Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Life coaching: Throwing money (plus your life and career) down the toilet

I caught a couple of minutes of some reality show the other night - the presenters were asking the supposedly 'expert' opinions of someone calling themselves a life coach.

HA! I thought. Because anyone can call themselves a life coach.

Too many alleged life coaches are quacks. Life coaching is an unregulated field, which means that anyone can set up in business as one. Anyone can advertise in the classifieds of a magazine or set up a glossy website and offer their services - even a college dropout or a convicted criminal.

There are some talented and credible life coaches. But make sure you check their qualifications. A psychologist should be a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) or the American Psychological Association (APA). Another mark of quality is registration with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

So don't be afraid to ask about a life coach's qualifications. And then don't take them at their word. Look their professional body up on the internet and check that they really are a member.

Either that or risk being coached by a fraud. Simple as that.