Many people know that licensed mental health, Therapy/Counseling, has been a occupation for a long time but that “life” Coaching has not. Therapy is a profession defined and regulated by state statute. Coaching has not been widely defined or regulated either as an occupation or a profession. (Check your area for any information that may apply.)
Except in sports, being a “coach” was not even recognized as an “occupation or a job title” until about 20 years ago. Still today, nearly anyone can offer “coaching services. There are no clear regulations across the board. Yet, as a “skill set”, life coaching (commonly referred to as personal or business coaching) has been practiced for several decades within certain professions---especially business, education, and mental health. Many consider mentoring to be a form of coaching. The knowledge and skills for expert coaching have long been a part of the graduate and undergrad programs for professions---but not labeled as “coaching”. (This has changed now.) Professionals who offer coaching are often found within the ranks of these three professions---but they may not call themselves “coaches”.
Others, who are not academically trained in coaching skills, may identify themselves as coaches because they are “Subject Matter Experts” (SMEs). For example, a Yoga instructor as a SME, may offer services as a “relaxation coach”. Still others, without any documented training, may hang up a “coaching shingle” because they believe they have something to offer, often from their own experience. Consumers need to practice due diligence in selecting a coach .