What Is Health Coaching?

What Is Integrative Health Coaching?

Integrative Health Coaching is a partnership between the client and coach, where we take your goals and vision for your optimal health and work together to find practical ways to get you there.

We work together to determine the change you want to make and why it is important to you. Then, we set up specific, measurable steps you want to take to get there. While you implement these changes in your life, I am there to support you and guide you through the process of behavior change. I am there to help you navigate challenges and celebrate your successes. 

Health coaching is a client-driven process that is tailored to you, your life and your values. My goal is to empower you to reach your optimal health through specific lifestyle changes.

Who Is Coaching For?

Health Coaching is for anyone who wants to make lifestyle changes to improve their health, set a goal and work towards it. More specifically, it can be a great option for:


  • Anyone whose health care provider prescribed a change in diet, exercise, stress, etc.;

  • Anyone wanting to prevent chronic disease (in general, or one that runs in the family);

  • Anyone living with chronic diseases like cancer or autoimmunity; 

  • Anyone who has had a recent health scare and feels called to act; and

  • Anyone who just wants to be healthier.


For example, if your health care provider tells you that you need to change your diet, get more exercise and reduce stress in order to manage or prevent a chronic illness, I can help you with that. Those changes sound great and make a lot of sense when you are in the doctor’s office. However, when you get home and need to deal with real life, those changes can seem like too much to add to your plate. Or, you might just not know how to get started. I can coach you through setting more specific goals for following your doctor’s orders, and help you to trouble-shoot when your other obligations get in the way. 


Health coaching can also help you if you don’t necessarily have a health provider’s prescription for lifestyle changes, but you feel like there are improvements you should be making. You may just be having a hard time sticking to that New Year’s Resolution to eat more vegetables or get more sleep.

How Does It Work?

I will give you a Personal Health Inventory to complete on your own. This inventory provides you the opportunity to take stock of where you are in your life and health compared to where you would like to be. The inventory was created at Duke Integrative Health and relates to the following areas of your life:


  • Movement, exercise and rest;

  • Nutrition;

  • Personal and professional development;

  • Physical environment;

  • Relationships and communication;

  • Spirituality; and

  • Mind-Body connection.


We will work on setting goal(s) and determining specific steps to assist you in reaching those goals. We will also discuss potential roadblocks that you may face during implementation. We will create plans for working around these challenges. We will also work on getting you back on track in the event that life events get in the way.


If you need more resources in order to determine specifics about exactly what you should be doing to reach your goal, we can discuss where you can go to get more information. This could entail research or seeing a health or wellness provider (i.e., doctor, naturopath, therapist, dietician, trainer, etc.) that can give you the information you need.


The process is not “one-size-fits-all.” What we talk about will depend on your goals, what is challenging you, and what is working for you. This can look different from session to session. 


We will meet over the phone or via video conference.

How Long Before I See Results?

That depends on the changes you are making and the effort you put into the process. However, substantial changes generally take 3 - 6 months to take root.


That time period gives us enough time to create and sustain real meaningful change. In addition, we will likely have enough time for challenges to present themselves, and the opportunity to work through them. In addition, the 3-6 month time period will likely give you enough time to start feeling the positive impacts of your lifestyle changes.


My hope is that you will be able to gain confidence in your ability to continue towards your goal, and the ability to keep going on your own after working with me. In my experience, once you start to feel improvements, your commitment to the goal will grow.

How Is Health Coaching Different Than a Doctor, Therapist or Sports Coach?

Health coaches are different from doctors, therapists and sports coaches in that health coaches are not the experts on your diagnosis or situation. In our relationship, you are the expert on you. Doctors, therapists and sports coaches are qualified to assess what might be going on with your liver, your psyche or your golf swing (respectively). They will also likely have recommendations for you to make the necessary improvements related to their areas of expertise. In contrast, I am the expert on supporting you through the process of making real changes in your life and health.


A health coach does not diagnose or provide medical advice. However, as a health coach, I might work with you on the practicalities of implementing your provider’s prescription for a lifestyle change. I also might work with you on implementing the changes you have prescribed for yourself.


However, I am similar to a doctor, therapist or sports coach in that I want to see and help you succeed. 

If You Read This Far…

If you are still reading this, you might be a good fit for health coaching. I am happy to provide you with a complimentary consultation when we can further explore what the health coaching process might look like for you.

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© 2020 by Leslie Thorpe.

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This website contains information for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is not a replacement for medical advice.