Thinking of Life Coach Training in the BALM Institute? Here are some answers to some of the questions we have heard from past applicants. If you still have questions after reading this FAQ, give me a call at 786 859 4050 or click on this form and we will give you a call. If you already know you want to apply, click here to set up an admissions interview.
What is Life Coaching?
Many people have goals. Not everyone achieves them. Over the past few decades, a career path has emerged which helps people powerfully reach the goals they set . Namely: Life Coaching. The history of this field has roots in the modalities of sports coaching, humanistic psychology, and personal growth, among other helping modalities. And yet it is none of these things. In and of itself, it is unique and powerful.
Life Coaching is an interactive partnership in which the client’s goals and agenda form the foundation of a powerful professional relationship. Clients engage a coach in order to reach the goals that have thus far eluded them, and those goals guide the relationship unless and until the client becomes complete in achieving them or decides to shift focus to new ones.
The most important thing to understand about the life coaching partnership is that it is client driven. Coaches do not diagnose or prescribe medication for their clients. Instead, they offer them a different sort of expertise: that of asking powerful questions, listening deeply to their client’s answers and using those answers to help the client go deeper into the client’s deepest wisdom through further questions or specifically chosen activities or exercises designed to help the client move powerfully toward their goals and dreams.
What type of education is needed to prepare a powerful life coach?
This delicate powerful work is, at its best, carefully prepared for through substantive education and training. It requires very specific training to insure the client is well served, though ironically, many people call themselves life coaches regardless of their training or background.
Life coach training has a variety of components, all of which prepare the coach to be optimally present with their clients. These include an understanding of the underlying philosophy and process of life coaching, exposure to the wide variety of skills and tools a life coach needs to communicate deeply with a client, demos by competent coach trainers, and many rounds of practice with each other over the course of the educational training course.
And there is something more: An accredited program, with a highly reputable accrediting agency, is a critical factor behind powerful life coach training.
Who Accredits the BALM Institute and what does that Accreditation add to the training our students receive?
The BALM Institute is an ICF-ACTP (International Coach Federation – Accredited Coach Training Program).
The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the premier global accrediting organization for life coaches. Born early in the coaching movement, The ICF has been both the source and the guide of the development of the core competencies and ethical standards and guidelines for life coaches.
To become ICF-Accredited, a life coaching school must go through a rigorous accrediting process that includes inclusion of specific didactic and experiential aspects. This work, of both imparting knowledge and experience must be done planfully to insure value to the students. ICF requires well-planned, substantial training of this type in its accredited schools.
In order to become an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program, a school must have an ICF Master Certified Coach (MCC) as its Training Director to oversee its educational curriculum to insure its compliance with all requirements. Then, the school must operate with all requirements of an ACTP for one full cycle before even applying for Accreditation.
Fully accredited programs include at least 125 hours of live instruction (ours includes mostly live online programming plus a 24 hour in person Practicum weekend for a total of 162 credits all together. Additionally, we offer our students over 140 available classes and recordings on a variety of use disorder and recovery topics at no additional charge as part of their program.
The classes cover Life Coach Training and Family Recovery Life Coach Training, Mentor Coaching Groups, One-on-One Coaching and the Live In-Person Practicum mentioned above to insure mastery of the ICF Core Competencies, student to student coaching designed to give students practice with each other as they grow as coaches, and business development in order to help them create both a coaching practice and business as they complete their studies.
To graduate and become a Certified BALM Family Recovery Life Coach, students must attend all classes and activities and the Practicum and must hand in two transcripts of their own coaching sessions that demonstrate the ICF Core Competencies. The rigorous process includes regular practice, demonstrations and help along the way to insure that each student has their best chance of passing and operating on the high level a BALM endorsement and accreditation requires.
The courses are all taught by ICF-Certified Coaches and once a student has successfully completed their studies and oral exams, they become eligible to apply for ICF certification by handing in their BALM Graduation Certificate and coaching for at least 100 hours. Most of our graduates have the opportunity to complete their hours within their first year as a result of the many coaching opportunities the school gives them and encourages them to take.
The last hurdle remaining is the CKA (Coach Knowledge Assessment), an online exam that all applicants must take to become ICF certified. Due to the ongoing instruction, demos, reinforcement and practice provided in our ICF-ACTP, this assessment is not a hurdle for our graduates. Rather, it is just another steppingstone to their becoming a fully certified ICF Coach.
Once ICF-certified, students become qualified to teach in an ICF-Accredited Coach Training Program and open the door to many more opportunities in their coaching careers both in and out of the recovery field.
Why do I need this certification or even an accredited school or even life coach training? I just want to work with families…
When I started the BALM Institute, it was an advanced CCE (continuing education credits) program. I only accepted trained coaches. Unfortunately, many of the students who wanted to work with families (trained by a variety of coaching programs and schools from a weekend to 6 months long), simply lacked the firm foundational footing to work deeply and powerfully with families impacted by a loved one’s addictive struggles. Additionally, when personal issues came up within the person, the coaches often appeared lost as to how to meet their clients’ needs.
So, I contacted Fran Fisher, our Director of Training, and asked her to help us become fully accredited so that we could insure that the Coaches we graduated were powerfully grounded in the ICF Core Competencies as well as in BALM Family Recovery. The result of this marriage of the two, the BALM and the ICF approaches, has been the creation of coaches able to help families and loved ones move powerfully forward in their lives.
Schools of course evolve. At first we taught these two approaches separately. Today, we provide a merging of two powerful helping modalities in a way that allows coaches to switch seamlessly between recovery work and coaching work, of course with the client’s permission.
The ICF-ACTP Accreditation has allowed us to develop coaches of a high caliber. The BALM has allowed us to provide coaches with a deep understanding of addiction and recovery and the ability to be there powerfully for each family in the moment.
Our curriculum works for the benefit of our students and their clients. And the fact that our coach trainees come back for our advanced courses, and bring their own clients to enroll in our family programs speaks volumes to its value and effectiveness.
To become a Certified BALM Coach is to take your education seriously and treat yourself as a professional. To become a Certified ICF Coach after completing our program is to see the value in the profession itself and to take your place as a leader in the Family Recovery Life Coaching field.
To learn more about the BALM Family Recovery Life Coach Training, click here.
To learn how to become a BALM Family Recovery Life Coach, click here.