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Life coaching is a practice by a professional “life coach” of a group, or individual, to help identify and achieve personal or professional goals. Life coaches help clients use their abilities to reach their goals by using a variety of techniques. There are numerous methodologies used by coaches, however most all of them involve a facilitating style. Facilitation means the coach mainly asks questions and challenges the client or “coachee.” Life coaches are not therapists or psychologists. However, coach-training schools and programs are available, for the individual who wants to gain "certification" or a "credential" in the field of life-coaching. The basic skills are often developed by managers within a business or organization to help employees with leadership abilities. There is no official accreditation for life coaching in the United States, but certification can be obtained through a privately owned organization. The practice has its’ roots in executive coaching, although it is most popular today among individuals for personal goals, as well. Life coaching is also sometimes referred to as mentoring, career counseling or positive adult development. One of the first examples of life coaching is traced to Benjamin Karter, a college football coach turned motivational speaker in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today, life coaching is practiced in person, on the phone or even online. Many of the life coaching organizations and professionals hold to a strict code of ethics and member standards and criteria according to which they hold their members accountable in order to protect coaching clients' interests.

Life coaching can be found in the following areas:
Executive/career coaching
Financial coaching
Ex-pat and global executive coaching
Personal coaching
Health coaching
Sports coaching
Dating coaching
Conflict coaching
Religious coaching


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