Behavioral Health Coaching, LLC
Frequently Asked Questions
"A life coach does for the rest of your life what a personal trainer does for your health and fitness." -- Elaine MacDonald
"Coaching isn't therapy. It's product development, with you as the product." -- Fast Company
Q. How do I know if I am a good candidate for coaching? What’s required for coaching to be successful?
A. If you are relatively healthy, understand that coaching is not therapy or medical treatment, have or are willing to set aside ample time to take the required action between sessions, are willing and motivated to take full responsibility for your decisions and responses to life, are willing to let go of self-defeating habits and set healthy new ones, are willing to experiment with new concepts and behaviors, are willing and ready to take a different / shift perspectives, are honest and congruent in word and deed with yourself and others, are willing to establish a trusting and completely honest collaborative relationship with your coach, have or have good reason to believe you can resource yourself to support large and small changes in your life, are ready and willing to accept potential and likely shifts in lifestyle and relationships (including responses from others to your moving forward) coaching will entail, and sense that the gaps between where you are now and where you want to be are realistic and achievable… then coaching is right for you and success will be yours. The success of coaching will either be unviable or will decline in success in proportion the more of the above you consider challenging or unworkable. If at least three of the above are a challenge and you still want to be coached, then your initial coaching targets (if accepted) will need to focus on these.
Q. Is there a free consultation before beginning, and how does that work?
A. Yes. In order to receive a free 15 minute consultation, you will need to complete and submit the ‘Free Consultation Form’ before your consultation will be scheduled. Given limited time, this will help the agenda and focus of the call. Your coach will also want to see initial evidence of your willingness and commitment of time, energy, and attention (e.g. action) to yourself and what you would like to be coached on. Note that coaching is not a “talking for dollars feel better affair” (though feeling better is a common outcome), receiving prescriptive advice and mentoring, or just insight oriented; coaching is about partnered learning, developing, and action designed to get you from wherever you are now to either where you want to be or to an aligned and positive journey that can attract as yet undefined destinations of meaning, joy, and purpose... most often both. The Free Consultation Form will ask you several key questions about what you hope to gain through coaching, will give you an experiential preliminary taste of the kind of "homework" to expect, will offer preliminary disclosures about the coaching process, will offer you the initial ‘paper coached’ benefit of greater clarity before proceeding, and will offer you the preliminary opportunity to state your preferences for how you would like to be coached. After the form is submitted and reviewed, you will be contacted to proceed with scheduling the free consultation. [Note: EAP and related vendor client referrals may proceed directly to booking, depending on contractual arrangements with the company and/or vendor and/or lead empaneling provider.]. A free consultation is the norm and will help determine if coaching is suitable for the particular client. There are no refunds if subsequently booked and completed sessions ultimately result in a determination that coaching is inappropriate and/or a referral is made and/or another professional is recommended (unused portions may be refunded). Free consultations are up to 15 minutes long, are conducted through ZOOM (HIPAA compliant), Skype, or telephone (other client contact media, e.g. Skype, may also work) and require an emailed request to first receive, complete, and return the Free Consultation Form in order to schedule. Non-EAP or contracted vendor clients, please check for services availability prior to your request. A free consultation can be arranged in this way via the Contact pages and “free consultation” links on the pertinent service page.
Q. Is there a way to by-pass the free consultation and go straight into getting coached for a one-off single session?
A. Yes. “Straight in coaching”, proceeding directly into booking a single coaching session may be possible for people who have successfully been coached before. Initial forms would, however, still need to be completed (e.g. initial consultation form), and acceptance by the coach is not guaranteed. These types of sessions can work well for people who have experienced and understand coaching well and simply want an occasional single session “boost” or fresh perspective through a conversation with a new or different coach --e.g. to bounce ideas off, articulate and define, quick-plan, process input, integrate, consult, and co-think their way through or toward something on a clear-intentioned "results flexible" one-off or otherwise irregularly or immediate need scheduled terms.
