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goldberry

Would You See a Marriage/Relationship Life Coach?

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In my ongoing "what to do with my life" quest...  I originally wanted to be a counselor, specializing in marraige/relationships.  That's no longer an option, but I still really wish I could do this and feel I would be good at it.  A friend is doing some workshops to become a "life coach".  There are also some courses specializing in marraige/relationships.  I'm wondering if this is a route that would be worthwhile.  I'm not looking for full time income.

Would you see a marraige/relationship life coach with life coach certifications but no counseling degree?  I also have been happily married 32 years.

EDITING TO ADD, FOR CLARIFICATION:

I don't ever perceive that getting a life/marriage coach cert would be similar in any way to being qualified for full level counseling, and I didn't mean to imply that.  That would be offensive to those who studied for years to accomplish that.  I was thinking more of "what could I do that would be useful in the area that I enjoy?"  Basic communication skills, pre-marriage counseling, questionnaires and discussion/application, etc...  

Edited by goldberry

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I wouldn’t, but I’m naturally skeptical towards life coaches. All the ones I’ve met are my age and couldn’t get their own s$?! together, so they ditched their career and became life coaches to people with lives only slightly more chaotic than theirs. It has not left me with a postive opinion towards the group as a whole. That being said, people are hiring them, so maybe I’m alone in my skepticism. 

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I know.... I see and hear about life coaches, but wonder if they actually get work.  I do have a reputation as having a marraige/relationship people are envious of.  I wonder if that would help, establishing through referrals, etc.

Edited by goldberry

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I would not but I have a friend who has PhD in psychology and she does classes for couples and communication

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5 minutes ago, lynn said:

I would not but I have a friend who has PhD in psychology and she does classes for couples and communication

So she's not a licensed counselor, but does classes instead?

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You have to look at your area for what people are willing to pay for.

I saw someone twice a month for eight months through a local ministry that was technically a life coach focused on helping women in troubled relationships, and she was excellent. They operated on just donations, and suggestion of $90/session. It was a stretch, but there was only once that I didn't pay that. She's now off on her own, and I've recommended her to a number of people. She had a program that we worked through with a lot of homework and goal-setting.

Our insurance covers mental health for $15/session. We've gone that way too.

I would say that both were good in different ways. The life coach was more structured, but the therapist had a lot more experience and detailed knowledge.

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17 minutes ago, goldberry said:

Would you see a marriage/relationship life coach with life coach certifications but no counseling degree?  

 

My husband’s employee benefits includes marriage counseling but I have no idea what are the credentials required to submit a claim. It’s not under medical insurance but under employee benefits and includes divorcee as well.

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I would figure that a life coach would charge much less than an actual therapist. I wouldn't want to work for free, but since I would be doing it in addition to other things, I wouldn't need to make a ton.  Don't "pastoral counselors" come under different requirements as well?

I would not expect insurance benefits to pay for life coaching.

Edited, I'm reading that accredited pastoral counselors also have to have a masters, which is part of my holdup.  

 

Edited by goldberry

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Every single person I know who has become a life coach is a hot mess wackado. I’m SURE that there MUST be some really good people doing it, but the profession attracts so many crazies that I’d be afraid to waste my time and money. 

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2 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Every single person I know who has become a life coach is a hot mess wackado. I’m SURE that there MUST be some really good people doing it, but the profession attracts so many crazies that I’d be afraid to waste my time and money. 

 

???

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no - I wouldn't see a counselor of any kind with only a lcsw, or mft either.

I do send my asd kiddie to a counselor who only has a MS in pysch, working on his doc, but also does the types of therapy he needs.  (which was really had to find one who did those even with a doc, let alone had an open slot.)

Edited by gardenmom5

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I might, if I already knew them and felt they were wise/compatible/capable.

