Michael McMorris has a master’s degree in social work, is a national board-certified health and wellness coach, a certified financial social worker and a CDC certified diabetes health and wellness coach. With many years of experience in the field, Michael brings a unique understanding of what being a certified health coach really means.
Health coaching means different things to different people, and to Michael, health coaching means a partnership with the people he’s engaging. He lives by the professional definition from Michael Arloski, who calls it the “client-centered approach to health and wellness, where we engage people by a defined process that helps people reach their self-determined health goals.”
To Michael, Pack Education is all about the people behind the scenes.
“We’re all certified, and some of us have master’s degrees in our particular fields, making us credible. Sometimes health and wellness coaches are self-educated and self-certified, but here, you can count on our health coaches understanding and being credible in their practice.”
The certification process took Michael’s practice to a new level. The quality of his coaching has gotten better, he said, and he’s aware of that because of comments from his members that take the time to remind him how he’s impacting their lives. Michael recently took some time to answer a few of our questions.
What inspired you to become a health coach?
As I surveyed the landscape of careers in social work, nothing “spoke” to me as a possible career path. I did remain interested in medical social work. Health coaching provides me the opportunity to use my skills as a social worker to help people reach their personal health goals.
What are the big lessons or common denominators you’ve learned about how people motivate themselves and change?
Motivation varies from a life-altering diagnosis or just wanting to have a healthier version of themselves. One common denominator is just getting started and having a clear pathway to reach their goals. Oftentimes people do not know where to start. As a health coach, I am able to provide a clear path for clients to get started and continue down the journey to reach their goals.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the 50 coaching sessions required to sit for the exam?
The coaching sessions provide that experience to put the practical skills and theoretical framework to work and helping clients reach their goals. The exam contains mostly vignettes of cases that will be familiar to what health and wellness coaches experience every day.
What tells you that someone is on the road, or likely to be successful, to make a big behavior change?
This is a hard one to forecast. I have experienced people who were having difficulty getting started, then something just clicks and they are off and running. I approach everyone with the same idea that informs my practice. All people have within them the ability and strengths to actualize their goals. I engage people where they are and then move them forward in the change process. One on one health coaching is not for everyone.