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What is ELANZA Coaching?

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Living a healthy, happy, stress-free, and balanced life is simple…in theory.

But sometimes life gets in the way and we can't take care of ourselves in the way we know we would like to.

Careers, families, emergencies, and illnesses can create a number of new obstacles to overcome. Plus, if we don’t care for ourselves, we can’t properly care for others.

There’s no shame in getting some support to handle things better.

We all have times when we need help with personal and professional motivation.

If the stressors in your life are piling up, you may want to consider wellness coaching.

What is wellness coaching?

Most people know what they “should” do to foster a life of wellness.

Eat a balanced diet and avoid processed foods, get regular movement, prioritize sleep, reduce stress, and cultivate a positive outlook on life that includes purpose, meaning, and connection with others.

Yet, this seemingly simple checklist can be hard to execute, making the resulting satisfaction with life and well-being elusive.

Wellness coaches have a unique opportunity to support people of any age, gender, race, or life stage in building lasting and meaningful lifestyle changes and personal transformation toward well-being.

“Our goal is never to ‘tell’ or give advice - rather we will get curious with open questions, affirm, and reflect with you. Our job is to help you more confidently become your own best expert in your life by shining a spotlight and using the coaching framework to unlock the path forward in your life that you desire most.” - Erica Evans

How the coaching process works

A lot of people have no idea what to expect out of coaching! That's especially true if you've never experienced a coaching session before.

The power of ELANZA coaching lies in the fact that highly skilled coaches are trained to be able to co-create and tailor a personalized process that will maximize benefits for you as an individual.

As part of this process, a coach will start by getting to the core of who you are as a person - your values, your challenges, your goals (even if you’ve never considered them yourself!).

To discover this, a coach will use an evidence-based technique called ‘motivational interviewing.’

Unlike a traditional interview, this is a safe place where a coach will ask non-judgmental, open-ended questions that provide an opportunity to explore underlying motivations for change along with a vision for how life would or could look once those changes are made.

The process of visioning is about unearthing values, meaning, strengths, and possibilities in a conversation that answers the questions: “What do you want?” “Who do you want to be?”

Of course, not everyone knows exactly what they want or who they want to be, which is why your coach may begin by asking questions that start to uncover what those underlying motivations are.

It is during this process that you are given the space to open up to a sense of what’s possible.

Once you’ve identified those possibilities, a coach will aim to support you in articulating, clarifying, and developing a compelling vision of a desired future self.

“It sounds like such a simple thing but so many of us are making major life decisions because we think we should or because it seems like the right thing to do. But if you don’t know what you want, you’ll certainly never get it.” - Catherine Hendy, ELANZA co-founder

Once you've articulated your vision, the coach collaborates with you to design a plan for reaching those self-directed goals.

They do this by providing a structured framework and achievable strategies that are shown to be far more effective than someone simply telling you what to do.

“Health coaching is about the here and now,” said Barbara Powell, a board-certified integrative health and well-being coach in Minneapolis.

“Whereas mental health counselors often focus on the past and how to dismantle traumas that impede present-day functioning, health coaches focus on the here and now, helping clients identify their current strengths to achieve their behavior-change goals.”

Tapping into vision, and coaching from a vision place (versus a problem-solving place) is what leads to effective and sustainable change.

How do you know if wellness coaching is right for you?

“The absence of mental illness does not mean that we are mentally well.” - the Global Wellness Institute

In essence, if someone doesn’t have clinical depression or anxiety, does that automatically mean they are living their best life? Not necessarily.

“The biggest focus today in health coaching is stress management, self-care, and resilience training,” said Theresa Nutt, co-director of the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coaching Program at the University of Minnesota.

“Health coaches are working with clients to develop skills that foster resilience, so they can live optimally under suboptimal conditions.”

Emotional health can be looked at as a spectrum from languishing to flourishing.

Everyone has situations in their lives that cause sadness and stress but left unmanaged, they may spiral into a tailspin of loneliness, disengagement, and even debilitation.

In fact, 30-50% of depression cases are preventabl!

Kudos to you if you can say that you’re in a constant state of “flourishing” but for 74% of people that suffer from extreme stress, having a wellness coach may be exactly the right solution in order to manage stress while building resilience to achieve a more flourishing life.

(It’s no coincidence that at ELANZA, our mission is to help people create the life they choose!)

An ELANZA wellness coach builds towards a state of flourishing by managing existing stress and by building a path forward.

This is not the type of stress management you’ll find in a meditation app or yoga class.

This is transformational work that gets deep at the root of your stressors and identifies opportunities to change your entire outlook for years to come.

What’s even more incredible is that once this mental roadblock has been lifted, it unlocks an entire world of opportunity, clarity, and confidence that was impossible to see before.

Over the course of multiple coaching sessions, you may experience what can only be described as a series of 'magical moments' as you uncover what is most important to you and how to move forward.