Q. What makes coaching work? Is it just techniques?
A. Remember that the coaching relationship is not a reciprocal one like you would have in any other type of personal or workplace relationships. It is a confidential, safe, empathic, experiment friendly, learning and development-centered professional relationship focused 100% on the optimal outcomes and successes of the client (coachee). Coaching works through the dedicated support, focused energy, and synergy the coaching relationship provides toward learning, discovery, and development within an affirming, respectful, motivational, reinforcing, educational, and accountable process to be fully present to, clear, resourced, and intentionally moving forward on the main reasons for seeking coaching. Within that context, ultimately, it comes down to a single word: Action. Action on two levels 1) foundational action that clears away the clutter and creates the energy, space, and habits that set optimal conditions for success, and 2) goal directed action to achieve specific results within a structured and supportive process, guidance, and accountability. Your coach --as a fresh and "neutral" motivational guide, subject matter / behavior change expert, and self-empowerment professional free of the emotional investments, filters, patterns, and biases that may be slowing you down or keeping you stuck-- helps you think, imagine, experiment/experience, question, see what you don't/won't see, plan/strategize, create, map, problem solve, identify/define, relate, integrate, assess/measure, and take accountable action "outside the box" of limitation, and inside the free and dedicated space of possibility and supported action. Coaching advances awareness and clarity, resourceful preparation, "fail resilient grit", determination and motivation, perspective, growth and development, strengths and capacities, value aligned and purpose driven engagement, flexibility, receptivity, and decisive but open-minded efficiency around taking effective action toward results on that matter. However, coaching is not just a matter of technique or method... or even experience; the quality of the relationship with your coach --the "chemistry", fit, and resonant momentum developed in that collaborative connection make a big difference. Coaching also works best when certain enabling conditions are present: there are no concurrent addiction, trauma, or significant mental health issues that could derail effective participation, there is a strong felt need "why" and will to participate in coaching, and there are sufficient positive resources (e.g. environment, financial, schedule, energy, grit, gratitude, receptivity, courage, respect -- all of which can potentially be enhanced through coaching) present to proceed.
Q. What coaching models are used? What does a typical coaching process look like?
A. Coaching models drawn from (science, practice/evidence, experience and consensus based): Primary - GOOD (Auerbach), GROW, ACT Based Coaching, Solution Focused, Integrative, EVB Positive Psychology, Motivational Interviewing, EVB Behavioral Health, Spiritual/Transpersonal (SQ21), Integral, HeartMath, Compassionate Inquiry, Appreciative Inquiry, Narrative, SoC Trans-Theoretical, Transformational (Co-Active), Somatic, and Cognitive Behavioral. Although the process may be highly individualized and quite flexible, the common "standard" structure tends to look like this: After the initial free consultation has been completed and coaching is booked, the process typically starts with getting to know more about you, your present situation, and how and in what areas you would like your coach to support you at this time in your life (your goals and hoped for coaching outcomes). In the process of building a trusting and aligned relationship with the coach, we often start with what beckons/draws you, where the aliveness is, what you would like for yourself, how you know that to be true, what resources and strengths you have to draw on, what the primary drivers and motivators are, what you've tried, what's worked, and what hasn't, what's gotten in the way, and so on. Depending on the client and the goals, the process may be mildly or tightly structured and would involve recommended assessments (e.g. values, interests, personality, quality of life, well-being, etc.), a signed coaching agreement, a deeper discussion of what you would like to achieve through coaching and why, discussion of key items on the initial questionnaire, a look at your current reality and resources, an inventory of what elevates and depletes your energy (creating essential foundational goals), and often proceeds to creating a personal vision statement that outlines your "best self" experience across important life roles, what matters to and enlivens you, what it would be like (specific positive outcomes, transformations) if your desired coaching results were in place and you felt a sense of satisfaction, alignment, and vitality moving forward. We would take a closer look at how your vision aligns with your profile --e.g. strengths, values, usage of time, space/energy, resources, history of successes, ways of staying present and focused, ways of dealing with obstacles and set backs, current skill, support, and capacity needs-- to clarify and define the focus on scaling specific goals, sub-goals and “pre-condition” goals in an achievable, measurable, and accountable way that builds confidence and forward momentum. In planning steps and taking action, we include ways to plan for, execute, and revise strategies to deal with obstacles and challenges, ways to optimize the enabling fundamentals (energy, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental), readiness, and driving "why". With actions taken, we celebrate successes, extract learning and positive growth, tweak the plan/action where needed, and use the experiential feedback to determine and set in motion further steps to keep moving forward, build on, and sustain success. We often find that the original goals may morph into slightly different or completely new goals... where the process can become the goal as much as the goal drives the process. Note: For certain special package programs (e.g. Career Satisfaction Reboot; Targetted Health/Wellness), and for EAP and empaneled provider agreements, the specific processes of coaching may vary (e.g. greater consulting role by the coach).
Q. What is the difference between coaching and counseling or psychotherapy? Isn’t my LebenWell coach also a trained professional counselor?
