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Learning Center Experience
Bustamante, Kaplan University Human Services Faculty
When I discovered life coaching
I knew I had found my calling. Currently, I specialize in spiritually-based
life coaching. As a life coach I work from within a strengths perspective. I
help my clients discover their strengths and then guide them into unlocking
their own potential using these strengths.
Coaching should not be
confused with counseling. A counselor can be a coach, but a coach is not a
counselor. While I am educated and trained as a counselor, I struggled with the
profession’s dictate to “diagnose” clients. As soon as we need to assign a
diagnosis, we have need to make a judgment and a diagnosis is too close to a
label in my mind. Instead, I believe we
each need to walk our own path and, as a coach, I help people discover this
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I work with clients in the box at the top of the
pyramid: the self-actualization box. I am honored to journey with my clients on
a quest to help them reach their potential, and discover their own purpose,
missions, callings, and dreams. The main tool of the profession is “questioning.”
Coaches need to be skilled in asking clients powerful questions—questions that
will help clients find their own answers. Coaches are not advice givers, but
guides. This can be compared to a trail guide who shows hikers the path, but
lets the hikers form their own vision of the beauty around them.
this being said, it is important to make a distinction once again between
counseling and coaching. Coaches work in collaboration with healthy clients who
are searching for ways to meet goals, build their talents, and achieve their
dreams. Clients can include individuals, couples, families, or businesses and
are four main areas coaches can specialize in, these include:
Moreover, within each
of these areas, coaches should find their own niche that sets them apart. In
the end, coaches work side by side with clients, helping them build a vision
and then become that vision.
In order to provide
ethical services to clients, a coach should seek reputable credentialing. Presently,
for Credentialing and Education (CCE)
provides a credential as a Board
Certified Coach (BCC). To earn this
credential, a person must meet specific education, training, and experience
requirements, along with passing an exam. In addition, most coaches will be
self-employed and work independently. There are possibilities for working with
firms as a coach; however, this requires some legwork to find these jobs.
In the end, I feel
coaching, beyond just being a profession, is a calling. If you feel this might
also be a profession and calling for you, I encourage you to do your homework
and learn everything you can about the profession. Below are some reputable
sources with information on coaching as a profession.
Mrs. Yvonne Bustamante,
BCC, MS, is a proud full-time adjunct faculty in the human services program at
Kaplan University. She has taught classes in human services, counseling, and
psychology for the past 7 years and feels blessed that every day she can do
something she loves. In addition to this, she is a Board Certified Coach through
the Center for Credentialing and Education and provides spiritually-centered
life coaching to individuals, couples, families and organizations. She holds a bachelor’s
degree in psychology from Keuka College and a master’s degree in counseling and
applied behavioral analysis from Nova Southeastern University. She is currently
pursuing her Doctorate in Education in Counseling Psychology and just started
The views expressed in this
article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan
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