Life coaching is a relatively new field of psychology that specializes in helping people overcome challenges, meet personal or professional goals, and improve the overall quality of their lives. Although life coaching is considered as an independent discipline, its theories and practices stem from various psychology fields as well as adult education and personal development.
Life coaches come from a variety of backgrounds. Unlike some of the more established fields of psychology, such as education psychology and behavioral psychology, life coaches do not have clearly defined education standards. However, prospective coaches are strongly encouraged to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a specialization in life coaching or another life coach training program. Students enrolled in the undergraduate program will take a wide variety of courses, including developmental psychology, psychology of personality, theories in counseling and psychotherapy, leadership coaching, and health and wellness coaching.
Successful completion of a formal degree or training program may qualify graduates to work as life coaches, career and executive coaches, non-licensed counselors, community relations workers, and administrator. This degree also benefits those hoping to go to graduate or professional school. Professional certification and memberships are available through dozens of life coaching associations.