"Coaching isn't therapy. It's product development, with you as the product." -- Fast Company
A. The answer to this question is explained in detail on the Life Coaching page and also, briefly, on the Services Note section of the Services page. In the simplest terms, it might be said that coaching is oriented to what one wants, while counseling and psychotherapy are more oriented to what one does not want. Here is a copy of the service limitation statement on our Services page:
Services do not include counseling, psychotherapy, or medical treatment of any kind of diagnosed condition, pain, trauma, or suffering with the goals of curative treatment, recovery, or symptom management (though in health coaching, for example, some cases may integrate with primary care providers and treatment plans that do include these). LebenWell services focus on practical, science based, professional behavioral support, guidance, and mentoring toward clarification and achievement of health, wellness, resilience, learning, and life goals, personal and career fulfillment, optimal relationships and lifestyle, happiness, success, and life satisfaction. Services do not focus on symptom and diagnosis oriented treatment, curing, remediation, or recovery; Coaching has an active forward-looking focus emphasizing learning and development, self-regulation, effective resourcing, experimentation, accountabiltiy, and consistent action.
The above stated, research and practice data show that the process of health and life coaching can, indeed, make a significant, transformative, and positive impact toward desired healing and treatment outcomes. Mental health / behavioral health coaching is offered to help people become optimally clear, present, integrated, resourced, ready, and resilient to lead the lives and life the lifestyles that are important to them. This may, for example, include post-illness or post-recovery growth and development coaching. Chris Johannes, your LebenWell coach (LebenWell may recruit more coaches soon), is also a qualified professional counselor. However, as stated above, you will not receive mental health counseling or psychotherapy services at LebenWell and are/will be advised to see a qualified mental health professional if that type of service is being sought and is appropriate.
Q. Is this an SSL Secure site?
A. Yes, it is. (https://) . HIPAA compliant PHI resources are also in place for the privacy, confidentiality, data protection, and security of all forms, emails, documents, files, and teleconferencing (e.g. BAA agreement).
Q. How long does coaching take?
A. There is no formulaic or typical answer to this question. It depends on the intent for coaching and what results are sought and achieved, as well as what else the process reveals, uncovers, and opens up. The need and length of coaching is determined by/with the client in collaborative agreement. While it depends on your goals, resources (inner and outer), readiness, and relative clarity, we know that for most people behavior change, personal transformation, and forming new habits can take a fair bit of time and committed effort. Coaching can help people make the most of that time with optimal efficiency, commitment, supportive reinforcement, and success. Often, at least three months of weekly coaching is recommended, but a lot can happen in a single coaching conversation to move things forward as well; other times, the coaching process may be extended for as long as desired with ever greater targets, desires, needs, and compounding success. In this respect, coaching is highly individualized, and the time it takes can vary considerably. For some a single session may be enough (more focused issues around health behavior change and career exploration, for example, tend to see more rapid results), for others it may be an ongoing supportive partnership (transformational, growth and development oriented life coaching) lasting for years.
Q. I’m looking for self-coaching resources and fun things like delicious recipes, exercise tools, guided meditations (with clear instructions), practical education and training, relaxation methods, and so forth. Do I have to wait for some kind of newsletter from you to get access to things like that? What do your Links and Resources include?
A. You get all of that free and ready, right from the start and throughout (newsletter inclusive, coming soon). The Links and Resources pages include things like delicious healthy recipes, exercise guidelines and routines, guided meditation and mindfulness instructions, a vast amount of resources on resilience and better living, cognitive agility exercises, self-compassion practices, self-administered EMDR and CBT AI/bot therapy, interactive belief reframe tools, useful assessments (personality, strengths, values, career, happiness, mindfulness, health risk , motivation...), intensive and practical informational video tutorials and seminars, a comprehensive online interactive auto-health coaching assessment and orientation program, sleep hygiene, sexual health practices, self-regulation and self-management tools, links to groups and online gatherings, all sorts of APP recommendations (e.g. functional health, lifestyle, mental health), and even access to a full 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program !!! I would encourage any prospective client to proceed with the online assessments, and there are several forms to preview and possibly get a head start on. Go ahead and get started as you like. You may find that you have been positively auto-coached just from experiencing these resources, tools, and assessments. These resources can (and usually are) integrated with your coaching sessions… or can be done solo without coaching… or both.
Q. I’m not sure I can afford coaching right now. Do you have any free resources or options available? Or, do you have any kind of "sampler" activities that would give me a sense of what coaching is like?
A. Yes. Please visit the Links and Resources page on this site. If you are highly motivated and resourced, these resources may be all you need. Together with the free interactive AI and bot guided exercises, worksheets, and assessments found on this page (that you would likely have to pay a lot of money for elsewhere) you may find that you have already have been positively auto-coached with the all the free resources offered! Please utilize the resources on this page freely.
