After a recent conversation with a friend, I have come to understand the value of knowing that the person you are dealing with actually does have formalized training. With that in mind, below I share some of the credentials I’ve acquired thus far. At the end of the list, you’ll find my thoughts on the profession of Life Coaching, specifically Life Coach training and what is most important to look for in a coach.

Registered ICF Mentor Coach 2015

Master Certified Life & Leadership Coach 2015

Professional Certified Coach (ICF PCC credential) 2014

Certified Human Potential Assessment Coach 2014

Certified Inspired Learning Facilitator 2012

Ordained Minister 2010

A.A. Psychology, Summa Cum Laude 2009

Certified Life Coach 2008

Certified Personal Trainer 2008

Certified Hypnotherapist 2003

Registered Facial Specialist 2001 FL Lic FB0720610

Certified Reflexologist 1998

Certified Massage Therapist 1989 Florida License MA11134 (est. 1991)

I have always been incredibly lucky (really, Guyded) when choosing training. When I became a Reflexologist in 1998, I had no idea that the school I chose was the founding institution for modern Reflexology. In order to receive my Reflexology certification, I had to attend 100 hours of live training and document 100 hours of practice. Compare that to my Hot Stone Massage Certification (notice it’s not listed above) that required me to watch videos and turn in signatures from three people saying I had performed Hot Stone Massage on them. There are certifications that mean something, and there are certifications that aren’t worth wasting paper for printing.

Life Coaching certification is no different. There are people who innocently tout “Certified Life Coach” as their title, because they’ve watched 20 hours worth of videos from someone who put together a training program. That’s a big difference from the ICF minimum standard for Life Coaching: 60 hours of training (either an approved institution, or with robust documentation), 10 hours of mentor coaching (a mentor coach has listened to the coach candidate with clients and has coached the candidate on their coaching), 100 hours of demonstrated coaching (at least 75 hours compensated to demonstrate professional capacity), and successful completion of the ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment (I’ve taken it. It’s not regurgitation of information; the coach must truly understand coaching to pass that beast). Note, this is the minimum, and if the coach was not trained by an approved institution, they must also pass a performance evaluation (evaluation of actual audio recording and written transcript of a coaching session). ICF (International Coach Federation) credentials are something to be proud of. I earned the PCC (Professional Certified Coach) designation when it required the same criteria as above with an additional 65 hours of training (same standards as above) plus an additional 650 hours of documented coaching. They have since lowered the standard to 500 hours of coaching if specific criteria are met.

I’m proud to say that I’ve already completed the 200 hours of training required to apply for the ICF MCC (Master Certified Coach) and have logged the required 2,500+ hours of professional coaching experience. The performance evaluation is mandatory at this level and requires submission of two coaching calls with transcripts. If you see MCC after a coach’s name, they have achieved the Gold Standard of coaching. There are only 747 MCCs in the world as of June 2016. That is 4% of ICF credentialed coaches, and the top 1% of coaches in the world. It is truly an elite group. My application will be submitted by Fall of 2017.

As I said, I was lucky (Guyded) to have started with an ICF approved school in the first place. I didn’t know anything about the profession of coaching when I embarked on this path, yet I found myself at Coach for Life, the original spiritually-based, accredited coach training organization. I had no idea that co-founder of Coach for Life, Peter J. Reding, was also one of the founding members of the Association for Coach Training Organizations (ACTO). I’m fortunate to have him as my mentor. I’m blessed to claim him as my spiritual father. I’ve been honored to serve as a training facilitator for Coach for Life since 2014. Yes, I train life coaches for an elite school. I know a bit about coach training. As with any knowledge base, the more I know, the more I know that there is to know. It’s humbling.

Take from it what you will on the value of certification.

Of course, certifications don’t tell the whole story for anyone. My training in healing the human body, mind, emotions, and spirit began in 1977 as a massage apprentice to my paternal aunt, Alix Marley. I was trained in Energetic Bodywork by a Shaman in ’80’s and received a huge amount of one-on-one training in herbal supplements and nutritional support while working for a Nutritional Counselor in the ’90’s. I’m a multi-sensory Mystic, which informs and facilitates all of the healing work that I do. I look forward to using all of my areas of expertise to help you on your journey to ultimate awareness and well-being!

And, if I’m not the right coach for you, I would be honored to help you find the coach that is. According to several studies on the efficacy of Life Coaching, the number one predictive factor in coaching success is the rapport of the coach and client. Beyond training, beyond experience, beyond number of hours invested, cost, and everything else, the most important factor in hiring a coach is to find the one that feels “right” to you.


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