A year ago last June, I took the plunge and signed up for the first cohort of Chris Kresser’s Health Coach Training Program. It’s been a great year of learnings on many fronts, and we are about a week away from the course’s official ending.
As I reflect on the course and my own development, many thoughts and feelings come to mind:
- I realize now that I didn’t understand what coaching was. I had experienced it as a client but hadn’t a full understanding of what kinds of competencies coaches need to be good at what they do. And now that I have a better understanding, it has dawned on me that my real education started probably about 2-3 months ago, about 9-10 months into the course!
- The course was great in that it gave us a lot of information. However it was a blur of knowledge and we were shotgunned all of it to see what would stick. My retention of that knowledge was very thin, and those elements which did stick a little resonated strongly with me while other elements didn’t really resonate so much and dropped away.
- I walked in with some desire to magically be able to learn and then apply functional medicine knowledge. As I progressed through the course, I realized that functional medicine, while straightforward in a lot of ways, is also fraught with gotchas which can just as easily help someone as well as harm. The supplements that are so easily prescribed in blog posts are not to be taken lightly. Even taking mega doses of vitamin C, a seemingly benign vitamin, can have enormous consequences for someone who has a particular issue, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. This is tied strongly with scope of practice for a non-clinically trained person and I have new respect and wariness for what knowledge even experienced practitioners must have to prescribe certain things.
- I also learned that coaching is much more involved than I thought. This is where I am experiencing the most growth, where I must resolve many issues within myself that are preventing me from being an effective coach. Many of the techniques out there used by coaches do work, but they tend to have more effects in the short term and are transactional. I am now diving into more transformational coaching, which goes deeper into a person’s motivations to help make changes really stick. This why I say that my coach training really just began about 2-3 months ago.
- Related to the previous comment, I have a new viewpoint on all the habit books, techniques, and gurus out there. I’m not going to say that they totally suck, and they do work, but I am finding that they are taking a back seat to training in how to change someone’s motivation to doing something which I’m finding is having more powerful and longer lasting effects on a person’s ability to make healthy changes beyond just thinking something is a new habit that needs to be imprinted and an old habit to be abolished.
Over the years I’ve discovered a preference for putting myself in unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations. I’ve learned that I learn and grow the most when I am in these situations. This health coach course was definitely that! I’m learning a new language, which is the language of coaching and I am finding that it is very foreign. I also need to resolve certain aspects of myself in order to be an effective coach, and have engaged a coach to go through that. And I need to connect parts of my brain, heart, and gut that were disconnected up to now, to increase my ability to connect and sense. I feel that I have grown so much this year, and now I am on another journey to take that growth to another level. And thus, the course ends while I begin a new phase of my own training and development.
Postscript: Being the first cohort of any training course is always risky! There were many things that they were trying as they fine tuned the curriculum and I sent them a lot of feedback on what could work better. I am hearing they are making many changes based on the feedback us students have given them. There is so much potential here and anyone who wants to become a health coach and is a fan of functional medicine should endeavor to sign up.