How does a coach build rapport and connection with their client early in the coaching relationship? What’s it like to be a client who’s starting to shift their behaviors?
This is episode 2 of our new video series, Functional Medicine Health Coaching LIVE, where Functional Medicine Coaching Academy-trained coaches help their real clients start a transformation.
This inside look at the coaching process started with a casting call to our community, looking for clients who wanted to share their coaching journey on video. And real people who were ready to finally address their chronic health challenges responded! We matched them with a coach and filmed their sessions once a week for 6-8 weeks, and we’re excited to share the resulting videos with you.
Throughout the series, you’ll see a range of coaching styles, client health challenges, and client-coach dynamics as each pair works toward better health together. It’s a realistic look at the broad range of experiences and styles you can find in Functional Medicine Health Coaching.
We’re starting the series by following coach Gina and client Amanda’s journey, who met weekly via online video conference for 6 weeks as Amanda worked through some particularly challenging life events. This episode is the second of their 6 sessions, and it’s completely unedited (other than a few tweaks for lighting and sound) to show you what health coaching is really like. (P.S. We piloted the series last spring on YouTube and Facebook Live with our Alumni Program community, so if Gina and Amanda sound familiar, you probably caught them the first time around!)
Recap of Gina + Amanda’s Progress:
In episode 1, we saw Gina start to build the coaching relationship with Amanda, get a sense of where Amanda was, and see what she wanted to work toward together. As a bit of homework, Gina invited Amanda to take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths, [link] which ranks the client’s strengths from top to bottom so that coach and client may use this information to address a variety of life challenges. Amanda took the test and reflected on the results, and filled out a Self Care Questionnaire as well.
Using these tools, Amanda is gaining insight into where she is and where she wants to be. With help from Gina to slightly reframe her outlook, Amanda has already started making small yet transformational changes…
Gina + Amanda, Session 2:
…and, thanks to those small changes, Amanda shares that in just 2 weeks she has already lost 5 pounds!
In this episode, coach and client begin to go deeper into the results of Amanda’s VIA Character Strengths results and her answers in the Self Care Questionnaire. Inspired by Amanda’s strengths, they create a plan together: start a 5 Minute Gratitude Journal where Amanda can reflect on her two daughters and other things she’s grateful for.
Follow up next Monday to see how Amanda is progressing and watch Gina coach her through her Gratitude Journal.
Interested in Functional Medicine Health Coaching?
Do you want to become a coach? Our Health Coach Certification is for you! Click here.
Interested in becoming a client? Click here to find the right coach for your needs.
About the Coaching Process
A Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) partners with individuals and groups in a client-centered process to support better health. FMCA trains our graduates to work closely with clients around all of the lifestyle factors (sleep/relaxation, exercise/movement, nutrition, stress, and relationships) that influence health. Coaching concepts like motivational interviewing, character strengths, and positive psychology enable health coaches to create the connection, trust, and rapport that facilitate lasting change. The coaching process is successful because it empowers clients to draw on internal strengths, develop self-knowledge, and embrace self-management strategies in order to make the often-challenging lifestyle changes necessary for optimal health.
A FMCHC’s solid understanding of the foundations of Functional Medicine informs their approach. They are fully trained to utilize many of the resources provided by The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), such as the Timeline, Matrix, and Food Plans. Their background in Functional Medicine, combined with their training in positive psychology coaching skills, allows coaches to understand and support clients as they implement Functional Medicine treatment plans into their lifestyles. In this way, coaches move beyond the diagnosis-prescription model to co-create and execute a plan with the client that inspires them to a path of better health. When working under the delegation of the treating practitioner, a FMCHC may be able to provide further assistance related to labs and supplements. A FMCHC does not assess, prescribe, diagnose, treat, or interpret results.