possible, try doing a web search on the program and see if any comments are found out there on the Web.  An effective program will provide valuable information on how to be an effective coach.  It will also provide mock sessions.


3.    Secular vs. Christian.  Are you looking for a secular coaching program or a Christian one?  There’s a difference.  Secular coaching doesn’t include God in it.  It is more based on what people can do through their own strength.  Christian coaching relies heavily on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and is Biblically based.  They believe each person was born with a God-given purpose.  Without God we cannot be all we were meant to be.


4.    Length of program.  Do you want to attend a program that is six months long (or more) or just a few weeks long?  The programs all vary in length.  An effective program will not waste your time on repetitive information thus dragging out the program for several months.  It will teach you what you need to know in less time so that you can get started as a coach as soon as possible.


5.    Certificate vs. no certificate.  Some programs will not offer a certificate.  Some believe a certificate is not necessary or required.  Although you can coach without a certificate, most potential clients want to know you have a paper stating you received training in your area of expertise.  An effective program will provide certification.  If you’re going to spend your hard earned money and your precious time, wouldn’t you want a certificate?


6.    Business start-up help.  Does the program offer you advice on how to start your own coaching business?  An effective program will offer that information and even suggest where you can get the necessary tools/materials. 


7.    Getting coached.  Do the programs require that you get your own life coach?  Being coached is a valuable experience.  It really prepares you for coaching others.  Some coaches will coach you for free as a way to help you out.  Others will charge you.  Regardless, it is worth doing.


8.    Support groups.  Do the programs say “so long” to you after you’ve completed it?  An effective program will continue to provide information to you through newsletters, emails, and special offers for further studies.  More importantly, it will provide a support group for you, which is beneficial.


Remember that in any field of study you will have to continue to learn on your own even after completing a program.  Don’t expect to learn everything you need to know in a coaching program.  Read books, join a support group, network with other coaches, and continue to grow. 


Mary L. Weinstein is a Certified Life Purpose Coach through Life Purpose Coaching Centers, Int'l.  She holds a Bachelor of Theology in Biblical Counseling from The King's College & Seminary.  She is an ordained Minister, Biblical Counselor and Bible Teacher.  Mary is the Founder and CEO of Friends with Purpose Ministries.  Her website is http://www.friendswithpurpose.com

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