Frequently Asked Questions

Coaching is a special honor. Except for love, there is no greater gift a person can give another, than the gift of education, self-awareness, and personal growth. ~Caren Robinson

How is Coaching defined, and what does it mean to be a Certified Life Coach?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Being a Certified Coach means your coach has completed a Certified Training program affiliated with the International Coach Federation (ICF) or other Accredited governing body, and is either certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) or other Accredited governing body, and is working towards certification. There are many people who call themselves coaches who have had no formal training. A coach that is certified or working towards certification is one who values providing the best possible coaching to you as possible, follows the highest ethical standards, and utilizes various strategies to give you the best of their training.

While there are different organizations to become accredited with, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) is an independent organization that certifies Coaches and follows a specific ethical code, and is considered the gold standard in the coaching industry.

Who could benefit from working with a Certified Life Coach?

Anyone seeking clarity about a specific topic or decision, or committed to making an effort and a change in their life. I work with people from all walks of life, and from one end of the global and financial spectrum to the other. Many of our clients need help with a specific goal or series of transitions they are going through, or about to go through. Many clients have more than one goal at a time, and multiple transitions, complex experiences as well.

Many of our clients are focused on improving some aspect of their life and bettering themselves as a person, with some skill, in their rehabilitation journey, or in their life in general. The majority of our clients want someone who listens, who cares, and who they can relate to.

I am interested in hiring a Certified Life Coach. What is the process?

The process begins with being scheduled for a complimentary 30 minute consultation. This is where we determine if Coach and Client are a good fit for each other. We will have a candid conversation about whether you feel the Coach’s expertise and services align with what you need and are seeking to accomplish. The Coach can also answer any other lingering questions, and discuss next steps.

What is the role of the Certified Life Coach, and what is included with Coaching?

The role of a Certified Life Coach is to:

  • Provide clients with questions, observation, feedback
  • Provide clients with support, encouragement, and accountability to meeting the clients own goals; work with clients to create actionable plans for achievement
  • Mentor or Guide with proposed solutions that are often action oriented and present or future focused
  • Facilitate conversations to help clients find clarity and direction
  • The coach may share strategies, insights, tools, or even training based on their own experiences and training
  • The coach may offer strategies that benefit the body or the mind and increase wellbeing by helping the client reframe past experiences by improving present and future applications in their daily life.

The client is initially provided an application to complete, coaching agreement and confidentiality agreement to read and sign, and will gain access to the client portal where they will be able to set up a username and password to access the client portal at any time that is convenient for them; attends the initial consultation appointment which runs from 60-90 minutes and then proceeds onto obtaining what they desire from their experience in each Coaching session.

Included with Coaching, our clients call us through a Zoom link the Coach will send to them for each session. These may be accessed for their appointments from their homes, cars, or work place. They have the opportunity to speak face to face by video, or just by phone. We will establish this choice (video vs no video) in advance.

The client will have access to a client portal, the ability to email their Coach, get questions answered, provided action plans to complete, and follow-up to goals they set for themselves.

When you’ve spent your whole life listening to others, it takes courage to pay attention to the sound of your own voice. ~ Unknown

What is the cost of Coaching, and is it covered by health insurance?

Coaching is typically not covered by health insurance because the focus of coaching is not on treating an illness. However, some insurance companies are moving towards making changes to include Life Coaching as an option in their coverage options. We are hoping that the insurance industry continues to see the value of Coaching as more awareness is brought to it. However, Vital Ability, LLC only accepts direct payment from the client at this time.

Coaches in the industry have different pricing structures.  Some charge a flat rate based on a specific number of sessions, some offer various “packages”, or monthly fees with a set amount of sessions or access based on their specific program.  Those coaches who have obtained certification from the International Coaches Federation or accredited coaches school may tend to charge more given their level of experience/expertise, and to offset the costs involved of remaining certified.

At Vital Ability, LLC – we have professionally-tiered opportunities that allow all parties interested in pursuing Coaching, the opportunity to be able to invest in themselves.

If you’re interested in working with us for Coaching, check out our Investing in You page

To make our services even more accessible, we take a limited number of Pro Bono cases quarterly. Specific criteria is required to be considered for Pro Bono services. For more information about our Pro Bono Program please check out our Pro Bono Page

Are the Coaching Sessions confidential?

We take confidentiality seriously. The International Coach Federation (ICF) also maintains strict confidentiality guidelines for all coaches that are aligned with them.

