What is Wellness Coaching?

Professional coaches have long been recognized for their skills in helping athletes and executives perform at their best. Now professional wellness coaches are helping people reach their best health and wellbeing.

Wellness coaches are trained to help clients develop and implement personal wellness plans by:

-Accepting and meeting us where we are today.

-Asking us to take charge.

-Guiding us in doing the mindful thinking and doing work that builds confidence.

-Helping us define a higher purpose for wellness and uncover our natural impulse to be well.

-Helping us tap into our innate fighting spirit.

-Addressing mental and physical health together.

-Helping us draw a personal wellness blueprint.

-Helping us set realistic goals; small victories lay the foundation for self-efficacy.

-Harnessing the strengths we need to overcome our obstacles.

-Helping us view obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow.

-Helping us build a support team.

-Inspiring and challenging us to go beyond what we would do alone.

Wellness coaches are practitioners and life-long students of a vibrant new field, coaching psychology, which integrates more than fifteen other fields. Coaching psychology, in part, is the relational vehicle for implementing the tenets of positive psychology, a field focused on the scientific study of happiness and well-being.

Great coaches have several skills you will notice early. They are great listeners and enjoy your stories. They foster self-acceptance and self-respect. They arouse, engage, energize, and challenge you to reach higher at the right moment. They have a bird dog's ability to sniff out your strengths, values, and desires. They are playful when appropriate. They take risks and ask courageous questions. They don't rescue you from emotional muck - sometimes you need to sit in it for a bit to energize your desire to change. They know that your life is at stake if you don't take care of yourself. And they know how to celebrate your successes. The process of wellness coaching progresses through several stages: 

1. You provide background information through a Wellbeing Assessment so that you and your coach are well-informed on the key issues, including medical considerations. 

2. During the first 75-90 minute coaching session, you identify your priorities and develop a personal wellness plan including a vision, three month goals and the first steps. 

3. In subsequent 60 minute coaching sessions each week, month, or quarter, you and your coach review the progress toward your vision and goals, explore and resolve the most pressing issues, learn something new, and then agree on a set of goals for the following week. You will enjoy plenty of ah-ha insights along the way. 

4. By the end of three months, you can expect to reach more than 70% of your three-month goals and feel energized and confident to embark on new areas with or without your coach.

-Wellcoaches School of Coaching


How coaching works

"Coaching is a growth-promoting relationship which elicits motivation, increases the capacity to change, and facilitates a change process through visioning, goal-setting, and accountability which leads to sustainable change for the good."

-Wellcoaches School of Coaching

Coach vs. Trainer

How is a coach different from a trainer?

A coach is someone who understands the process of the way forward and acts as a guide but does not walk the walk for you. A coach encourages you to discover your own reasons for achieving your goals and helps you uncover your own motivation and passion; a coach ignites the fire within you. A trainer is an expert in the subject matter. A trainer knows the facts and can give a lecture on them if necessary. Trainer recommendations are usually specific and prescriptive, based on the most widely accepted research.

Dr. Parmele is both a coach and a trainer. Her one-on-one sessions are primarily coaching sessions. Her goal is to foster excitement and intrinsic motivation in her clients on their personal health and wellness journeys. In contrast, her lecture-style presentations and demos are in a trainer format, designed to impart specialized information to a target audience. Sometimes a client who chooses to be coached by Dr. Parmele may have specific questions relating to health and wellness. In those cases Dr. Parmele can put on her "trainer" cap and answer in the most scientifically-proven, evidence-based manner possible.


Is Coaching Right For Me?

Who needs a coach?

Are you one of those people that wants to improve your health but keeps falling back to old habits? Don't know how or where to start? Are the contradictions in the media confusing you about what is truly healthy? Do you find that your motivation wanes after a few weeks? Do you have all the best intentions to live a healthy lifestyle but become demoralized after "falling off the wagon?" You're not alone, and coaching will help.

Coaching gives you the tools to make forward progress in your wellness journey. You will learn how to overcome setbacks and celebrate successes.  You will find that inner motivation to achieve your goals and will be taught the tools to make those lifestyle health changes stick. Don't know what your goals are? That's OK! Coaching helps you identify your health and wellness goals and Dr. Parmele supports and guides you the whole way.  In addition she has the personal and professional knowledge to be able to answer your nutrition and exercise questions and help you brainstorm the plan best tailored to you.


Coach/Client Agreement


  1. I will help my client identify and fully engage his or her strengths on the path to a better future.
  2. I will ask provocative questions and encourage my client to arrive  at his or her own answers whenever possible and co-create answers otherwise.
  3. I will encourage realistic expectations and goals.
  4. I will be direct and firm with constructive reflections when needed.
  5. I will support my client in brainstorming creative possibilities for moving forward and navigating roadblocks.
  6. When appropriate, with permission, and within my scope of practice, I will offer advice, instruction, and resources for improving health, well-being, and performance.
  7. I will be punctual and responsive.
  8. I will recognize early whether the chemistry with a client is good or not optimal. If not optimal, I will refer the client to another coach.
  9. I will acknowledge when my client has an issue that is outside my scope of knowledge and skills and will recommend other resources.
  10. I will maintain confidentiality.
  11. I will send a summary of each coaching session, including vision and plan for client editing.


  1. I want to improve my level of health, wellbeing, or performance in life or work.
  2. I am ready to take responsibility to make and sustain change in at least one area.
  3. I am ready to invest ample time (preferably at least 3 months) to make improvements.
  4. I will be open and honest, and I will share personal information that is relevant to my health, wellbeing, and performance.
  5. I am ready to become more self-aware.
  6. I am curious and open to suggestions and trying new things.
  7. I understand that setbacks are normal on the path of change and necessary in order to establish new mindsets and behaviors.
  8. I will be punctual and responsive.