Health vs. Wellness Coaching: 50/50 Partnership

Traditional health teaching involves a clinician/practitioner directing information “at” a patient. Telling them what to do, informing them of risks if they don’t follow directions, and expecting them to continue the process on their own.

Health Coaching offers a 50/50 partnership between the provider and the patient. This approach allows the focus to be on the patient instead of the information. It allows the patient to set the agenda, rather than the provider. It addresses the patient’s ambivalence or resistance to change, helps the patient identify support systems, and it engages the patient in his or her own care process.

In order for an active partnership to be achieved, providers can enlist client participation using various methods including:

  • Establishing an open and friendly atmosphere
  • Determining the patient’s priorities and concerns
  • Being an active listener
  • Including the client/caregiver in decisions about the treatment plan

From there, clients have to truly be active partners by doing four things:

  1. Accept an active role in self-management
  2. Collaborate with providers in decision-making
  3. Help identify realistic treatment goals
  4. Assume responsibility for agreed-upon health behaviors

From here, the 50/50 partnership can flourish and the patient will be engaged in his or her own treatment process.

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