Q. Where are your forms located, such as the intake or assessment forms?
A. These are located on the right hand side of the Links and Resources page. Click on the icon to preview the form. Completable online forms may requested and then completed through encrypted, secure, and privacy protected services such as Hushmail (or alternatives, e.g. Google Forms, LebenWell Secure via Cloakmy, etc.).
Q. Is there a money back guarantee? Is there a cancellation refund policy? Can I get a refund if I am not satisfied?
A. A refund can be offered for all unused portions of pre-paid coaching package bookings; a refund can also be made for cancellations of individual sessions made at least 48 hours prior to booking (exceptions can be made with documented emergency circumstances). Refunds are not provided in any other case, as per the Coaching Agreement and consent form you will be given to sign prior (at least 48 hours prior) to your first coaching session. EAP and corporate plan refunds work on a contractual basis and are negotiated with either the EAP or the corporate department offering coverage for the service booking.
Q. Does my LebenWell coach adhere to any professional standards or ethics of any professional body?
A. Yes. Your LebenWell coach is a trained and certified coaching professional and abides by the standards and code of ethics of both the Center for Credentialing and Education for the Board Certified Coach (BCC) credential, as well as the standards of the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching. Click on the respective links, to view. Your coach will also follow aspirational ethical principles of other coaching entities such as that of the International Coaching Federation, and will attempt align (in collaboration with the client) to local, institutional, corporate/employer, and/or cultural conditions to the extent practicable, appropriate, and possible.
Q. Are services confidential? What electronic safety and confidentiality safeguards for communications, records, and services are used? Data Privacy and Protection?
A. Yes, all services and records are treated as strictly private and confidential. Zoom and Hushmail are preferred providers (HIPAA compliant, BAA agreement, PHI protections and security). In rare cases, confidentiality will be breached for appropriate authority reporting according to ethical and professional standards of professional coaching practice (e.g. when the client has expressed a clear, serious [e.g. mortal, consensus/legally defined and prosecutable injurious] and present danger to self or others). LebenWell makes efforts to stay up to date on tele-health technology and service platforms (e.g. end-to-end HIPAA compliant platforms, corporate/vendor provider platforms) and information privacy and security encryption that would apply to tele-coaching. Under the current and prevailing global practice norms, clients typically prefer and are welcome to opt for Zoom (preferred, HIPAA compliant), Skype, and telephone consultations. Those are the preferred norm for most private clients. For some clients based in the United States, depending on the referral source, service parameters, and client needs, LebenWell may rely on any of a number of trusted options for end-to-end HIPAA compliant teleconferencing, file transfer, and messaging security. Hushmail for forms, emails, documents, files, and HIPAA compliant Zoom (BAA agreement) are preferred, and Cloakmy, Telegram, and G-Suite Encryption are also available. In the current context, please note that because of the differing scope and nature of coaching services (e.g. no 'clinical' diagnoses, treatments, records, or "patients", and no regulated mandates), many or most coaching service providers will not have/be required to have, or otherwise do not consider it necessary to opt for a separately hosted comprehensive ultra-security HIPAA standard encryption platform (e.g. TheraPlatform). As of 2018, relative to clients in Europe, LebenWell is also keeping abreast of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for data handling. Any emails collected will not be shared with 3rd parties or used for purposes beyond LebenWell coaching or otherwise agreed business related communications (at the time of "optin"), with option to unsubscribe at any time. LebenWell (your coach) will continue to monitor and, where applicable, strive to align with or be at the forefront of HIPAA telehealth and medicine standards to the extent that they apply to the scope of coaching (as described above). LebenWell may advise clients on service appropriate added encryption and security measures as described above and may recommend options. For LebenWell EAP/corporate and vendor (subcontracting) services, contractual requirements for reporting may exist that amend what information is confidential and what is shared by contractual consent, and the EAP/corporate or vendor service may require amendments in encryption and data handling appropriate to individual contracts.
A. Only form data (email and invoice/payment [without credit card details], inclusive) relevant and reasonably required and pertinent to coaching or coaching products at LebenWell is collected. Your email and data is kept private and not shared with any other party. Electronic systems are password protected, and cloud-based storage is currently not used. Form data and case notes are backed up in hard copy with secure access. You will not be "spammed" and, apart from contracted/scheduled coaching related communications (e.g. business), will only be contacted to elicit feedback, share occasional news, campaigns, promotions, free resources, offers, and updates relevant to LebenWell coaching. You may cancel your email subscription at any time and/or send updates or corrections of your information, data, and preferences. Further details are available in the Coaching Agreement (e.g. Criminal and Human Rights Law may limit or supersede the terms of this policy). In the event of data loss or breach, every attempt will be made to immediately inform the parties affected and take whatever steps necessary to minimize impact, with probably reporting to cybercrime authorities when qualified. HIPAA compliant PHI protections for teleconferencing, emails, forms, files, and documents are utilized.