This coaching relationship, as well as all information (documented or verbal) that the Client shares with the Coach as part of this relationship, is bound by the principles of confidentiality set forth in the ICF Code of Ethics.  However, please be aware that the Coach-Client relationship is not considered a legally confidential relationship (like the medical and legal professions) and thus communications are not subject to the protection of any legally recognized privilege.  The Coach agrees not to disclose any information pertaining to the Client without the Client’s written consent. 

Many of our clients come to us as referrals; part of our process is to ask clients if they would be willing to offer a testimonial in writing to us along with whether it is okay to list their name along with the testimonial and how they want their name listed publicly. Most clients are more than happy to oblige this request. Out of respect to our clients who want to remain anonymous and still provide a testimonial, you may see “anonymous” instead of a person’s name on our testimonial page.

Further, we also provide coaching for employees of various businesses, or we are hired by a business/corporation to work with their employees/volunteers. Whether we share the business name or the type of business, it all comes down to client request. Testimonials from businesses may state the name of the business, or just the type of business.

Do you have a Coach from my local area?

We welcome clients from anywhere in the world as long as they are proficient in English, since English is our primary language. We also provide all of our Coaching and Programs in a Virtual Environment which allows us to provide our services to the Global Community.

 Vital Ability, LLC is based in the United States of America. However, because our services are offered virtually, we have had the pleasure to have coached clients from around the world, including those in Africa, Arabia, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, and The United States.

How long does a Client typically work with a Coach?

Many successful companies, entrepreneurs, business professional, patients, healthcare providers, blue collar workers, corporate executives, financial professionals in both the public and private sectors, laborers, stay at home parents, teenagers, and even kids are finding that coaching is the key to enhancing and supporting excellent performance, learning, achievement, strategizing, coping with life challenges, focusing on their strengths, and enhancing their enjoyment. Therefore, they choose to work with a coach on a continual basis.

The actual coaching sessions themselves with Vital Ability, LLC are 60 minutes; the number of times per month depends on what you and your coach decide works best for your needs.

Please keep in mind that traditional coaching is not a “quick fix”. While coaching can be very effective for short-term changes in a person’s life ( a few sessions blocked out for specific goals), this is not always the case. The learning that takes place in any session though, creates results that the client can then apply to other aspects to their life as well. You should see progress and value in every session, however, keep in mind that it takes time to make significant life changes and build new habits.

We do strongly encourage a minimum of 3-6 month agreements to really get the most out of the coaching experience (regardless of which coach you utilize). Any new habit, natural and innate automatic processes, and any new behaviors put into practice today may take from three to six months to show results.

On average though, many clients are with the same coach for 12-18 months, with some having much longer, ongoing relationships.

At the conclusion of any of our agreements, we will discuss if we want to continue or if our work together is done. Some clients are able to achieve their specific goal in just a few sessions as well. Everyone is different.

We encourage all our clients to let us know if and when they feel their time is complete.  We want you to feel like you’re getting tremendous value from every single session we have together, and the moment that’s not the case, it is imperative that you are willing to relay this to your coach. If you feel you have completed your goals and have gotten what you needed and have nothing else to focus on, please also let your coach know.

Will my Coach do the work for me?

It is important for you to understand that this is your life, your transitions, your experiences, your business and your career. The responsibility for coming up with the coaching focus/topic, developing a plan and strategies, executing that plan, being accountable, following through, and achieving success rests with you.

Your coach will guide you, provide resources, encourage action, and be your accountability partner. You however will be doing all of the actual work.

What is the difference between Coaching and Therapy?

Although life coaching and therapy can complement each other, life coaching is not a substitute for those who need therapy. Through coaching you develop strategic actions and plans to help you move forward in your life. Coaching does not attempt to explain behaviors, delve into your past, diagnose clients, or identify pathology. It is important to understand that coaching is not therapy and does not substitute for therapy if that is what is needed. Coaching does not prevent, cure, or treat any mental disorder or medical diseases. It is important that if you feel psychologically stressed to the point that it is interfering with your ability to function on a daily basis, it is important to seek the help you need in the form of a professional Counselor. We are glad to assist with various resources with how to access a Counselor should this be what you desire. Some folks see a Counselor and get Coaching simultaneously. This is how they both can complement each other.

One of the most important distinguishing factors between therapists/counselors and coaches is that therapists/counselors are trained to diagnose a mental illness, treat that mental illness, and then help people who are facing mental illnesses, and coaches are not. Coaches do not diagnose or treat mental illness.

Therapist/counselors help people address and resolve problems that make them feel bad emotionally, or are impairing their ability to function well. The focus on therapy is more on healing from the past. It’s understood that unless and until these problems are resolved it will be difficult for people to make significant changes in their lives. Once they are feeling stronger and more confident, then they can start taking action to change their circumstances.

