15 Vital Books For The Wellness Coach: Straight Off My Shelf – Part Three

Vital Books On Health Challenges & Wellness Coaching

Continuing our “must read” list of vital books for wellness coaches here is the last group, the books focusing on health challenges and wellness coaching itself.

Health Challenges

11. Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Brian Luke Seaward
12. The Open Heart Companion, Maggie Lichtenberg
13. Facing The Lion, Being The Lion, Mark Nepo

Wellness Coaching

14. Wellness Coaching For Lasting Lifestyle Change, Michael Arloski
15. Your Journey To A Healthier Life: Paths of Wellness Guided Journal, Vol. 1, Michael Arloski

Health Challenges

Health challenges come in all shapes and sizes from the bothersome to the deadly. Calling them “challenges” is not meant to diminish their seriousness, but rather, a first step in re-framing our approach to them. The wellness coach does not provide treatment. When the wellness coach is also a treatment provider (nurse, therapist, etc.) they need to “switch hats” and do so very clearly. When it comes to helping people with chronic illness, or other health challenges to improve their lifestyle to help affect the course of the illness in a positive way, the coach’s job is to be the lifestyle change expert. Therefore knowledge of the vast array of illnesses out there is not the same as for the treatment provider. The wellness coach knows enough to understand what their client is facing but knows when to refer the client back to their treatment provider or on to a great resource for more health education.

So! That’s a long-winded way of saying, that my choices for books in this area are not a lengthy list of medical texts! Instead, I’m giving you just a couple of books that can have a real practical and philosophical impact on you and your clients.

11. Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water: Reflections on Stress and Human Spirituality , Brian Luke Seaward. So what health challenge does this book have to do with? All of them, it’s about stress! Let’s face it, every one of our wellness coaching clients will be looking to us for help with stress. Stress, as we’ve been told by endless evidence, is either a cause of many health problems, or at the very least exacerbates them. Brian Luke Seaward’s little book Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, is one of the very few books on this topic that you or your client can read and feel like they actually learned something truly useful, something they can actually implement in their lives and make a difference!
12. The Open Heart Companion: Preparation and Guidance for Open Heart Surgery, Maggie Lichtenberg. The psychological side of a major health challenge is often ignored. Maggie Lichtenberg, a PCC level coach, went through mitral valve repair surgery, saw a big missing piece and filled it admirably with this excellent book. As a wellness coach, whether you deal with heart patients or not, this book is an ultimate guide to helping your client with self-efficacy and self-advocacy. I make sure anyone I know (client or not) who is headed into any kind of major surgery (but especially heart surgery) either has a copy of this book or knows about it.
13. Facing The Lion, Being The Lion: Finding Inner Courage Where It Lives, Mark Nepo. At the National Wellness Conference I once sat in the front row and ignored the sweltering conditions of a keynote being delivered in a hot gymnasium and was entranced listening to a poet talk about courage, cancer, survival and deepening of spirit. Mark Nepo blew me away, and does so every time I open this book of his. To find your own inner courage to help your client’s find theirs, read this book!

Wellness Coaching

14. Wellness Coaching For Lasting Lifestyle Change, 2nd Ed., Michael Arloski. Okay, guilty as charged, but let me tell you why I’m tooting my own horn here. Feedback from readers around the world. They tell me that of what little there really is out there on wellness coaching specifically, this book was the most helpful to them both practically and inspirationally. I wrote this book for the health and wellness professional who is already out there in the middle of the daily task of helping people improve their lifestyle behavior. The emphasis is on the practical, but grounded on the foundations of solid theory (from both the wellness and health promotion and the psychological/behavioral sides) and showing you a real methodology of coaching to help you accompany your client through the entire process of change. (Primary text to accompany the course manual for Wellness Mapping 360 Wellness Coach Training – www.realbalance.com)
15. Your Journey To A Healthier Life: Paths of Wellness Guided Journal, Vol. 1, Michael Arloski. A wellness journal for the client, this book outlines an entire wellness coaching process from self-assessment, to visioning, wellness planning, meeting challenges to change, tracking behavior and setting up accountability and support through connectedness for success. Many of the coaches I’ve trained use this with each of their clients either individually, or as a group guide (works very well in a 12 session format). Many coaches love it simply as their own guide for how they coach their clients.  (Additional text to accompany the course manual for Wellness Mapping 360 Health Coach Training – www.realbalance.com)


Please add your comments to this list. Keeping it to fifteen meant that lots of great books were not mentioned. Read. Be inspired. Stay perpetually curious.