ROCHESTER, Minn. — Wellness coaching has become an increasingly prevalent strategy to help individuals improve their health and well-being. Recently, wellness coaching was found to improve quality of life, mood and perceived stress, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Matthew Clark, Ph.D., L.P., lead author of the study and resiliency expert at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, answers some common questions about wellness coaching:
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Clark are available in the downloads.
What is a wellness coach? Wellness coaches are trained and certified by professional organizations to help individuals identify their personal values and desires for change. The coaches provide practical recommendations to help individuals transform their goals into action, in order to sustain the changes over time and improve their quality of life.
“Mayo Clinic wellness coaches assist patients, through a strength-based approach, in identifying goals and potential barriers to success, and then create strategies to help them improve on a week-by-week basis,” explains Dr. Clark. “A strength-based approach recognizes that patients bring experience, knowledge and skills which will help them make positive lifestyle changes.”
What are popular areas of improvement? “Wellness coaching focuses on the specific problems someone wants to address, such as weight loss, stress management or goals focusing on work-life balance. We offer wellness coaching to help people have a better life, and improve their overall quality of life, whether it’s socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically or mentally,” says Dr. Clark.
How are these improvements maintained over time? Wellness coaching teaches individuals appropriate goal-setting techniques, strategies for enhancing social and emotional support and other skills to sustain progress over a substantial period of time.