Q. I am a minor (less than 18 years old). Am I eligible for coaching services?
A. In special circumstances, a minor may be seen if 1) referred by a primary care medical professional or Employee Assistance Program [EAP], 2) written consent from a parent or legal guardian is provided, and 3) an initial consultation with the LebenWell coach leads to a mutually agreed determination to proceed based on maturity, readiness, and resources to proceed.
Q. I am currently in counseling/therapy with a mental health professional. May I also receive coaching?
A. Yes, it is possible to receive coaching concurrently alongside mental health services, however, this is determined on a case by case basis, often with the consent and/or collaboration of your mental health services professional. A typical case would be concurrent health and wellness coaching for a circumscribed health condition, though could also be concurrent behavioral coaching, usually in collaborative agreement with primary mental health provider.
Q. Who and from where are LebenWell’s main coaching clients?
A. LebenWell was initially established to offer coaching services to EAP clients and adult English speaking expatriates (those currently residing and wanting services outside the homeland, including multinational/international company employees, men and women of the armed and diplomatic services, English teachers, repatriating and retiring expatriates, long-stay international students, faculty and researchers, non-profit and charity group workers, and adult family members of the above groups), though all English speaking adults anywhere in the world are welcome. For onsite services, similarly, any English speaking adult is welcome. Your coach may also see clients through outside vendor (e.g. healthcare, higher education), corporate, and EAP sources.
Q. What feedback mechanisms does LebenWell have to insure quality?
A. Typically, feedback is welcomed and received in an on-going manner from participating clients as well as networks of peer colleagues. However, when feedback over and beyond the ordinary is needed, LebenWell may request and elicit such feedback periodically through more formal online surveys such as SurveyMonkey. Your LebenWell coach will not accept clients with avoidable "dual relationship" or "conflict of interest" circumstances (e.g. providing services to known colleagues, friends, supervisors). Similarly, some clients may not be accepted if legally residing in a geographic area (e.g. a US state) that impose certain regulatory limits and restrictions on tele-coaching. Your LebenWell coach, as a certified and registered member of a number of professional organizations governing standards and practice, will also be participating in regular, on-going continuing education, as well as ongoing interaction with fellow colleagues and professionals in the field that may include peer supervision and mentoring.
Q. Is anyone who requests a booking guaranteed a booking? What determines who accepted as a client and who is not? Why are some services sometimes listed as “not currently accepting new clients”?
A. Determinations for the acceptance of private clients is determined through service booking priority (see "main client group" Q & A, above), referral (e.g. primary care or allied health services provider, EAP, insurance company), and/or collaborative agreement of suitability for services determined either through a free initial consultation, the initial session(s), and the required Coaching Agreement-Informed Consent form. However, given the schedule limits, priority bookings are for existing/current clients, vendor clients (e.g. health care, higher education service contracts), and otherwise on a first come first serve booking availability basis. For EAP/corporate clients, determinations are made according to contractual agreements (if individual case-by-case contracting, they will book according to the same policy as private booking clients, but under an allocated EAP/corporate client time block) and resulting allocated service availability. Any services that are for any temporary period of time fully booked or otherwise unavailable will be listed as such [e.g. “not currently accepting new clients”) on the main Services page. Your LebenWell coach will not accept clients with avoidable "dual relationship" or "conflict of interest" circumstances (e.g. providing services to known colleagues, friends, supervisors). If/as additional coaches and allied service professionals join the LebenWell team, their availability will likewise be posted on the LebenWell Services page and/or their own separate booking links. Updated announcements will be posted on the main Services page.
Q. Where did my coach receive his coaching training... not academic training, I mean coach training and certification?
A. Your coach received certification and training from the College of Executive Coaching, the Zur Institute, the Deep Change University (Deep Change SQ21 Spiritual Intelligence Coaching) training institute, the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, and the Transformation Academy. Your coach also participates actively in ongoing continuing education, training, and peer group contact.
Q. What are the coaching theories and models used?
A. Integrative - Good (Auerbach), GROW, ACT Based Coaching, HeartMath, Motivational Interviewing, Appreciative Inquiry, Transformational (Co-Active), Narrative, SoC Trans-theoretical, Spiritual/Transpersonal (SQ21), EVB Behavioral Health, Solution Focused, EVB Positive Psychology, Somatic, and Cognitive Behavioral. Chris will blend in elements of consulting and his counseling background tailored to the coaching framework, as needed.
