Consider coaching to build your private practice. Meh.

That’s the reaction from many of my hard-working, highly credentialed colleagues.


They ask—Why should I add a BCC (Board Certified Coach) after years of education and CEU’s from reputable and wise clinicians? What’s the point of another certification?

And–why are you advocating this to build our private practices?


I hear you. Recently, I engaged in a thread on Facebook that to date has over 300 comments. It was about coaches. It was heated, angry and passionate. One clinician met a relationship coach at a community meeting. The coach offered to take referrals for couples’ coaching. He had completed a 6 week course and “had been there” as a married person. I can imagine the frustration the clinician felt. I have “been there” too with an unqualified coach asking for counseling referrals. The stories went on and on. But here’s the thing. As I mentioned in the blog Why I Became a Coach,  Coaching IS a thing. It’s not going away. I am not advocating that you become a coach because you should. Nor, would I suggest that you become a lawyer or a human resource consultant because those things come up all the time in our practices.


I am actually thinking about protecting what we do and how we do it. My coaching practice sits squarely on the shoulders of my counseling background. When a prospective client asked me what set me apart from other executive coaches? I can answer with certainty that my human behavior experience gave me an edge that no coaching certificate could. I regularly compete with retired executives and business consultants for coaching engagements. When I describe my years of listening to feelings (regardless of content) and model my ability to interpret, affirm and mirror, it’s a differentiator that often gets me the work.


If you are looking for an additional income stream, this is one of them. We will write more about other ways to create income–training, teaching, online courses, consulting to an EAP–but this is one I do well and is a natural fit for me. I believe coaching is another arm of the ever expanding human behavior field.  With each expansion, there are the ethical, legal and licensing issues. Mental health professionals with our concrete rules and regulations should own this area, not disparage it.