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How to Become a Self-Help Coach/Inspirational Counselor

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A self-help coach or inspirational counselor acts in a similar capacity as a therapist or psychologist, except you don’t always need the same certifications and degrees. If you feel that you have the knowledge and skills to work as a self help coach or counselor you must follow a few preliminary steps before you can start helping people.

Get a degree in the field that you want to work in as a self-help coach or counselor. Possible fields include sociology, psychology, business management and finance. While not always required, a degree in the field lends you credibility, may help boost your reputation, and also gives potential clients confidence that you know what you’re talking about.

Work at least a few years in the field to develop your reputation before you officially try to establish yourself as a self-help coach or inspirational counselor. For instance, if you plan to coach managers on recruiting techniques you should have a few years under your belt as a Human Resources professional.

Register as a business with your state to perform official services as a motivational coach or inspirational counselor.

Join an communication and leadership organization to practice your public speaking and general communication skills. Knowledge of the subject is important, but your communication skills are absolutely crucial to working as a successful self-help coach.

Get certified as a motivational coach or counselor in your field. Organizations like the International Coach Federation or The International Association of Coaching offer certification programs. There are a variety of similar organizations that offer certification. Research and select an organization that specializes in what you want to pursue. These programs lend credibility to your designation as a trusted and reputable professional coach.


Consider writing a book or publish informational articles in industry magazines to further establish yourself as an expert coach or counselor.

To refer to yourself in the official capacity as a counselor you do usually need to have a degree in the field depending on state requirements. As career coach Louise Garver confirms, "Counseling is more academically oriented.”


Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.

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