Happy Veteran’s Day!
I know it was technically yesterday, but today is the celebrated holiday for those that actually get to celebrate by not having work, which I think is almost no one. P, of course, is one of them. I am so proud of my sailor!
I got a question about my health coaching – how I get clients, how I run my practice. etc. I know some of you are either enrolled in Integrative Nutrition or are curious about it, so I’ll explain a bit.
First, to learn more about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, read my 411 on Integrative Nutrition.
Graduates of IIN are often the subject of controversy, much in part due to a misunderstanding about what we do. We are NOT doctors, nutritionists, or therapists, nor do we think or tell people that we are. And because IIN can describe it much more eloquently than I, “A Health Coach is a wellness authority and supportive mentor who motivates individuals to cultivate positive health choices. Health Coaches educate and support clients to achieve their health goals through lifestyle and behavior adjustments.”
I currently health coach part time, since I have a full-time job in advertising. I primarily see individual clients, but also have run a group program which I would love to do again. Right now I have three clients, and find that that is the most I can manage while working full-time. While I absolutely adore coaching, I also enjoy having some evenings free!
Here’s how the process works for me:
1. Getting Clients
I don’t do much marketing, as my blog generates a fair amount of emails and questions. When I get an email asking about my health coaching, I send the potential client a “Health History” form to fill out and send back to me. This form as questions about their age, weight, eating habits, exercise habits, goals, etc. It really just gives me a better idea about them and what they need help with. We then set up a time to go over the form on the phone. This is a free consultation where they see what it would be like to work with me and what I can help them with.
2. Program Options
My programs are completely customizable. The most common is a one month program where we talk for one hour each week. Sometimes people prefer every other week and sometimes they want to sign up for longer than one month. It’s totally up to the client and their needs. I charge by the month, but also offer single sessions for those that don’t want a full program.
3. Program Components
Each client gets a welcome package that includes some of my favorite snack bars and health supplements. It also includes some informational handouts and a program agreement to sign.
What each session consists of varies based on the client’s needs. Often we discuss current challenges and how to overcome them, healthy meal ideas, and goals to work towards. I help them figure out which foods make them feel their best, what areas of their lives are causing stress, and how to create a meal plan that leaves them satisfied and properly nourished. I spend time answering questions, but also asking questions that make the clients think. It’s important to remember that I am not doing any of the work! It is up to the client to put forth the effort and make changes. I am just there for support and encouragement.
At the end of the program we will go over the progress made and discuss if it makes sense to continue working together. Many sign up for more sessions, but some have gained the knowledge they need and are ready to work on their own.
4. My Target Market
I do the most work with girls that are suffering from eating disorders or emotional eating. My clients are usually between 18 and 30. I find that I am most passionate in these areas due to my own experiences, and that my clients appreciate that I can relate to what they are going through.
Other questions I commonly get about IIN:
1. What does IIN cost? I’m actually not 100% sure since things have changed since I enrolled. I’m happy to guestimate in a private email, but the accurate answer will need to come from an admissions counselor. They are super easy and friendly to reach over the phone.
2. Can you make a career out of it? Yes absolutely. Plenty of people have and are. However it won’t be easy, because no successful career is easy. It takes lots of commitment, hard work, passion, and courage. Holistic health, while up and coming, is still not widely accepted or recognized so there may be lots of rejections. It’s important to remember that we only want to work with people that want to work with us. Health coaches are doing amazing things.
3. How can I get a scholarship? IIN offers scholarships at various times throughout the year. I am not made aware ahead of time, but when I find out about one I post it on my blog! I’d suggest following other IIN grads and especially IIN itself on Twitter (@nutritionschool) to keep up to date.
4. How long does the program take? It takes about 11 months to complete the Health Coach Training Program. There are 40 “modules”, which are sets of lectures. One new module is released each week, with a few off weeks for Holidays etc. There is a test every 10 modules. There is lots of flexibility in that if you are too busy one week you can wait and do it later, so long as you are prepared for the tests. What you cannot do is work ahead – you won’t have access the modules until they are released. This is great because that way all of your classmates are on roughly the same schedule and can talk, ask questions, and study together.
5. When can I start? New classes start multiple times per year. I’m not exactly sure of the months and dates, but an admissions counselor will know. I started in May 2011 and finished in April 2012. I then continued with the free follow-up program, Immersion, that is designed to help you start and grow your health coaching business. it took about 4 months to complete.
Hope that was helpful!