In this way, a coach is more like a guide to your own brain and heart, helping you develop the tools to craft the life you want to be living. It's nearly impossible to do that work on your own.” - Brittany Hawkins CEO of ELANZA Wellness

Of course, this isn’t actually magic. This is a sophisticated blend of neuroscience and positive psychology delivered by highly trained, Board Certified ELANZA Coaches.

When is the right time to get a wellness coach?

While there is no one “right” time, there are certainly moments in life when a wellness coach could make an enormous impact.

Most often, these happen during important challenges or changes where there are many unknowns, lots of stress, and a lot of important life-altering decisions to be made.

In particular, these tend to fall into categories such as family, fertility, relationships, and finding balance between work and home.

Let’s unpack some of the major reasons that compelled people to try coaching:

1. Figuring out if and how family fits in

The pressure to have children is real - whether it’s from a person’s biology, parents, a partner, or society. But many people are questioning if they actually want to become a parent at all.

“When are you going to have kids?”

Most of us are not prepared for that moment when family members, friends, and colleagues begin to bombard us with this question.

The pressure to start a family is overwhelming, particularly for those who have spent the last decade focused on building a career.

It’s easy to want a stellar career, an established lifestyle, and to start a family. But when a clock is ticking and pressure builds, how do we manage it?

For some, the answer has been to delay having children. The average age of first-time birthing parents in America is now up from 21 to 26, while for the non-birthing parent assigned male at birth, it’s increased from 27 to 31.

What about the choice to live child-free? The concept of childlessness by choice is also a growing trend with 44% of people 18-49 report not wanting kids at all.

At ELANZA, we know stress around the subject of whether or not to have a family is sky high.

Coaching allows for a safe place to explore what "family" really means (Is it friends? Is it a partner and two kids? Is it a garden?), and how it may fit into their lives (Do I have a child without a partner?

Am I financially stable? Should I freeze my eggs?), and if, when, and how they would want to get started on that journey?

There are often even big questions around how large-scale concepts like climate change, politics, war, etc would influence whether or not they would 'want to bring a child into this world.'

Much of this planning has a lot to do with self-concepts around identity, relationships, and the expectations placed upon them by their family and their peers.

But, given a safe space with the support of a specially trained coach, these often overwhelming concepts can be unpacked in a way that allows people to make really important decisions with confidence.

2. Stress, anxiety, and burnout from a lack of work/life balance

People at every stage of their reproductive lifespan - from exploring options to menopause - are seeking a structured framework to manage the stress they feel between their personal lives and their work lives.

For example, the stress of balancing family with work is causing burnout for 1 in 4 working parents.

Of course, things like free childcare as a benefit would also reduce the plight of working parents but that's just a Band-Aid on the larger problem.

To truly help manage stress for working parents, coaches can help release some of the “shoulds” that often weigh down their sense of self-worth and confidence.

By helping alleviate feelings of inadequacy, parents can reestablish their own well-being, focus on what matters most, and release what they cannot control.

3. Work pressure

This may seem obvious but it's not what you think. Many of the themes that emerged around this concept are related to fears about what would happen if or when folks decide to start a family.

Will I be passed up for promotions if I go on parental leave?

Will I be left out of important projects if I get pregnant?

How will my manager respond when I tell them I'm undergoing fertility treatment?

Often, these stress factors are simply in anticipation of what could happen but can still leave folks in a state of fear of the unknown.

Not only are coaches trained to help reframe these stressors but they are also able to help employees with the confidence to communicate with their employer in a way that clearly articulates their needs.

4. Financial wellness

Some studies indicate that finances are the number one cause of stress in the US.

For anyone considering a family or anyone that already has a family, this is top of mind - especially considering that the average cost of raising a child to age 18 is estimated at $272,049 (!).

And, this doesn't include things like fertility treatment or college tuition.

Again, things like fertility treatment coverage and childcare coverage are great, practical ways to reduce that burden for those who need it. However, it's still just a means to an end.

The only way to truly reduce financial stress is to help people with a framework - an achievable approach - that will help navigate the ongoing give-and-take between what truly matters and what can be stripped away in order to live the life they choose.

One additional note on this subject is how often financial wellness is tied to identity or "keeping up with the Joneses."

Spending habits tied to a person's identity in their 20's (e.g. dining out) may shift when they have a baby (e.g. diapers).

A coach can help support people through these key life events so that their spending can be better prioritized in alignment with their values.

Why wouldn’t I just see a therapist?

As we navigate your journey through life, it can be hard to know what kind of support works best for us.

Therapists (including psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, or mental health counselors), coaches, and support groups have their own unique attributes that can help manage the emotional stress surrounding family, balance, and the future.

In a nutshell, therapists tend to apply specific modalities (e.g. psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.) to assess, diagnose, and treat mental illness.

This tends to happen through a lens that helps people make sense of the past and the present.

A coach is more focused on looking towards the future - providing a framework for self-reflection, coping mechanisms, and tools to help manage emotional stress and reach specific goals.

