You are currently working in the behavioral health field and are wondering” how can I get a certification for coaching to become a behavioral health coach? “What an excellent question!” I hope that this article will be able to steer you in the right direction.
What is Coaching?
The ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. In coaching, we see the clients as the experts on their own lives and the coach’s job is to listen, make observations, ask powerful questions. There are different types of coaching which include personal or life coaching and behavioral health coaching is a niche of life coaching.
Behavioral Health Coaching vs Behavioral Health Therapy
Although there are differences between behavioral health coaching and behavioral therapy, these two professions do work side by side to help bring restoration, healing, and fulfillment to their clients.
1. Behavioral Health Coaching is a niche within the coaching field that often emphasizes on therapy but never attempt to diagnose or treat individuals with mental or behavioral health issues. Behavioral Health Therapy, on the other hand, works with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression and other disorders like substance use. The focus of therapy is to address the mental health issues, harmful behaviors and find out ways to alter them.
2. Behavioral Health Coaching does not require coaches to obtain a college degree since it’s still an unregulated field, but a certification in health coaching or life coaching with a recognized coaching credential agency is highly encouraged. However, you will find several behavioral health coaches with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in psychology or social work. Also, in some organizations, previous experience working in the field of counseling or behavioral health might be required. To become a behavioral health therapist, on the other hand, a four-year bachelor’s degree in psychology, education or other related field is mandatory followed by a master’s degree program.
3. Behavioral Health Coaching uses the principles of positive psychology, philosophy, motivational interviewing, and goal setting to assist clients in altering their actions, reactions, and behavioral patterns. In behavioral therapy, the professionals are trained to use interventions that focus on past traumas to improve self-destructive habits, repair and develop relationships. “Behavioral health treatments are ways of helping people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders. For example, counseling and more specialized psychotherapies seek to change behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and how people see and understand situations.” says the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Certification For Coaching: The Requirements
Each credentialing agency or organization provides its own requirements. Therefore, depending on which one you choose, it is going to vary. I will encourage you to inevitably go with recognized training and credentialing organizations to obtain your certification for coaching in behavioral health.
International Coach Federation
The International Coach Federation’s (ICF) offers three coaching credentials:
the 60+-hours Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
the 125+-hours Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and
the 200+ hours Master Certified Coach (MCC) credentials.
For more information on the ICF’s certification for coaching credentials, visit their website https://coachfederation.org/icf-credential
Center for Credentialing and Education
The Center for Credentialing and Education offers the Board-Certified Coach credential, primarily for those who hold a graduate degree in the social and behavioral sciences.
For those with a doctorate degree (MD, PsyD, Ph.D., etc.) or a master’s degree in counseling, you can obtain your BCC with as few as 30 hours of coursework.
Those with a Master’s in the other social and behavioral sciences (education, psychology, social work, business, etc.) would complete 60 hours of coach training to qualify for the BCC.
For those with a bachelor’s degree, the BCC requires 120 hours of coach training from a CCE approved program.
BCC application and examination fee: $279
For more information on certification, navigate their website at https://www.cce-global.org/credentialing/bcc
The job outlook for behavioral health coaches is great. The demand for more mental and behavioral health professionals is on the rise and financial compensation is quite rewarding. Now is a pivotal time to jump in and pursue a career in behavioral health coaching. Check out training providers that offer ICF Certification in Coaching and begin looking forward to a rewarding and fulfilling career.
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“Margaret K. Olubiyi
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community”