I have hired a business coach for a couple of sessions and found it very helpful, but I had a tightly defined issue I wanted to resolve and so I had kind of done my homework before going in, plus she was a licensed therapist building up a different kind of practice, and so it was easier for her to move between modalities.  I'm not sure that a life coach would work as well for me, since they tend to be fairly wholeistic.  I did a free 'exploratory' session with one once, and I benefited from it enough to feel like that kind of coaching could have some value, but the cost was so high that I declined.  Ditto for a health coach.  I have also known 3 other health coaches and two other life coaches and while they were not hot messes, they were inexperienced enough that I didn't feel drawn to any of them.  My impression of the health coaches was that they were particularly unhelpful--their stance was that you know what you need to do; you just need help clarifying that for yourself.  Whereas in the area of health I would much rather get specific 'here are some things you may not have thought of, and here is where to go for them' type help.  

Plus I don't really want an 'accountability' partner.  At all.  I don't care to pay someone to nag me.  So that part of it has no value for me whatsoever.

Most of all, in general I feel like the coaching professions that are popping up all over the place now are mostly for those who don't want to get licensed and be accountable in a professional way to provide therapy, financial planning, or exercise/medical/movement expertise.  I'd rather, generally, get that primary expertise.  YMMV

 

 

 

 

 

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I would not, but I would see a licensed therapist for either or both. 

Whenever I hear "life coach" I think of Bonnie Plunkett from the tv show Mom:

 

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

 

My husband’s employee benefits includes marriage counseling but I have no idea what are the credentials required to submit a claim. It’s not under medical insurance but under employee benefits and includes divorcee as well.

Wow, I think that's great!

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I would see a licensed counselor or therapist with a psychology degree if I had a mental health issue or serious relationship problems.

I would not see a "life coach" because that designation is not regulated.

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The only person I know who hired a life coach found her because she was also a reflexologist. He was going to her for foot massages and then hired her as a life coach. She was in her 30's, he was in his 60's and newly retired and divorced. I always suspected "life coach" was the cover she used for prostitution, but I have no proof.  So no, I wouldn't hire a life coach.

Why are you ruling out becoming a therapist? One of my siblings went back to school as an adult to become a marriage and family therapist. It may have taken a few more years, but it was definitely worth it.

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Where I live, life coaches are either business coaches or big on crystals and stuff. Neither are of interest to me. If there was one that seemed practical, I might have gone along to have a stickybeak at one point in my life, because I've btdt with marriage counselling before and it presented a short term solution that worsened the long term problem. Also, therapists are obliged to conform to best practice, even if that hurts the client, and I'm usually too quirky for best practice to fit me. I think life coaches could be quirky people who minister (for want of a better word) to other quirky people, who have also fallen through the cracks. 

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No. It's as unregulated a business as counselling is here. I prefer psychologists, who are registered. I know they've been through 6 years of training and supervision.

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Nope. Someone was just telling me the other day about a life coach MLM pyramid scheme thing that is apparently popular around here now. The people who have bought into it and are calling themselves life coaches are, um...not people I would take advice from on anything.

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Many life coaches have years of experience as counsellors or psychologists and prefer to practice as life coaches because it allows them to be more practical. Best practice and professional standards are a good thing, until they become stifling or destructive.

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5 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

Every single person I know who has become a life coach is a hot mess wackado. I’m SURE that there MUST be some really good people doing it, but the profession attracts so many crazies that I’d be afraid to waste my time and money. 


This has been my experience too.  Why someone would want to hire someone else to tell them how to live a better life whose own life is a hot mess, I have no idea.  I've also seen some where their method of telling you how to improve your life centers on tarot card readings.  I hadn't realized that 'life coach' could be the same thing as 'fortune teller'.

OTOH, a life coach with a stable, happy life and marriage appears from the responses here to be a novelty.  Could be a niche!

Edited by Matryoshka
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I would want someone who had training of some kind that would allow them to understand and help a troubled marriage. Having a great marriage is wonderful  but isn’t something that someone can guarantee with a step by step approach. 

