Paul Abraham: ‘Beware of the instant experts!’

Paul Abraham, speaking at Bramley Lawn.

I am often asked by people wanting to become coaches of various disciplines “how do I become a good coach?” writes Paul Abraham.

There is no quick-fix or magic formula. Firstly you need a passion for the subject you want to coach, once that’s decided then it’s enrolling on courses, diplomas, degrees and hands-on workshops for (in my view) a minimum of two years to be able to understand every aspect of the subject you’re passionate about. 

The more you study and coach, and, if you’re willing to be open-minded about learning new coaching innovations, then you will gain respect from your peers and public at large. 

There are NO shortcuts to becoming a respected coach, believe me as I speak with 35 years of coaching behind me.

Something which really concerns me, especially since Coronavirus dramatically changed our lives and affected people’s mental health, is the amount of “coaching experts” that are advertising their services via the internet and Facebook, especially in regard to mental health. 

Before and since the Coronavirus pandemic, I have been approached many times to be involved in various coaching workshops. 

All have sounded great and the hundreds of pounds per session I would receive made them very interesting propositions, until it became apparent that these people asking for my involvement were only interested in it as a money-making opportunity and had no accredited qualifications, insurance or DBS certificates!

Sadly on the internet there are companies offering qualifications and certificates which are not worth the paper they are printed on. 

Unfortunately people for various reasons (some genuine and sincere, some not) complete a four hour online “boot-camp” or a three module course, receive their certificate and then advertise themselves as “Mental Health Professionals” or as an experienced “Life Coach” or a quick fix “Guru”. 

Some of these “Coaches” will be doing it with good intentions, but when you’re dealing with a person’s mental state this is extremely dangerous. 

Should you be struggling with life’s pressures, and are seeking some advice from a coach, then please be careful and check their qualifications, insurance cover and DBS certificate to ensure you will be getting quality advice and coaching. 

I work from Phoenix Health and Wellbeing when I am doing one to one consultations as they have very strict rules and regulations to protect anyone being treated there. 

So please check these instant experts and if you decide to become a coach yourself then make sure the courses you attend are regulated and accredited to a national body. 

Hopefully at some point there will be a national register of all legitimate coaches and companies offering training and qualifications, but until then please be aware of these “Instant coaching experts” as the quote says “a little knowledge in the wrong hands is a dangerous thing”. 

Take care and keep safe.

Check out more of Paul Abraham’s regular column on mental health tips here.

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