Psychology Today – the number one mental health website in the world – would benefit from hosting a life coaching blog. This post details why, along with thoughts about the nature of such a blog.
The life coaching industry is exploding, with thousands of new coaches trained annually. It’s a popular topic that overlaps to some degree with mental health. Should the number one mental health website in the world feature a blog that addresses life coaching?
Yes. Here are five supporting reasons.
1. Most life coaches have no mental health training,
This is appropriate, as life coaches do not treat clinical mental health issues. However, the lack of mental health training could cause life coaches to inadvertently “treat” clinical mental health disorders. Therefore, life coaches need more education about how to avoid this, for their own sake and that of their clients.
2. As an unregulated industry, life coaching is susceptible to scams.
These scams involve trainers and would-be mentors who make fantastical claims surrounding the effectiveness of their life coaching techniques. There needs to be a grounding, realistic voice that represents the life coaching industry. Psychology Today would be a credible platform from which to establish this level of maturity in the coaching industry.
3. Life coaching has much to offer in the way of personal development, which is a significant online niche.
Millions of online readers are interested in personal growth and self-help. In fact 12 of the top 50 pages on Psychology Today represent non-clinical topics that could very well be covered by a life coaching blog. Given the real-world applicability of life coaching methods, readers would be sure to benefit. It’s a wise investment of online real estate.
4. Professional counseling organizations are embracing life coaching.
Given the upward trend of life coaching, some “counseling-only” organizations are adjusting to accommodate life coaching. For example, the National Board of Certified Counselors created an affiliate organization known as the Center for Credentialing and Education, which has an accreditation for life coaches called Board Certified Coach.
5. There are controversial issues to be explored.
Should life coaching be regulated, requiring state licenses and minimum training standards? Should life coaches be required to make specific disclosures to potential clients? What are life coaches qualified to do and not do?
These questions spark debates across the life coaching and mental health industries. With no end in sight, such issues should be explained clearly and subjected to mature inquiry. A blog on Psychology Today might be a hub of such interaction and perhaps even influence the direction of the life coaching field.
Objectives of a Professional Life Coaching Blog
A well-written life coaching blog might address the following:
• Trends in life coaching
• The interplay between life coaching and mental health
• Appropriate life coaching tips and methods
• Guidelines or recommendations for professional life coaching practice
• Interviews with relevant leaders in mental health and life coaching
The idea is to tackle the important industry issues to foster discussion, bring together thought leaders, and serve as a mature voice to support ethical and appropriate life coaching.
Who should write it?
This blog should be written by someone who is experienced in and sympathetic toward both industries. (Hint: Me:)
As a licensed mental health counselor, I worked in a clinical setting. On the team were other counselors, social workers, a psychiatrist, and a clinical psychologist. I’ve had first-hand experience working with clinical diagnoses, insurance companies, community support organizations, and a range of contracts with employee assistance programs.
I’ve also had many years experience in private practice as a life coach. Moreover, I have trained well over 1000 life coaches personally, according to International Coach Federation accreditation guidelines.
I’m sympathetic to both industries and believe there is room for both, provided practitioners on both sides understand and respect the clear differences.
A well-written life coaching blog would be a relevant addition to the Psychology Today line up of blogs for the reasons stated above. And there may be one more reason for Psychology Today editors to consider this option: There does not appear to be a blog on the site currently committed to exploring life coaching concerns.
Perhaps the time for such a blog has come!