Coaches help people achieve their goals. The basic presumption of coaching is that coaching clients are in a good place mentally and emotionally, and ready to receive guidance and instruction on how to make changes that will help them achieve their goals. The work focuses on creating and maintaining motivation for change, exploring obstacles to change, and creating plans for change. Coaching is more about getting you where you want to be next.

Coaches and therapists working together for the good of the client offers a great benefit potential for the client – a coaching model may provides help and positive outcomes to people for whom traditional therapy fails. There are very real limitations to traditional therapy, particularly for high-functioning, action oriented people. For many working with both a therapist/counselor AND a Life Coach is enormously helpful – some examples (though not all inclusive):

  • When a coaching client is referred to a therapist, the coach will often have a great deal of contextual information and insights that they can share (with the client’s permission), enriching the therapist’s understanding, particularly of the client’s external environment
  • When a client is not making progress and it appears that this is related to an internal psychological dysfunction, a therapist may be able to guide the coach on whether and how coaching can still be beneficial
  • The coach’s understanding of the work environment that the client operates in can support the therapist’s efforts by exploring practical changes in, for example, work routines, time management, negotiating workload with others or making career choices.
  • At a very general level, therapy tends to be problem-focused, while coaching (when done well) and mentoring are opportunity-focused. Great coaching conversations are punctuated by the laughter that comes from insights – a lightness and irreverence that may not be so easy to achieve (or desirable) in a traditional therapeutic environment.

Coach asks questions to help you discover and bring out your unique strengths, abilities, and discover a process to harness your vision, provide support and hold you accountable for what you say you will do, and stay with you while you put your ideas into action steps and implement the changes you are choosing for yourself. A Coach does not implement specific instructions for you.

Ultimately, having a roadmap for change, as well as a supportive accountability partner can make all the difference if you are genuinely ready to make changes.

The most profound thing we can offer our children is our own healing. ~Anne Lamott

When should I consider seeking out therapy?

  • If you feel incapacitated or are having an inability to function in daily life
  • If you are having panic attacks that are causing you harm, or require hospitalization
  • If you have suicidal thoughts, history, or tendencies or are actively suicidal
  • If you have been diagnosed as a Psychopath, Sociopath
  • If you are having thoughts of harming others
  • If you are looking for treatment based on childhood trauma’s, how to leave or deal with a volatile relationship, or how to heal past relationship traumas
  • If you have an issue you have been referred to counseling for

Can you work with a Certified Life Coach if also working with a therapist, or going to counseling?

The short answer is yes, we can coach someone undergoing therapy if they are mentally stable.

(Please be honest about whether you are engaged with a therapist/counselor; we will provide you with a form for your therapist/counselor to complete so we are covered ethically before beginning a coaching partnership with each other.)

Can a Life Coach replace my therapist/counselor?

A Certified Life Coach does not diagnose, provide therapy, provide counseling, or prescribe (as stated above). Coaching does not replace therapy or counseling.

Never be ashamed of a scar, it simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you. ~ Unknown

What is the difference between Coaching and Consulting?

A Consultant is usually an expert in a specific industry. They will often provide answers to questions related to that industry or topic, relate their experiences as needed, implement strategies and provide you with resources and a plan to achieve your goals. Please see our page about our Medical Advocacy Consulting

What is the cost of hiring Vital Ability, LLC for Consultant work?

Pricing for Consultant work is different from Coaching, and is priced differently. If you’re interested in hiring us as a Consultant, please EMAIL US to evaluate your request.

What results can be expected when working with Vital Ability, LLC?

Regardless of which program you utilize with us, the results are dependent upon you and your determination to not only follow the program, show up on time and participate fully, complete goals, follow the consultant’s recommendations (if utilizing us as a consultant), but to also mentally decide that nothing will stop you from getting the results you desire, and actually putting in the work.

See our Testimonials page for more information from other clients who we have worked with.

What is the Brain Injury Recovery Program and what does it cost?

Available for Purchase Winter 2022

The Brain Injury Recovery Program is a self-directed program compiled with numerous resources and helpful tools in a structured layout to assist in navigating a recovery after Brain Injury and is suited for survivors, caregivers, or providers. The Program is available for a flat rate.

While we work with clients from all walks of life in various stages of recovery and healing, a Brain Injury survivor who would best benefit from working with a self-directed program, should be in the higher functioning aspect of recovery in order to independently navigate all aspects of the Program. The participant has to be able to to take an active role in the activities of the program, or have a caregiver who can assist them in doing so.

If you’re interested in Purchasing the Brain Injury Recovery Program, or have questions about the program before purchasing, please EMAIL US.