Q. What is the uniqueness or advantage of choosing my LebenWell coach over all the rest out there?
A. Every individual coaching relationship is personal and unique, and it is usually the "chemistry"of that relationship that determines the actual advantage regardless of qualifications, specialties, and experience. The felt of experience by the client is what matters as much as any desired result... the feeling of a safe, respectful, invitational, supportive, compassionate, positively motivational and engaging, warm and welcoming, flexible and structured, challenging (e.g. learning, growth, development, experimentation), dedicated and focused space of integrity and direction together with the coach. Many clients have also commented that they were looking for a coach who, in addition to "walk the talk" empathy, experience, and maturity, also had subject matter expertise in a certain area (e.g. counseling/psychology, behavior change, adult learning and development, behavioral medicine, integrative health and functional wellness, happiness, mindfulness and meditation, identity intersectionalities, composite/portfolio careers, higher education success, lifestyle, expatriate and international lifestyle, transitions, INFJ, HSP, transpersonal and spiritual paths) in order to also function as a mentor, adviser, or consultant (who can "advise what to do") when appropriate. Though coaches don't typically base their practices on "providing the fish" (dispensing advice vs. "teaching how to fish"), sometimes, before a hungry traveler can feel ready, resourced, and present to learn how to fish for themselves, they first need to eat a good meal -- so advice, information, resources, and guidance are offered and integrated as needed and agreed. Coaching is learning and action oriented and client driven, but not total "sink or swim" affair either.
A few key words for other LebenWell advantages: flexibility and range, structured and strategic, trustable and transparent, convenient and affordable, appreciative and strengths centered, intuitive and science backed, challenging and evocative, depth and breadth, tools and resources, trauma-sensitive, safe and inviting, integrative and mindfulness informed, internationally experienced, transformative and practical, contextually and culturally sensitive, results and success driven.
Clients appreciate Chris's experience and ability to draw on, blend, and tailor approaches (e.g. integrating coaching, consulting, adult learning, and counseling methods) as needed. Besides the passion and depth of committed support to face client realities and possibilities together to get the results they want (valuable ROI), Chris has a uniquely wide range of specialist experience and training spanning 25 years (and geographical locations - as a bilingual, dual national, expat living in 4 countries, travel to 44) to draw on -- e.g. specialized coaching methods, counseling and psychotherapy, adult education and development, mediation, composite careers, integrative behavioral health [mind-body medicine, somatics, energy medicine, integral lifestyle, mindfulness and meditation, alternative/complementary medicine, transpersonal and spiritual paths, positive psychology], mediation, consulting, -- loss/hardship/failures/challenge --> growth/renewal/upward spiral successes/better living -- , multicultural and expatriate lifestyle, writing and publishing, acting [TV, movie], personal training and wellness, composite careers, NPOs, mindfulness, nonduality and SBNR living, higher education advising, speaking, international networking and liaisons) that resonates with the diversity of clients he serves.
"My cardiologist was amazed and praised me and my health coach, Chris. He had never seen those kind of positive changes across so many lab measures and symptoms in such a short time with lifestyle changes only. Even my allergies improved! Saved a lot of money and avoided a world of potential suffering. Health coaching is awesome!! Now I am confident in keeping myself healthy and well. Thank you, Chris!" --Aki S., Tokyo, Japan
LIFE and CAREER COACHING
Q. What is a Life Coach?
"A life coach does for the rest of your life what a personal trainer does for your health and fitness." -- Elaine MacDonald
"Coaching isn't therapy. It's product development, with you as the product." -- Fast Company
A. A qualified life coach is your dedicated professional ally to help you realize the life of optimal health, happiness, and success you're ready to live. In some ways, similar to a sports coach, the life coach is a trained and experienced professional –with expertise overlapping with roles of counselor, trainer, consultant, educator, adviser, mentor, strategic ally, and friend—that helps you leverage your strengths, enhance your functioning, maximize your personal and professional potential, and define, structure, and take effective action toward desired goals and success. Your coach can draw on skills from diverse disciplines including counseling (particularly solution focused, narrative, and cognitive behavioral orientations), positive psychology, motivational psychology (Motivational Interviewing), somatics, interpersonal neurobiology, neuroscience, mindfulness and meditation, coaching and sport psychology, organizational and consulting psychology, and even literature and the arts. Experientially, your coach will be personally familiar with challenge, success, getting desired results, and effectiveness in life; structuring and navigating the change process, sustaining the 'project' with energy and joy, leveraging inner and outer resources, learning from and overcoming obstacles and challenges; 'satisficing' well, falling down and getting back up-moving forward while living intentionally with integrity; relishing the journey and generating the joy; continuing personal and relational development, understanding and appreciating diversity and culture, and fulfillment virtues that create a joyous life of meaning.
