Life skills coaching describes a service in which a trained coach provides strategies, support, and accountability to clients who wish to improve their life skills. In some cases, life skills coaching assists individuals with improving specific areas of their lives. In other cases, this type of coaching is used to assist individuals with disabilities in finding work, improving relationships, or living independently. This service may be provided by licensed mental health practitioners, social workers, or educators, but is more often provided by unlicensed individuals who have completed a certification program. The focus of life skills coaching typically varies according to the needs of the individual client.
Many people rely on the services of professional coaches to assist them in making positive changes in their lives. For some people, this may mean assistance in improving their work habits, losing weight, or learning how to better manage their household finances. Life coaches may work with these individuals to develop new ways of approaching these common life issues and setting realistic goals for change. The coach and client may meet in person or speak on the phone on a regular basis to evaluate their plan and determine how well the client is doing. The coach can offer support and suggestions to assist the client throughout this process.
Some coaches and mental health professionals also offer life skills coaching to individuals who have developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, or who struggle with mental illness. In some cases, these individuals may need training in essential life skills, such as housekeeping, money management, and personal care. Life skills coaching can assist these clients in working toward the goal of independent living. These services may also be provided to individuals who are already living on their own but who are having difficulty taking care of themselves.
A life skills coach may specialize in working with individuals who have a specific physical or mental challenge. For example, some life coaches limit their practices to working with individuals who have attention deficit disorder or autism spectrum disorders. This specialization allows them to focus their energies on developing strategies that work well for people with these conditions. In many areas, life coaching is not a licensed profession, though some individuals who practice life coaching may also hold a professional license. One significant consideration for individuals who choose life skills coaching over other types of assistance is that coaching services may not be covered by insurance, possibly resulting in a significant expense for individuals in need of these services.