Here is a list of frequently asked questions about coaching along with some general information and tips about how to find, interview and use a coach.

If you are already familiar with coaching and want information about my approach to coaching, including my style and policies, go to About Coach Deb.

  • What is a Professional Life Coach?
  • What is the difference between coaching and therapy?
  • Who uses a coach?
  • Are there coaching specialties?
  • How does coaching work?
  • What does coaching cost?
  • How do I know if I’m hiring the right coach?
  • How to interview a coach.
  • Questions you might ask a coach.
  • Resources for coach training and coach referrals.
  • Further questions?

You CAN live the life you’ve dreamed of living !

What is a Professional Coach?

A Professional Life Coach is your partner in achieving the realization of your visions, goals, or desires. Coaching is action oriented and completely focused on your success. A coach will help you discover your gifts, talents, wants, needs, values, and dreams as well as help you understand what motivates and inspires you. A coach will ask more of you than you might ask of yourself and provide support as you “stretch” yourself. A coach will help you move more quickly on your path of self-awareness. A coach recognizes you as a whole, resourceful and creative person. A coach will expand your thinking by introducing new concepts, principles and distinctions during a coaching session. Finally, a coach will help you design supportive environments to sustain success. The focus of the coach/client relationship is whatever the client wants to clarify, complete or create. The coach provides the structure, understanding, strategy, accountability, feedback, skills and resources.

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What is the difference between coaching and therapy?

It is understandable why many people confuse the two. Therapy is the closest model we have to this relatively new profession called coaching. But the two are very different. Coaching is not about processing your emotional history or diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. Coaching is action oriented with a focus on the client’s current life and plans for the future; although therapy deals with a client’s current life, the focus is usually on the past and the healing of emotional wounds. Coaching uses a client’s past only as a point of reference for the future. Because coaching and therapy can occasionally overlap, a well trained, responsible coach will know when a client needs to be referred to therapy instead of coaching. Many coaches have developed relationships with experienced licensed professionals, and it is not uncommon to refer clients to each other.

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Who uses a coach?

Many people from all walks of life are turning to coaches to help them overcome obstacles to better their lives. Coaches work with people individually, in groups, or in a corporate setting, and the reasons may vary, but the underlying reason is always the same–they want to improve the quality of their personal and/or professional lives in some way.

A few examples include:

  • People who don’t have enough time in their day to do the things that are most important
  • to them, at work or home.
  • People who want to change their career or improve their current job situation.
  • People who want to improve a significant relationship or work relationships.
  • People who want to create a more balanced life.
  • People who end up feeling frustrated and resentful about commitments they make because
  • they constantly put other’s needs before their own.
  • People who can’t seem to slow their life down and find some peace of mind.
  • People who struggle to make ends meet and are financially frustrated.
  • People who want to live healthier lives, but can’t seem to get started or just don’t know how.
  • Etc….

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Are there coaching specialties?

Coaching today has become much more specialized than when coaching began several years ago when many coaches were generalists. Today a particular coach may specialize in working largely with CEO’s, only with attorneys, or mainly with middle management. Others may work with single moms, aspiring artists, the entrepreneur or the elderly. Most coaches have the skills to work with a wide range of clients, but their niches or specialties can be almost anything… from marketing to career development, money management to midlife transitions, life balance to business turnarounds…or a combination of things based on their personal interest, education, and life experiences.

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How does coaching work?

Generally, coach and client meet 3-4 times a month, usually in telephone sessions, for 30 to 60 minutes. Sometimes a coach or client prefers to meet in person, especially local clients. Some coaches also prefer to spend 1-1/2 hours with a client initially, either over the phone or in person to “set up” the coaching relationship. Usually phone, fax and email contact is maintained as needed between sessions. A three to six month commitment is encouraged to get the full benefit of coaching and transformation.

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What does coaching cost?

Fees for coaching are generally pre-paid on a monthly basis and range from $200 to $600 a month for individual coaching, to upwards of $1000 for corporate coaching. Some coaches provide sliding scale fees for some of their clients.

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How do I know if I’m hiring the right coach?

It is important to consider wisely when choosing a coach since there are no requirements or regulations around hanging a coaching shingle. While the majority of coaches are well educated and most have a college or post graduate degree, an important consideration when hiring a coach is whether they attend or have attended a comprehensive coach training program. Currently, the International Coaching Federation (ICP) is the association of self-governance for the coaching profession, setting standards and accreditations for both individuals and coaching schools. There have also been standards set by individual schools, designating a graduate as a certified or master coach. Whatever the background, training, or accreditation, one of the most important things to consider when hiring a coach is the right fit. When you talk, is there a connection? Can you communicate with ease? Is this someone who you feel can bring out the best in you? Each coach has a unique style and approach. Finding the one who fits what you need is the key.

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What are some questions I might ask when interviewing a prospective coach?

If a coach has a website, go there first and many questions will already be answered. Then you can use your time talking with the prospective coach about who you are, what you are up to and what you want to accomplish. The questions below will help you to qualify a coach, but not necessarily reason enough to hire him or her. For that, consider a deeper knowing from within.

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Questions you might ask…

  • Do you work with your own coach?
  • Have you had formal coach training? Where?
  • What is your previous education, background and experience?
  • Are you a member of professional organizations?
  • Do you have references or testimonials from others you have coached?
  • How long have you been coaching? How many clients?
  • What is your coaching philosophy?
  • What are your policies and procedures?
  • What are your fees? What does that include?
  • What are your strengths and specialties as a coach?
  • Do you offer a free sample session?

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Resources for coach training and coach referrals

  • Coachville –
  • Coach U –
  • Graduate School of Coaching –
  • International Coaching Federation –
  • Coaches Training Institute –
  • International Coach Directory –

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Further questions?

Contact me with any further questions you have about coaching. I am happy to help. I also provide a free introductory session with no obligation to help you with your life pursuits or for the purpose of exploring coaching as a career. You will feel no pressure to continue. I would love the opportunity to talk with you.

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Deb Betterly, MS, CLC
2261 Bevans Circle
Red Wing, Minnesota 55066
Phone: (651) 388-0994
Email: [email protected]