Q. What is it about Life Coaching that makes it so popular and successful for many people?
A. Scroll up to "Q. What makes coaching work? Is it just techniques?" for the foundational response to this question. For more --> coaching --through its collaborative, dedicated, supportive, and guided process for client learning, processing, and action-- leads to forward moving valued results (the ROI) -- whether around a specific issue, or larger transformation -- in a structured, affirmative, momentum building, and empowering way that would not otherwise be expected to be achieved alone. Many find it more practical, efficient, positive, uplifting, energizing, inspiring, "less heavy" and non-stigmatizing than counseling or psychotherapy for their challenges in living, knowing that their challenges are not really "disorders" or "mental health problems", but normal and healthy human struggles and aspirations, with the normal and expected ranges of human responses to them. On the matter of success, of course, much depends on the reasons people seek out coaching (see Life Coaching page) and the domain of life, themselves, and their relationships they would like to address. People enter coaching with different foundations and resources (which often become the initial goals)... and different perspectives as to how much they believe their desired destination should drive their journey vs how much they want to allow their journey to shape their destination and their experience along the way. Whatever people may want--and often they enter because they are unclear what they want, what their options are, or overwhelmed by options-- they may have felt so focused on the “content” of what they hope for that they find it difficult to organize and take effective steps to make it happen -- to manage the clarity, planning, strategy, tactics, resourcing, resilience, process, accountability, reinforcement, feedback, mental and physical energy, logistics, time, attention, structure, and organized action for it all. Too caught up "in it" to manage on one's own. Coaching is especially well designed to help that process.
Q. Is there any research evidence that Life Coaching actually “works”?
A. Yes. Of all the positive outcomes thus far identified by researchers, some of the most common (Jarosz, 2016; positivepsychologyprogram.com, 2017) include a stronger sense of identity and purpose; the client living the life they have dreamed about; increased quality of life and enhanced mental health; better work/life balance; effective action on starting a business; a more “wanted” or expanded social life; improved financial status; successful goal attainment achieved through smart goal setting, better follow-through, self-regulation, enhanced communication and problem-solving skills; client empowerment (Green, Oades, & Grant, 2006); positive change in behavior and beliefs; improved self-confidence, self-acceptance, and insight into one’s self (Grant, 2008); decreased stress; and an increased sense of hope and well-being in life (Grant, 2003; Green, Grant, & Rynsaardt, 2007).
Q. How can career coaching help?
A. Career coaching overlaps with and can help in many of the same ways as life coaching, with a more targeted focus on achieving career goals. Issues that coaching helps to create greater clarity, confidence, commitment, motivation, effective action, and positive forward momentum on usually pertains to: assessments for optimal career choices, work-life integration, career satisfaction, performance and productivity, understanding and navigating career options, lateral career moves, career change and disruption, passion and engagement, resources and resourcefulness, skill acquisition and transfer, position and branding, managing risk, maximizing and sustaining growth, future proofing, networking, creativity and adding value, legacy, resumes and portfolios, social media presence, workplace stress and relationships, career burnout, alignment and meaning. Many of the most impactful, "bottom line", and visible transformative results coaching can produce occur in this area. It is one of the most popular reasons for people to seek coaching, and because people tend to be clearer on their "why" (pains, necessities), this area of coaching sees some of the most impressive results.
Q. What are the coaching theories and models used?
A. Integrative - Good (Auerbach), GROW, ACT Based Coaching, Motivational Interviewing, Appreciative, Transformational (Co-Active), Watai, SoC Trans-theoretical, Spiritual/Transpersonal (SQ21), EVB Behavioral Health, Solution Focused, EVB Positive Psychology, Somatic, and Cognitive Behavioral. Chris will blend in elements of consulting and his counseling background as needed.
EAP/EMPLOYEE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Q. Is my coach directly employed by an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider?
A. No. However, your coach may independently contract with an EAP provider and/or your employer to provide services.
Q. Does my LebenWell coach have professional liability insurance (PLI) and a National Provider Identification (NPI) number?
A. Yes, both PLI and NPI are in place
Q. What is Health Coaching all about?
A. Please view the definitions and video explaining Health Coaching on the Home and Health Coaching services pages of this site. You can also visit the website of the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching for further details. A free interactive online assessment, orientation, and auto-coaching sampler with immediate benefit is available through the HealthNet Readiness for Change online portal.
Q. Are services covered by insurance?
A. Though an increasing number of private health insurance and related health benefit plans offer coverage or otherwise reimburse for health coaching, it still appears to be uncommon in many places, particularly in regions where the practice of professional coaching is not yet established or unregulated. Many employers and EAPs, however, do now offer options for coaching, and clients are asked to inquire with their employer and/or insurance provider for further guidance.
