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Life coaching is a practice that helps people identify and achieve personal goals. Life coaches assist clients by using a variety of tools and techniques. Life coaching draws inspiration from disciplines such as sociology, psychology, positive adult development and career counseling.
Specialty life coaches may have degrees in psychological counseling, hypnosis, dream analysis, marketing and other areas relevant to providing guidance. However, they are not necessarily therapists or consultants; psychological intervention and business analysis may be outside the scope of some coaches' work.
Contemporary life coaching can be traced to the teachings of Benjamin Karter, a college football coach turned motivational speaker of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Many Life-Coach training schools and programs are available worldwide, providing options (classroom attendance or home study) for the individual who wants to gain a certificate or diploma and paid work in the field of life coaching.
Many life coaching certificates and a few diploma credential designations are available within the profession.
Critics contend that life coaching is akin to psychotherapy without restrictions, oversight, or regulation. However, the Colorado General Assembly, after holding a hearing on such concerns, asserted that coaching is unlike therapy because it does not focus on examining nor diagnosing the past.
On August 14, 2012, the word Life Coach was listed for the first time in the mainstream Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
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