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What does a Health Coach do?

Updated: Apr 8, 2023



Something we get asked a lot is 'What does a health coach do?’


Essentially health coaches are behaviour change specialists. They are trained in a specific set of skills that help their clients to create new, healthier, positive behaviours and habits.


Health Coaching is:

Working with clients to help them achieve health-related goals

  • Supporting clients to connect to motivation, identify what they want in life and build a plan to achieve it

  • Empowering clients to live their healthiest lives by changing behaviour and creating habits

  • Using advanced communication skills including active listening

  • Providing encouragement, support, guidance and accountability

  • Helping clients think through obstacles and plan effective solutions tailored for their specific situation

  • Supporting clients to explore what is holding them back and building their confidence to take action

  • Working collaboratively with other health professionals to ensure clients get the expert advice they need to achieve their goals

  • Using general knowledge of medical conditions, movement, nutrition and diet to guide clients towards credible sources of information


Health coaching isn’t therapy and it’s much more than Motivational Interviewing.

A lot of health practitioners learn Motivational Interviewing (MI) and gain essential skills in communication, as well as understanding what makes a true client centred approach.


Both Shivaun Conn and myself have studied MI and find it incredibly useful. In fact it is one of the foundation blocks of our Health Coach courses. Health Coaching incorporates evidence-based health behaviour change interventions and techniques from behavioural medicine research literature, positive psychology, health and coaching psychology, and performance coaching.

Motivational Interviewing will provide you will an approach and skills to support ambivalent clients, however it is only part of what you learn in health coaching. And only part of the training required to be a nationally recognised health coach with Health Coaches Australia New Zealand (HCANZA) .


Health coaching is a specific set of behaviour change skills that help clients take action towards healthier, positive lifestyles.

Therapy aims to heal the past while health coaching is an approach that uses past experiences to move forward, where the client is encouraged to be active in their health, identifying the priorities and coming up with possible solutions.


Sounds great doesn’t it!


People study health coaching because they want to help others create sustainable health behaviours and live their healthiest lives. They want to make a difference.


So should you study health coaching?


Visit our website and find out more about what health coaching is, the approved programs for accreditation in Australia and New Zealand, and watch our free webinar.


Our approved courses meet HCANZA requirements.


The Accredited Health Coaching Australia Specialist and Mastery courses meet the HCANZA criteria and completing these approved courses allow you to be nationally recognised in Australia and New Zealand.


Find out more about approved programs here https://hcanza.org/programs/approved-programs/

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