You are a mental health therapist, and you are asking yourself, “how do I start a successful life coaching business? I hope you find the tips in this article helpful.
I am always excited to see the number of mental health therapists integrating their expertise with life coaching. It tells me that they believe in the work that life coaches are doing, and they have seen the progress the coaching profession is making in the lives of individuals and within organizations.
The Mental Health Therapist vs. The Life Coach
Who are Mental Health Therapists? What do they do, and how are they different from Life Coaches?
Mental health therapists are licensed professionals. They often work in social services agencies, hospitals, rehabilitation, detox facilities, and other human services organizations. Licensed Mental Health therapists can work independently, i.e., in their practice or within an organization. To practice as a mental health therapist, you must have achieved a Master’s Degree in Counseling, Psychology, or Social Work. On the other hand, life coaches are individuals who work alongside their clients to get them to where they need to be. Life Coaches, unlike counselors, focus on moving their clients forward. They work on specific areas and actionable plans. These professionals do not require state license to practice their craft because the life coaching profession is presently an unregulated field and so you will see some coaches credentialed and others that are not.
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How do I Start a Successful Life Coaching Business?
How do I start a successful life coaching business alongside my counseling or therapy practice? Good question! Life coaching can be one of the areas you specialize in within your practice. As you are working on past issues with clients and helping them get past these issues in therapy, with life coaching, you can take them from a healthy place, getting them to where they want to to be in their health or personal goals.
To integrate life coaching in your therapy practice, here are a few things to do
- Becoming Certified – Although you have a background in psychology, business, and mental health, which is incredibly beneficial, it is also a good idea to obtain life coaching training and certification, preferably programs accredited by reputable organizations such as the ICF. Unfortunately, due to the coaching being unregulated, anyone can call themselves a life coach. Many of these individuals lack the proper coaching skills and techniques needed to coach their clients effectively.
- Choosing a Niche – It is always good to specialize in a specific area of life coaching. As a Mental Health Therapist, it is evident that your expertise will gear towards mental health life coaching or behavioral health coaching because mental health and counseling are the areas you are skilled in.
- Marketing Your Business Online -The most effective way to engage your clients is to go where they frequently go, mostly online. You can attract prospective clients by engaging them with relevant content through a business website. Don’t forget to provide information about your services on your site. Next, locate platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, where you can promote your business.
- Networking: As you network online, you also do the same in person. It is vital to engage in face to face interactions with your community members (i.e., networking with like-minded individuals, colleagues in the mental health field, coaching professionals, community leaders). It is also beneficial to connect with medical providers, community health practitioners, treatment facilities, private and state health agencies. Discuss your life coaching services with those interested and share how it can help people.
How do I start a successful life coaching business should no longer be a question to ask yourself anymore because you now have a few tips to help you get started with integrating your life coaching skills into your mental health practice?
Margaret K. Olubiyi
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community