The Art & Science of Personal Health Coaching

What's Health Coaching?

Health coaching , also known as wellness coaching, is the process of educating, guiding and supporting a client to achieve his or her chosen health goals, including reducing the risks of developing lifestyle-related chronic diseases.

This is accomplished through a systematic process that defines the client's motivators, leverages past achievements, optimizes mindset, healthy habit formation and behavioral changes, all of which lead to healthful, transformative and long lasting lifestyle changes.

In short, an excellent health coach experience will bring you structure, evidence-based methods, expert guidance & personalized accountability to help you achieve the health & vitality you are looking for.

Warning:
Not all "health coaches" are created equal.
Continue reading to learn more...

Is "health coach" a reliable qualification?

No, it is not.  Even the term "Certified Health Coach" doesn't have much meaning since one may not know who or what organization has 'certified' the health coach in question.

'Health Coach' is not currently a legally protected term like  "M.D." or "R.N."  This means that it may be used by anyone, irrespective of their background or training.  So consumer beware!  We recommend that you closely examine every health coach's relevant degrees, accredited qualifications and clinical experience.  If 'Health Coach' is the only qualification a practitioner offers, then you are probably better off continuing your search.

However, things look promising as a major regulatory agency, the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), has joined  the National Consortium for Credentialing Health & Wellness Coaches, and they are both working hard to establish a nationally-recognized certification.  You can be assured that we are advocating for this in order to protect the public from questionable practitioners and that we will be gaining national certification when it becomes available.

What is a properly qualified health coach?

A properly qualified health coach uses health education and guidance to facilitate lasting behavioral changes which lead to improved health.  The coach must employ evidence-based techniques, which means that their methods are grounded on behavioral science and clinical research that have been shown to effectively help people like you successfully improve their health and lifestyle.  The coach's background, experience, as well as special training in interviewing skills will determine how effective he or she is at improving your health.

Learn why Dr. Peña is a properly qualified health coach.

What is an "ACE-certified Health Coach"?

'ACE' is the American Council on Exercise and the world's leading non-profit fitness certification, education and training organization.  It is one of the most trusted authorities on fitness and provides both professionals and consumers with comprehensive, unbiased, scientific research impacting public health and fitness.  ACE promotes safe, effective exercise to the public, protecting it from unqualified fitness practitioners, as well as from unsafe and inneffective products and programs.

ACE provides the only Health Coach certification accredited by the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies), joining other rigorously reviewed credentials such as Pharmacists, Registered Nurses and Registered Dietitians.

Dr. Peña is a certified ACE Health Coach.

What is an "Clinical Health Coach"?

'Clinical Health Coaching' is accredited and professional training reserved for physicians, nurse practitioners and other select health professionals.  This recognized continuing medical education gives health professionals specialized skills grounded in evidence-based behavioral science.

Clinical health coaching is clinically proven to successfully establish healthy and sustainable behaviors that prevent disease and even reverse many of the effects of established diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

Clinical Health Coaches help their patients and clients bring about healthful and sustainable changes to their lifestyle, often times in coordination with other healthcare professionals, such as their family doctor or nurse practitioner.

Clinical Health Coaches are "Behavior Modification Specialists" and "Care Management Facilitators."  This makes them great partners in improving your health and lifestyle as well as effective liaisons working with other healthcare providers on your behalf.

Dr. Peña is a trained Clinical Health Coach.
For more information on Health/Wellness Coaching check out these articles:

WedMD, Health & Balance - "Wellness Coaching: The Latest Trend in Fitness."

Health.com - "Do You Need a Personal Health Coach?"