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 You are here: Special Group in Coaching Psychology > Publications > International Coaching Psychology Review > The self-presentation of commercial Australian life [...]

Anthony M. Grant & Blythe O'Hara

Objectives: The study had four major objectives: (1) to identify the types of qualifications,certifications and accreditations offered by Australian life coaching schools; (2) to provide an overview of the advertised content and cost of life coach training courses; (3) to identify how life coaching schools differentiate between life coaching and mental health treatment; and (4) to explore the marketing statements made about courses, schools, owners and trainers.
Design: This study employed a qualitative research design in which information on Australian life coaching school’s were drawn from their websites. Emergent themes were coded and analyses conducted on the basis of those themes.
Methods: Following an internet search, the emergence of broad categories and themes related to the aims of the study were documented, leading to the identification of a group of core categories and a final process of comparison between schools.
Results: Of the 14 Australian life coaching schools identified, six claimed to be International Coach Federation accredited and five offered courses under the Australian Qualifications Framework. Cost for courses varied between A$1070 and A$9990. Nine of the 14 schools made no explicit distinction between life coaching and treatment for mental health issues, and one school stated that life coaching could be used to deal with anxiety-related problems. Self-promotional statements about teachers and owners varied greatly from claims of university affiliations to prior experience as a cordon bleu chef. The claims made as to the earning potential of life coaches were not unrealistic.
Conclusions: In general, the self-promotional statements of the Australian life coach training industry were flamboyant but only a few were considered outrageous. Recommendations made include that schools become Registered Training Organisations, that students check the claimed accreditations, academic affiliations of schools, and validity of qualifications and credentialing, and that schools make explicit the distinctions and boundaries between mental health treatment and life coaching.

Keywords: Life coaching, coach training, evidence-based coaching.

Full article: Volume 1, Issue 2 pages 21 - 33


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