When you read the title of this blog post, I have a feeling I know what you were thinking. "A family life coach? What on earth is that?" If this is what you were thinking, then you aren't alone. When I tell people I am a family life coach they, they either smile and nod or they politely say, "That's awesome! (insert awkward pause) ....So what exactly is that?" I know, I know, people were just getting used to the idea of life coaches, and now we are throwing in family life coaches.
No need to fret, I'm here to tell you why you need one and how to find one!
Are you a mom, a brother, a son, or a wife? Most of us are a part of a family in one way or another whether its the family we came from or the family we've created. As you know from experience, being a part of a family is not always easy. In fact, I feel confident in saying it's far from always easy. You are taking people with unique personalities and aspirations and asking them to be on the same team. This can be a challenging task, but a rewarding one!
A family life coach can help couples, parents, and whole family units come together and recognize the unique strengths that each person brings to the table and how to use those to create an unstoppable team. (Think of this as each member of your family having a really cool and unique super power.)
So how does a family life coach help create this unstoppable team? Well, they have their own super powers, of course. Here are some things to know about working with a family life coach.
1. They truly believe that YOU are the expert in your own life, not them.
Have you ever had a relative, friend, or random guy on the street tell you how to live your life and all you wanted to do without sounding like a middle-school girl was shout "You don't know my life!"? Well, thankfully, that is not going to happen with a family life coach.
2. Family life coaching is a strength-based approach used to help families fulfill their goals or make positive and lasting changes.
3. They see their relationship with you as a partnership where you can collaborate and discuss how to reach goals and make changes in your life.
4. Accountability will be involved. When you are working with a family life coach, you will set goals, and it is up to you to work extra hard to meet those goals! This is kind of like having a personal trainer. They can tell you the workouts to do, but only you can do them if you want to see results.
5. Family coaches can work with you on a multitude of topics such as relationships, parenting, pregnancy, aging, and much more. The process they use can be adjusted to help you with just about whatever you are going through.
6. Family coaches have a family science background. This means they know lots of good research to help you through your challenges.
7. Family coaches are also invaluable resources when working in a prevention setting. You don't have to wait until you're kids won't stop pulling out each other's hair to go and see a family life coach (see below for example). They are there to help you know how to prevent the hair pulling from starting in the first place.
Okay, great, you're ready to see a family life coach! Now how do you find one?
Of course, it doesn't hurt to start with a quick google search for your area. Family life coaches may be found under different titles such as: parent coach, family coach, maternity coach, and others. It doesn't hurt to search a few different titles to see what you come up with! If you aren't finding many coaches within your area, look nationally. Many family life coaches are more than happy to coach you virtually.
Once you have found a family life coach you might be interested in working with, don't be afraid to reach out them and "interview" them. You want to make sure that they are going to be the right fit for your family. Part of your interview process may also include asking them about their credentials and where they have been trained. There are two main credentialing organizations to keep your eyes and ears out for. International Coaching Federation and Center for Credentialing and Education. If a coach says they are credentialed with either of these organizations, it is a safe bet that they are well educated and ready to take you on as a client! To verify they are credentialed, just follow the hyperlinks above.
When looking for a family life coach, you may begin to realize these services aren't exactly "cheap." Some family life coaches may offer pro bono coaching or they may even offer workshops that are more affordable than one-on-one coaching. Amazing results are seen with one-one-one coaching, but be sure to ask about other options if you are working within a specific budget.
It's time to make your days look a little less like this...
...And a little more
Allen, K., & Huff, N. L. (2014). Family coaching: An emerging family science field. Family
Relations, 63(5), 569-582. doi:10.1111/fare.12087
Allen, K, (2013). A framework for family life coaching. International Coaching Psychology Review, 8(1), 72-79.
Rotheram-Borus, M. J., Sendeman, D., Rotheram-Fuller, E., & Youssef, M. K. (2017, August 29). Family Coaching as a delivery modality for evidence-based prevention programs. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 23(1), 96-109.