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Heather Gallagher

Meditation Teacher Vs Coach

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Hello! I had a general question about what title people use, and what is appropriate.  I'm currently a certified meditation teacher, working on my 2nd through this program, and a licensed master's of social work.  I offer private sessions and don't know which is appropriate, "teacher" or "coach". I don't offer counseling or therapy because I am not certified as a clinical social worker.  But feel my private sessions will be more than just a guided meditation session.  I plan to provide education, explore client's specific needs, create meditations for them, help them work through any meditation struggles, and of course refer them to other services should they need counseling or something.  What are people's thoughts? I don't want to say "coach" if you need to be certified specifically as a meditation coach. However, I feel coach more accurately would describe my role. Thank you for your feedback. 

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Hi Heather,

Welcome to the community! This is a really great question you've raised. As far as I know, you do not need any specific certification to be a meditation coach, though you of course couldn't say that you are a 'certified meditation coach'. Don't quote me on this though because there could perhaps be some jurisdictions that don't allow it, but I haven't heard of that for this particular term. 

If you feel that 'meditation coach' more accurately describes what you'd like to offer then it might just be the best fit.

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On 1/15/2021 at 8:18 PM, Heather Gallagher said:

Thank you for the feedback! In order to comply with any rules I'm going to stick with "certified teacher" and define what occurs in my sessions as meditation coaching". I appreciate your help!

That is a great idea! 

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Just an idea, there are a few coaches in my school (the JRNI  Coaching Intensive) who call themselves Mindfulness Coaches. The term is not necessarily specific to meditation, but it may be of interest to use. Also of note, there are no jurisdictions or required certifications for someone to call themselves a coach of any kind! Certainly, clients may want to know or check up on your schooling or coaching education, and any kind of coaching certification you may have, but usually certification comes from the agency, organization/ or school you went to for coaching. Sometimes, the certification does in fact come from a coaching-regulatory body such as the ICF (International Coaching Federation) as well as a few others out there.

 As a previous MSW practicing in psychotherapy, and now attending coaching school, I can say that there are quite the differences between the two, and I hope that the term 'coaching' doesn't get muddled in with the term 'counseling' too much, as there are clear distinctions between the two. Even though WE may know the differences, the general public may or may not understand the differences without some clarity. 

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16 hours ago, amypandolfi@outlook.com said:

Just an idea, there are a few coaches in my school (the JRNI  Coaching Intensive) who call themselves Mindfulness Coaches. The term is not necessarily specific to meditation, but it may be of interest to use. Also of note, there are no jurisdictions or required certifications for someone to call themselves a coach of any kind! Certainly, clients may want to know or check up on your schooling or coaching education, and any kind of coaching certification you may have, but usually certification comes from the agency, organization/ or school you went to for coaching. Sometimes, the certification does in fact come from a coaching-regulatory body such as the ICF (International Coaching Federation) as well as a few others out there.

 As a previous MSW practicing in psychotherapy, and now attending coaching school, I can say that there are quite the differences between the two, and I hope that the term 'coaching' doesn't get muddled in with the term 'counseling' too much, as there are clear distinctions between the two. Even though WE may know the differences, the general public may or may not understand the differences without some clarity. 

This was soo helpful, thank you! I agree about coaching and counseling seeming similar to many clients.  I've made sure to outline what to expect in my sessions on my website, hoping that'll be good place to start making the distinction. 

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