The most common complaint that seems to float around about standard medicine is that doctors simply don’t have the time. They ask a few key questions during their consultation, check their watches, scribble something into your chart and bam, they’re out the door. You’ve gotten all of seven minutes of someone’s attention and there’s no way they understand the root of the problem. However, for that seven-minute inquisition you just may walk out with a handful of prescriptions, each tailored to treat a specific problem. (You’ll find that it’s up to you to determine whether any additional problems that crop up are related to the medications, and undoubtedly there are more prescriptions to be had to control THOSE problems!) Most doctors don’t have time to get to the root of the problem, and aren’t actually trained to do so. While most have studied medicine with the intent of helping to heal, most find that they’re trained to diagnose and treat with a medication, not to identify and eliminate the root cause. This results in frustration for the client and for the doctor, and explains a lot about our overburdened medical system.
So perhaps you have a treatment plan from your doctor, conventional, functional or even naturopath. Perhaps you just want to make some changes because you’re no longer feeling your best. You can’t lose that last ten pounds. Your joints ache. You’re noticing the creep of brain fog and you know you need to do something–and fast.
When I tell people that health coaching is strong on psychology without being therapy, they’re confused. It’s easier to fall into that role of therapist-and-patient for most people, and putting a client in the driver’s seat is often a little unsettling (for them) at first. However, if you give a moment’s thought to the behavioral changes you might want to make (better diet, consistent exercise, stress management techniques, improving your sleep, etc.), chances are pretty good that you already know most of the answers. You know what you want and what you don’t want. You know what has worked in the past and you understand the things that need to change in order to find success.
A health coach helps you to work through those things, figuring out what’s most effective, making suggestions (only with your permission) when you’re well and truly stuck, and championing your efforts. They’re able to see your goals from a different perspective, since it’s not their own investment. They’ll support you, but they can help you break down what seems like an insurmountable task into smaller, manageable and achievable goals so that you can start nailing down successes. Having that someone in your corner makes a world of difference, because an accountability partner will support you and your efforts and help to keep you on track without judgment.
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