Know the Difference: Life Coaching

Yesterday we discussed the differences between Health Coaching and Wellness Coaching. Today, our focus will be on another type of coaching: Life Coaching!

Here’s what we know so far…

Health Coaching – the use of evidence-based skillful conversation, clinical strategies, and interventions to actively and safely engage clients in health behavior change to better self-manage their health, health risk(s), and acute or chronic health conditions resulting in optimal wellness, improved health outcomes, lowered health risk, and decreased health care costs (Huffman & Miller, 2015).

Wellness Coaching – a focus on prevention and continued wellness (Kreisberg, 2015); wellness coaching is guidance and inspiration provided to otherwise “healthy” individuals who desire to maintain or improve their overall general health status, which often includes smoking cessation, increased physical activity, eating well, and general weight management (Huffman, 2016).

So, what is the definition of Life Coaching?

According to Casarella (2020), Life Coaching professionals provide the drive and guidance their clients need to improve their careers, relationships, and lives. They help clients to recognize their skills and dreams, refocus their life’s goals, move past challenges that stand in the way of those goals.

Where Wellness Coaches focus specifically on physical and emotional health, Life Coaches focus on overall life goals.

The one challenge with Wellness and Life Coaching is that the “Coaches” do not necessarily have any type of degree or certification, whereas certified Health Coaches, Counselors, and Psychotherapists are credentialed. So, if you are working with a Life or Wellness Coach, you need to make sure you understand how that person is qualified to work with you and help you accomplish your goals.

We will discuss qualifications and certifications more tomorrow when we look at Counseling!


Huffman, M. (2016). Advancing the Practice of Health Coaching: Differentiation from Wellness Coaching. Workplace Health & Safety Vol. 64, No. 9, p. 400 – 403.

Huffman, M., & Miller, C. (2015). Evidence-based health coaching for healthcare providers (3rd ed.). Winchester, TN: Miller & Huffman Outcome Architects, LLC.

Kreisberg, J. (2015, September). Health coaching in a clinical setting. Retrieved from setting-thoughts-on-an-emerging-field/

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