A Helpful Guide to Becoming a Mental Health Coach
We are long past the time of debating whether or not there is a mental health crisis facing us today; there is. And with the ever-increasing stresses of daily life, from the recent pandemic to political/social conflict to increasing substance abuse to inflation, the problem is only getting worse. Never before has there been such a need in this country for mental health professionals.
Many who need this type of assistance bemoan the lack of qualified, available providers. This has led more and more people to look into getting a mental health coaching certification and starting a new career. But mental health coaching isn’t just a job; it’s a calling. The desire to help others navigate the difficult aspects of their life is one of the most profound and rewarding experiences you can have.
What Is a Mental Health Coach?
A mental health coach is a trained professional that works in the clear area between a life coach and a clinical counselor (more on the specific differences in the next section). These experts focus on non-medicinal treatments for various psychological and emotional issues that do not meet the standard of clinical diagnosis but nonetheless interfere with the day-to-day functions of the person struggling with them.
Since not everyone needs medication and/or intense psychiatric care to address their issues, and life coaches aren’t trained or qualified to delve further into specific mental health issues, there is a clear need for a middle-of-the-road kind of assistance.
Differences Between a Mental Health Coach and Counselor
When you go through the process of getting your mental health coach certification, you will fully cover all of the nuances between coaching and counseling, as well as being taught the clear boundaries between what you are and are not qualified to help clients with. But for now, here are a few good examples:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (clinically diagnosed) vs. anxiety (non-clinical)
- Major Depressive Disorder (clinically diagnosed) vs. depression (non-clinical)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (clinically diagnosed) vs. a troubling memory (non-clinical)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (clinically diagnosed) vs. behavior and thoughts that are difficult to control (non-clinical)
- Eating Disorders (clinically diagnosed) vs. general food issues (non-clinical)
How to Become a Mental Health Coach
There is no shortcut or simple route to gaining your certification as a mental health coach. It takes hard work, study, and dedication from a qualified training provider. And rightfully so, as the emotional health and well-being of people are far too important to put into the hands of under-qualified coaches.
Taking the First Step Towards Your Mental Health Coach Certification
If you are looking to get involved in the field of mental health coaching, you are probably wondering what you need to do first. Our suggestion is to do your research to find a quality online training provider that can teach you all of the topics discussed here today, along with everything else that you need to know.
Keep in mind while this work is rarely easy, it is always personally rewarding and satisfying.