“Health coaching is about the here and now,” said Barbara Powell, a board-certified integrative health and well-being coach in Minneapolis.

“Whereas mental health counselors often focus on the past and how to dismantle traumas that impede present-day functioning, health coaches focus on the here and now, helping clients identify their current strengths to achieve their behavior-change goals.”

Another small but important distinction is that therapists tend to be more focused on cognition - acquiring knowledge through thoughts and past experiences - versus coaches, who tend to focus more on building towards goals through behaviors.

Of course, there is some level of behavior and cognition in both practices but this can be used as a general guide to better understand what sort of support we think will work best for us.

And, in some cases, we could benefit from multiple support resources.

One thing that’s good to keep in mind is the varying qualifications between a therapist and a coach.

Therapy is a highly regulated field. Therapists typically must be licensed or working under supervision and they must have received a graduate degree along with significant clinical experience.

They are also only able to practice in the specific states in which they are licensed.

Regulation is important in this arena because they are often treating severe mental health disorders and in some cases are capable of prescribing medication.

Coaches, on the other hand, don’t fall under the same regulations. While there are elective licenses and certifications for all types of coaching, there are no state or national laws that require them to practice.

For this reason, it’s important to find a coach that has met certain qualifications.

On the plus side, lower regulatory constraints mean that coaches can apply more hands-on, personalized support that is built around personal goals versus trying to treat certain mental health disorders.

And, because coaches can practice in any state, sessions can take place digitally in a way that works around our own timing, schedule, and location.

What makes ELANZA coaches different?

Qualified - National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coaches (NBC-HWCs) have had years of training to become leaders in their field. The NBC-HWC is nationally recognized as the standard of excellence for health and wellbeing coaching.

Trusted - With a growing pool of unqualified "coaches," there is no standardization of care. Board Certified Coaches means peace of mind knowing that you are working with a trained professional.

Experienced - The majority of board-certified health and wellness coaches spend a considerable amount of time specializing and gaining accreditation through various courses, they must complete 50 coaching sessions and have an associate’s degree or higher or 4,000 hours of work experience in order to sit for the board exam.

Adaptable - Board Certified Coaches are prepared to take on any number of fertility or family-building journeys and life stages. They can adapt with you and support you no matter where the journey leads.

​​Put simply, ELANZA coaching is effective because it literally changes people's lives.

Coaching is the connective tissue that brings together all the different areas in a person's life, both personal and professional, at every single life stage, and provides clarity and momentum in helping people create the life they choose.

Why credentials in the industry are important

There are various paths to becoming a certified wellness coach, as with any career path. Over time, this professional realm has imposed stricter guidelines around qualifications.

The National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) was created in 2016 to ensure the gold standard in health and wellness coaching services.

Aspiring health and wellness coaches must participate in fieldwork and pass a certification exam in order to receive this distinguished qualification.

But, why is it so important to have a board-certified coach? Well, for us the answer is quite simple, would you trust a doctor or surgeon that isn’t board certified? So why would you entrust your emotional wellness to a provider who isn’t board certified?

What to look for in a wellness coach

When looking for a wellness coach, some things to look for include:

  1. Certification: Anyone can call themselves a coach, but saying it doesn’t make it so. Ensure that the coach’s education and resume include a certification program that’s recognized by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching or the International Coaching Federal (ICF). All ELANZA Coaches are Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches

  2. Listening skills: A skilled coach listens more than they talk. Any type of coach helps you with developing skills to help yourself, not giving answers or a "program."

  3. Options, not “shoulds”: A coach is never there to give advice but assists you in finding solutions that best fit your needs and lifestyle that are rooted in your strengths and values, not forcing you to do this or that.

Some examples of REAL people that benefited from coaching and why

‘This has really made a huge difference in my family planning and overall mental health. Walking into this, I was lost, felt stagnant in my career and life goals, and was really stressed about having a child but also really wanting one. The weight of all those thoughts and feelings was a lot for me. Talking with my coach opened up my mind to what I really wanted in my life, and asked me tough questions or questions that I wouldnʼt ever think of. It was a great way to figure out what I wanted, how I wanted to be as a person, and where I saw myself going. She really never told me what to do - which is what I was hoping for sometimes haha - but she let me figure it out and we worked on it together. From my first session to my last - the difference is staggering in all aspects of my life - and most importantly helped me take the next steps to expand our family. I really canʼt put into words how much my coach was such a guiding light!’ - Sally, 36

ELANZA Wellness coaches share their perspectives on the value of coaching

‘I had several members come into coaching with a feeling of being “stuck.” After our coaching, they indicated feeling “lighter,” “calmer” and “confident” as they moved towards their goals with intention.’ - Anne Krohn

"As an ELANZA coach, I hold space for others as we uncover their strengths, values, and vision for their best life. Together, we leverage their inner genius to co-create a path toward that vision that is in alignment with who they are, what they want, and who they want to be." - Jennifer Marino

Want to try it yourself?

Learn more about our offering or purchase a getting started package for only $349 here


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