What is a Wellness Coach? An Interview With Libby McAvoy

At one time or another we all feel stuck in our lives. We reach a point of dissatisfaction, but we don't know exactly why or how to get unstuck. Or perhaps we are dealing with overwhelming stress, anxiety, loneliness, weight problems, health issues, relationship conflicts or jobs that do not satisfy our souls. Some people stay stuck and become miserable in life, while others seek the guidance of coaches, counselors and therapists to help them see the big picture, overcome obstacles and eventually thrive. For the past six months Libby McAvoy has been diving deep into personal development and has become a certified wellness coach. She loves to help and motivate people as she has done for years as a yoga instructor, a fitness coach and a Yoga Teacher Trainer. If you read my recent blog on writer's block, you know how much I have missed having Libby as a blogging partner and how she always helped me to see all sides of a topic if I ever got struck writing one of my blogs. Today I am happy to share my recent three question interview with Libby so that you can learn how wellness coaches help their clients live the lives that they love:

Libby McAvoy in her element. Photography by Paul Garrett

Libby McAvoy in her element. Photography by Paul Garrett

1. How Did you become interested in becoming a Wellness Coach and what is the process for becoming certified in this field of expertise?

I have always been interested in health and wellness and have studied the effects of a plant based diet for years. As a yoga instructor I was often asked for advice about a variety of things including weight loss, relationship issues, and how to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. I have gone through a great deal of change in the last couple years of life including the decision to close my yoga studio and finalize my divorce. I knew when I closed the studio that I wanted to reach a larger audience and help people become the best version of themselves. After the divorce I was also motivated to support myself financially. I realized that Health & Wellness Coaching was a perfect fit for me and enrolled in a six month certification program. I love the idea of being able to combine my knowledge and practice of yoga with coaching. My goal is to help others overcome obstacles and accomplish their goals and dreams. I know from personal experience how rewarding it is when we find the courage to overcome.

2. Wellness involves many aspects of our lives including nutrition, physical fitness, and how we think. What do you see as the number one problem facing people?

Paul, you are so correct that there are many dimensions of wellness and my job as a coach is to connect the body, mind and soul so my client becomes balanced. Stress is one of the biggest problems facing people. In fact, it is a factor in approximately 90% of the visits that take us to the doctor. There is no doubt we all encounter stress in our lives. But as a coach I help clients attain awareness, and through awareness we discover what triggers or causes their stress and how to best to respond to stressful situations. It is important to develop coping skills so that the stress does not become chronic and cause health problems to manifest. It is also vital to look at six specific areas of our lives which include our physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, and emotional and occupational wellbeing to see where we may be out of balance. When our body senses resistance, the fight or flight response is triggered which causes us to panic and the mind is not logical in that moment. We are seeing an alarming increase in obesity, divorce, and suicides just to name a few and I deeply believe that stress is to blame. As a coach I am an ally, someone who is by your side to help overcome what is causing the stress.

3. What is your process for helping clients achieve their wellness goals?

Before our first meeting, either in person or by phone/skype, the client will recieve both an agreement form that outlines what is to be expected, as well as pricing and payment options and an assessment form which includes items the client wants me to know about them, their occupation and responsibilities, who they may have as social support, and a list of their strengths and weaknesses.

I deeply believe that all transformation and personal growth begins with awareness. Filling out the assessment form often is the first step in creating awareness for the client. As a wellness coach I am temporarily here to help my client create a lifelong map to help them achieve their goals and dreams. Together we develop new habits to help them succeed on their own. I encourage my clients to commit to six months of coaching. Typically they are coming to me wanting to change or improve something in life, but they have not succeeded on their own. It takes at least six months to create lasting habits and sometimes a year of coaching is needed. After that I generally like to recommend occasional check in’s. I hold the client accountable. For example; Paul if you come to me and say you want to reduce stress and lose 10 pounds (completely hypothetical), I would ask why you want to achieve these two goals and what it will mean when you do. By asking powerful questions you will gain awareness of your motives. Then we co create a plan of action to achieve these goals. If you travel for work we know that may be an obstacle, so we work with that and again come up with a plan so that you succeed.

When working with my clients I hope to provide a positive empowering experience.

Overcoming obstacles in our lives does wonders for our self confidence. Photography by Paul Garrett

Overcoming obstacles in our lives does wonders for our self confidence. Photography by Paul Garrett

How to contact Libby:

It was really reconnecting with Libby for this blog and I hope that you enjoyed it, too! For more helpful information check out her website at JourneyToTheLifeYouLove.com. If you would like to schedule a wellness coaching appointment or book Libby for private yoga instruction, visit the contact page on her website.

Wishing you great wellness,


P.S. - Libby recently posted an informative blog about something that affects us all… STRESS. You can read it by clicking HERE. Also feel free to click the heart icon below to let me know if you enjoyed this blog. Thanks so much!!

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