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This thread is so timely because Dh and I ran into the mom of one of dh's friends from childhood. This guy has always been an intelligent and nice person, but his life has been a bit of a train wreck and definitely not what we'd like to emulate. His mom gushed that he had changed for the better and is now a Life Coach. Riiight...

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I would not.  The only “coach” I would/have seen is a career coach.  The career coaches I know are well educated and usually have master’s degrees.  

I know a lot of women who finish their MSWs in their 40s and start working as LCSWs.  I’d consider that over a coaching seminar.  

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8 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

My husband’s employee benefits includes marriage counseling but I have no idea what are the credentials required to submit a claim. It’s not under medical insurance but under employee benefits and includes divorcee as well.

 

Generally they require the graduate degrees, either a LPC, LMFT, or PhD. Our insurance won't pay for a clinical social worker, and not for a life coach.

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9 hours ago, goldberry said:

So she's not a licensed counselor, but does classes instead?

 

If she has a PhD she has top credentials. The doctorate sometimes erases the need for licensing in some states.

 

Edited by Liz CA
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Nope. I would not pay someone for advice who had a couple of seminars and a great marriage as credentials.  I don't pay for the type of advice I could read in a book.  Some people are gifted in the give/take of a counseling/mentor relationship and are just naturals at helping people strive for positive change.  These people are often the teacher in school, who so many students feel influenced their lives. Or a coach that really encouraged them.  Maybe that is you?   For me, I wouldn't pay for the teacher or coach to just 'encourage' me or my kid for an hour a week; they are paid for their instruction/coaching and the mentor relationship is a bonus.  I feel the same for me.  I don't need to pay someone to encourage me or tell me what to do.  

 

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Thank you for all the responses, folks!  I was curious about the perception out there.  And yes, I have known some whackadoo life coaches myself!

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2 hours ago, goldberry said:

Thank you for all the responses, folks!  I was curious about the perception out there.  And yes, I have known some whackadoo life coaches myself!

It’s becoming almost MLMish around here. There are group parties where you make “vision boards.” From what I can gather, it’s the scrapbooking of to-do lists. 

ETA: I think the real money is in training aspiring life coaches. ?

Edited by KungFuPanda
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16 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

It’s becoming almost MLMish around here. There are group parties where you make “vision boards.” From what I can gather, it’s the scrapbooking of to-do lists. 

ETA: I think the real money is in training aspiring life coaches. ?

Crazy training crazy is a horrifying idea. That cap will never get back on. But I totally agree that is what seems to be happening here too. Shudder. 

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I did some marriage counseling at the Clinical Psych Masters level before going back for my PhD. I dealt with some very unhealthy people, and I knew I was in over my head. I have a happy, healthy marriage too, and you couldn’t pay me enough to go back to that work.

I used to think having a happy marriage meant I had some wisdom on the subject. I have since decided that all it means is I know how to make it work well between me and the particular person I married. It doesn’t give anyone the skills to handle the complex dysfunction that can occur out there. Even being able to recognize that dysfunction takes some training. Teaching some broad relationship skills is one thing, and I think there is certainly a place for that. Helping individual couples with their often complicated issues is another.

I wouldn’t suggest anyone go to a life coach for things beyond figuring out a career, time management stuff, and maybe some motivation stuff. Marriage counseling, done well, is tough. It was my least favorite type of therapy for good reason, IMO.

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I wouldn't see an unlicensed person for anything marriage counseling or personal issues because I would be worried about privacy. They may know enough to not discuss their cases with anyone, but are they thinking about keeping their notes secure? Their computer files and emails? 

I did five sessions of job coaching over the phone through our insurance because it was free plus earned points on their very annoying system. It was helpful in the sense that it forced me to stop and think about it during each session, and I'd always do at least one thing on the list before the next session so I wouldn't feel stupid, lol. It was definitely more of a "think about it and have accountability" thing rather than him having specialized knowledge (the coaches do all kinds of things, we could have talked about getting the house organized or losing weight). 

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I don't think having a healthy marriage qualifies a person to give advice to those with difficult marriages.

