I’ve heard of a football coach and a basketball coach– who hasn’t, right? I’ve even heard of a career coach, a relationship coach, a wellness coach and a life coach… but a cancer coach??? Until recently, I had no idea there even existed such a thing… that is until I met Tambre Leighn, founder of Well Beyond Ordinary.
What is a Cancer Coach? Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…
Cancer has the ability to affect every aspect of your life. While some survivors plow through treatment and transition easily into life after cancer, others find it more difficult to do so. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to feel victimized by cancer. Some say that it even takes over their life causing previously held priorities and core values to shift.
Coaching is one tool that survivors and caregivers can use to reclaim their life after this potentially devastating diagnosis. A cancer coach can provide you with support and tools to help reduce stress, address fears and create action plans so you feel empowered and in control again. For a cancer coach, it’s not just about surviving a diagnosis of cancer, it’s about thriving in spite of cancer.
As with any profession, there are professionals who are the real deal and others who just pretend to be. Since cancer coaching is a relatively new concept for many, I asked Tambre to suggest how we might be able to tell the difference between a qualified cancer coach and a wannabee when looking to hire one. She suggests keeping the following in mind:
- Educate yourself about coaching. Thousands of articles have been written about coaching in the past few years. Search the internet or visit the ICF Research Portal for research articles, case studies, journals, etc on coaching.
- Find a coach who has been professionally accredited by the International Coach Federation. Click HERE for free searchable directory of ICF Credentialed Coaches. For additional information specific to cancer coaching, check out The Cancer Survivorship Coaching Coalition.
- Interview several different coaches before you decide on one. Ask each about his or her experience, qualifications and skills. Also ask for at least two references. (Note: In some cases, confidentiality agreements may prohibit some coaches from giving you a reference.)
- Look for a cancer coach who stands behind his or her work. Often times coaches will offer an initial consultation free of charge as well as a money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied with the process.
- Remember, coaching is an important relationship. Make sure a connection exists between you and the coach you choose.
If any survivors or caregivers reading this post have worked with a cancer coach and are willing to share their experiences, please either comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more about the wide variety of available cancer support services and feel free to share them with anyone know needs them.
Knowledge is power… please share the power.