FAQ's About Health Coaching

I wanted to take some time to answer a few common questions about health coaching. There are a lot of misconceptions about coaching and what it entails. Anyone can call themselves a health coach. There is no regulation at the federal or state level for health coaching. Because anyone can call themselves a health coach, there is a lot of confusion about what each coach does. Read below to see how what I do is different than a lot of 'coaches' you will find online and on social media.


Where did you get your training?

I have an extensive education and background in health and wellness. In 2006 I received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Promotion and Education from Oregon State University. In 2016 I graduated from the National College of Natural Medicine (now National University of Natural Medicine) with a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. In 2019 I completed the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training program. I have worked in hospitals, small clinics, and private practice in multiple different capacities (not just as a medical provider) and can draw on more than 12 years of experience in the health/wellness/medical industry.


Are you certified by anyone?

In 2020 I became a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. This is the only health coach certificate that is recognized by the American Medical Association. As a certified coach I am eligible to have a National Provider Number (NPI) and am recognized as a non-physician health care professional by the American Medical Association.


Press Release from NB HWC April 1, 2021


Can you take insurance?

Not at this time. Currently there are Category III CPT Codes for NBC-HWC. Category III does not qualify for reimbursement yet, but is used for tracking and to collect data on the use of health and wellness coaching in the medical setting. My hope, as well as the hope of the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches is to one day be able to bill insurance for services. It is possible that if you have an HRA or HSA that they may cover the cost of health coaching, but you will need to check with your individual provider. Should they agree to cover the cost of services, I can provide you with a superbill for services so you can request reimbursement.


Press Release from American Medical Association October 15, 2019


What is a health coaching appointment like?

The first session will be a lot of discovery. I’ll ask you questions about your health and wellness. More than that, you’ll get to talk about where you would like to go with your health. What your dreams are, what you want to work on. By the end of the first appointment we’ll begin to have an idea of what your wellness vision and can start mapping the road out on how to get there. Follow up appointments will be similar, but focus on the mini goal(s) set in the previous session. We’ll review how it went, see what you want to change and then look at how you want to proceed from there.


What is the difference between coaching and therapy?

Coaching and therapy are two very different experiences. Health coaching will be focused on the here and now, creating a wellness vision for your life and will help you build the skills to get there – the “HOW”. Therapy is often focused on the past, sometimes digging into the unconscious mind to discover the “WHY.” At any point during coaching if I feel like therapy might be a better solution for you at this time I will discuss it with you promptly and help you find appropriate services.


Check out this article on the difference between coaching and therapy.


Do I have to give anything up?

If nothing changes, nothing changes. A lot of health coaching is about reframing how you think about things. It is evaluating what is serving you and what isn’t serving you. Through this process you might decide that you want to give something up to make room for other things. Or you might not be in a place where you can give something up right now and instead will focus on what you can add in that will help you. Eventually, you will want to give up the things that are no longer serving you.


Will I have homework?

Yes. But not that kind. You will mostly create your own homework through the development of a wellness vision and mini goals along the way. At the close of each session you will have a clear direction of the things you want to be working on until we meet again that will get you closer to your overall goal. I'll check in with you in between sessions to see how your progress is going.



Will you give me a diet to follow or tell me what to eat?

Only a registered dietician or certified nutritionist should be creating client specific diets for you to follow. While this was included in my training as a ND, it is not in my scope of practice as a NBC-HWC. We will discuss nutrition in general terms and for education purposes. You will have a chance to learn about nutrition from a whole foods perspective, but I will not tell you how many calories to eat, what macros to follow or what diet (keto, paleo, Mediterranean etc.) is best for you.


Will you tell me what supplements to take?

Only a licensed medical provider should be recommending supplements to you. I do not sell supplements or offer them to my clients. We can talk about them for educational purposes, but you should consult with your primary care provider regarding the application to your personal medical situation.


Are you part of an MLM (multi-level marketing) program?

No, I am not a part of any multi-level-marketing program. You will never be asked to buy any products or supplements. You are only paying for a service (coaching or a coaching program). I am credentialed through the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaches who partners with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). NBME is the same organization that administers testing to various health professionals (including MDs and DOs) while they are in school and practicing to ensure an adequate knowledge base for their profession.


If you have any more questions please don't hesitate to reach out and ask! I can be reached through the Contact form on the home page.