I guarantee if you and your spouse were dealing with the mental health challenges that have plagued my marriage you would struggle just as we have struggled.

And I also guarantee that I know more about managing the challenges of my marriage than someone who has a nice high quality marriage relationship does.

I am very grateful to the few excellent counselors we have been fortunate to work with. Even among fully credentialed counselors there are plenty of poor ones. I am afraid that someone without extensive professional background attempting marriage counseling could do a lot of harm.

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On 10/2/2018 at 11:38 AM, goldberry said:

Thank you for all the responses, folks!  I was curious about the perception out there.  And yes, I have known some whackadoo life coaches myself!

It really is a shame, overall.
I studied and studied and studied for certifications in personal training and nutrition, because I love that stuff.  It wasn't college degree level, but it also wasn't MLM-type, sell stuff/post pics/call yourself a coach level.  It's a long standing, nationally recognized/accredited certification process that allows (or doesn't) the use of certain letters after your name.  But, because everyone and their mother (often literally!) is now a "coach", there's zero market for me.  I actually wound up not bothering to take the proctored CPT exam because of it.  WIth the online exam, I can say that I have a certificate in personal training, but I cannot call myself a Certified Personal Trainer. Not that anyone but me really cares!

Anyway, my point is just that "coaching" has ruined standards of care in many areas and I wouldn't "go there" unless I had absolutely no other option.  It does suck for the people who are/would be excellent coaches.

I still continue to study various things, knowing that they don't have much, if any, monetary reward.  If it's feasible (financially and time-wise), keep learning!  I just landed an important volunteer position based on free courses I've been taking in another area.  Another volunteer position is kind of the last thing I need, lol, but it's interesting and challenging, so what the heck!

 

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On 10/2/2018 at 1:22 PM, KungFuPanda said:

 There are group parties where you make “vision boards.” From what I can gather, it’s the scrapbooking of to-do lists. ?

The bolded is not quite accurate. It's more about identifying focus areas and visualizing goals. Vision boards can be a wonderful tool because they help a person clarify what they want to achieve, and then remind the person so they don't lose sight of their goals. And doing them in a group is simply fun.

But you don't need a life coach to do one, and they are not a substitute for therapy or counseling.

Edited by regentrude
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9 hours ago, maize said:

I don't think having a healthy marriage qualifies a person to give advice to those with difficult marriages.

I guarantee if you and your spouse were dealing with the mental health challenges that have plagued my marriage you would struggle just as we have struggled.

And I also guarantee that I know more about managing the challenges of my marriage than someone who has a nice high quality marriage relationship does.

I am very grateful to the few excellent counselors we have been fortunate to work with. Even among fully credentialed counselors there are plenty of poor ones. I am afraid that someone without extensive professional background attempting marriage counseling could do a lot of harm.

 

I agree of course that just a good marriage doesn't mean much.  I have done a lot of studying and continue to, and would continue to, just because it's kind of my thing!  Also, I know when I am out of my depth and would not try to help serious mental health issues, more communication skills, etc.  My point about the marriage was that I have a reputation among those I know that might help when it comes to getting clients and not seem so "whackadoo".

I don't ever perceive that getting a life/marriage coach cert would be similar in any way to being qualified for full level counseling, and I didn't mean to imply that.  That would be offensive to those who studied for years to accomplish that.  I was thinking more of "what could I do that would be useful in the area that I enjoy?"  Basic communication, pre-marriage counseling, questionnaires and discussion/application, etc...

Edited by goldberry

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Have you thought of joining one of those websites where people are volunteer listeners? 

Maybe if you did that it can feed the "helper" part of your soul while your other paid job can be there for your financial needs.

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2 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

Have you thought of joining one of those websites where people are volunteer listeners? 

Maybe if you did that it can feed the "helper" part of your soul while your other paid job can be there for your financial needs.

I actually have thought of that!  I think I would enjoy it!  But financial needs ARE an issue, so I'm just trying to brainstorm all possibilities.

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