Q. How long does health coaching last?
A. Though this depends on your particular health goals and the context in which pursued, generally, for wellness lifestyle and health behavior change to become durable, research and experience indicate health coaching programs for common health goals (e.g. weight management, dietary change, blood pressure and cholesterol, exercise, stress, optimal medical regimen management for various conditions) will take between three weeks to four months of coaching sessions, with the option of time interval booster sessions. The frequency of sessions are usually scheduled on a weekly, bi-monthly, or on an individualized targeted plan, with the bi-monthly plan being common in order to allow time to implement lifestyle and behavioral adjustments and benefit from successive coaching feedback.
Q. Who designed the online Health and Wellness Classes?
A. The online Health and Wellness classes have been designed by the Dr. William Sears, M.D., of the highly regarded Dr. Sears Wellness Institute (35+ years of medical practice, more than 40 bestselling books, frequent TV show guest medical and health & wellness expert), along with Sean Foy, MS, a leading exercise physiologist and behavioral health coach. Dr. Johannes, your lead LebenWell health coach, is a graduate of the institute, certified to teach the classes, and has also personally participated in and benefitted from the classes.
Q. What is the difference between Behavioral Health Coaching and Health Coaching?
A. The short answer is that there really is no substantial difference, only a matter of term recognition for different audiences, with the addition of the word "behavioral" often implying a more integrative and functional wellness approach that may add a greater relative focus on other life and lifestyle dimensions such as mental health and interpersonal functioning beyond circumscribed "physical" health concerns to the process. It also emphasizes the behavioral aspects and determiners of any type of change we want to make in our lives and the important contributions of our behaviors to our overall health, wellness, and lived experience -- conveying the message that a person can have relative degrees of agency and a positive influence to bring to bear on whatever life presents, including any type of "biomedical" condition that may have any number of co-determiners outside our direct control. For others, it is often a matter of professional preference. Health Coaching is the more common and industry standard term when the focus is more exclusively on matters of achieving circumscribed physical health goals, even though, by definition, it incorporates elements of life and lifestyle coaching.
Q. Is my LebenWell health coach an expert in all matters of health and wellness?
A. No. Your health coach is, however, an expert on the process of making and sustaining health behavior change that can be applied across any area health and wellness. Beyond additional professional qualifications and training involving counseling, health psychology/behavioral medicine, education, personal training, complementary and integrative health, your health coach specializes in behavioral health practices which can successfully be applied across a wide spectrum of health or medical concerns.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS CLASSES (Online)
Q. What is included in the online interactive Health and Wellness Classes? Is it a kind of independent study (will I be on my own with these)? How long is it? Do I really get a certificate of completion at the end? Is it useful? Who can enrol in this online course? What is it like?
A. The Health and Wellness classes are structured and interactive, meaning that you will have the opportunity to interact, ask questions, share, contribute, and participate with other class members, if you like. Though most participants tend to enjoy the interactive discussions and sharing ideas and experiences in coached "assignments" (e.g. exercises, recipes, methods and techniques), class members can freely choose their level of participation (including non-participation in discussions) without pressure or coercion. Topics and skill building are in the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Prime-Time Health L.E.A.N. program areas of Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Nutrition (your LebenWell coach and course instructor is a Master Certified Health Coach graduate of the institute and partners with it to offer you this online class). Specific topics include exercise and movement; reducing or eliminating pain and inflammation; eating well, food ingredients, meal planning, and optimal nutrition; how to take care of your health in collaboration with your doctor (primary care medical provider); stress, relaxation, and mindful wellness; having a better "waistline" and healthy body composition; understanding basic lifestyle methods of prevention, your own health promotion (how to create your own "internal medicine/pharmacy"), essentials for success on your wellness track; and some practical and easy to implement guidance healthy living that research shows can add years to your life and life to your years (longevity and quality of life). Each class program will run for 10 weeks and you will have self-paced access to your course 24 hours a day, seven days a week (though there may be occasional brief times with the system updates, cleans, or minor tweeks due to unforseen network or system glitches). There will be "homework" and even "exams" for those wishing to receive a formal certificate of completion for this course (some students use these to show their employers, some to list on their resume or use as evidence of continuing education, or some simply frame and hang on their wall in their home or office as both a reminder of a proud achievement and a perpetual cue to maintain a healthy lifestyle). Participants have reported high value, satisfaction, and benefit from this course. Besides the general public worldwide (adult English speaking), this class is also open to all levels and types of allied healthcare professionals, EAP counselors, public health, mental health, and occupational health professionals.