Parents: Why Your Teen or Young Adult Needs A Good Life Coach

A good life coach can help your child flourish

When I was a teen, anxiety, loneliness and low self esteem were everyday states of being for me, but we didn’t speak about mental health back then like we do now. Thankfully, awareness and acceptance around mental issues is growing. As a result, new and exciting avenues of skilled support are becoming more available too, such as coaching. Knowing what I know now, I could’ve really benefited from the power of a good life coach to help me flourish. And given the decline in mental health, I want you to know why your child needs one too.

I remember how in my teens and twenties, people would often tell me to “just enjoy life.” That these were the best years. I still have no cooking clue what they were talking about.

Let’s face it. As tempting as it is to see their lives as easy and responsibility-free, life for any young person can be tough! From both online and offline social pressures, to grappling with identity and choosing a path for the future, all while dealing with the pressure of school, it’s a juggling act.

And thanks to COVID-19, life has just become a whole lot more complicated. With the instability of the past two years, plotting a direction has become more uncertain for young people. In fact, in a recent study, loss of hope for the future was one of the top reasons for the rise in anxiety and depression in S.A.’s youth.

In my opinion, coaches have an important role to play. 

It’s clear we’ve entered a mental health crisis

A 2018 study by the South African College of Applied Psychology found that one-sixth of the population suffers from anxiety, depression or a substance use disorder, while about 60% could be suffering from post-traumatic stress.

And our young people are at the center of this crisis.

Consider this:

Boy alone in the dark

It’s both fortunate and unfortunate, then, to see parents looking for help for their kids on social media every day.

“My son is 18 at varsity and says he isn’t coping. He completely lacks purpose.” 

Or “My daughter is 16 and has terrible self esteem and is struggling to make friends.”

Who do I speak to? What kind of help do I get? Where do I even start?

Let’s be upfront. Psychologists and counsellors are critical in addressing mental illness and struggles related but not limited to grief, loss, trauma, addiction, relationships and other life challenges. Their many years of training and deep knowledge of the mind make them indispensable in the mental health crisis we face. There’s no debate about that.

But here’s the thing…

While there are situations where a psychologist is vital, there are circumstances where expert coaching can also be hugely beneficial. And it’s often overlooked.

The role of coaching for young people today

Given the fact that the field of life coaching is much less regulated than psychology and counselling, there’s a certain amount of well-deserved skepticism around it. 

And as a resilience coach for teens and young adults, I’ve worked with enough young people and their parents to know that choosing the right kind of help for your child can be overwhelming. Like walking on a rocky ledge, as if one wrong step could cause a landslide.

But I’ve also seen the power of treating mental wellbeing like physical wellbeing. Just like you can get your teen or young adult a coach for physical strength, so you can get one for mental strength to turn them into the strongest person they know!

To add to that, addressing issues now that are predictive of future mental illness (like loneliness, low self-esteem or lack of energy) and developing coping skills can safeguard your child’s wellbeing.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that helping teens build skills like becoming social, developing confidence and building self-efficacy is life-changing. 

And in our experience, being less ‘official’ has even been beneficial in some cases. 

Coaching can restore hope

With the mental health support system already strained, this is where coaches have an important contribution in addressing the mental health crisis in South Africa – and why you should consider one.

In this article, I’ll give you an overview of the options available to your teen or young adult. I’ll also help you understand the transformative power of a good coach for your teen, when to get one and how to choose one you can trust.

What is a coach?

Girl tying her shoelaces

More often than not people think of sports when they hear the word “coach”. Someone who mentors elite athletes and helps them tap into their well of potential to perform at their best.

Having a life coach is not all that different. And the good news is that your child doesn’t need to be an elite anything to benefit from a life coach! 

Coaches specialise in just about everything under the sun. From relationships to business to money to diet to periods (I kid you not!), whatever the struggle, there’s probably a coach for it.

Every coach we’ve met has been deeply passionate about helping people access their full capabilities and make studying their craft a lifelong mission.  But even more importantly, they often have lived experience doing the inner work to overcome a particular set of struggles. This is what gives them the burning desire to work with people in similar situations. They get it.

In my case, I was the anxious, over-achieving teen who felt lonely on a daily basis. I was also the anxious young adult who couldn’t pin down a direction, despite my capability and achievements studying medical biochemistry. 

Making sure young people don’t feel alone in their struggle is what drives me to be a coach every. single. day. They deserve to know that their problem is overcomable, not that they are the problem.


The difference between psychologists, counsellors and coaches

Sometimes a great coach who can understand your child’s struggle and help find solutions is right for your child. But there are situations where it’s not. So how do you decide between the different types of therapy?


Psychologists are the crème de la crème of mental health treatment. They have trained for many years to become skilled at reducing distress, validating and supporting their clients.

A psychologist has a minimum of a Masters degree in one of several fields including counselling, clinical, educational, developmental, research or neuropsychology. A clinical psychologist is able to diagnose mental illnesses like General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Clinical Depression, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and so on. They do not prescribe medication, however. (This is the job of a psychiatrist.)

Sessions are generally free form and they use compassionate talk therapy to validate their clients and understand an issue from different perspectives. As with any field, each professional has a different area of expertise and different methods of working. They may specialise in a particular technique to help your child resolve their struggles, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or psychotherapy. And they may even use a coaching approach when appropriate to enhance the effectiveness of their therapy. Their training and wide array of experiences allows them to be flexible.

Clinical, educational and counselling psychologists are regulated by the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA), South Africa’s regulatory body for health care practitioners. Most are able to claim back from medical aid.

In the case of a traumatic incident or symptoms of mental illness a psychologist is often the most qualified to help.

See a psychologist as the first port of call for the following symptoms*:

  • suicidal ideation and threats
  • self harm
  • binging and purging
  • obsessive behavior surrounding food
  • limiting food
  • addiction / addictive behaviour
  • delusions
  • extreme anger and defiance
  • extreme fluctuations in mood

*Please note this is by no means an exhaustive list. 


A counsellor is like a wise friend who validates your child’s feelings and helps them straighten out their brain spaghetti. In South Africa, a registered counsellor holds a four year Bachelor of Psychology (BPsych) degree (or equivalent) and is overseen by the HPCSA. These counsellors can claim back from medical aid.

In South Africa, we also have counselling bodies that recognise other fields of study. For example, ASCHP-registered counsellors focus on holistic counselling; CCSA-registered counsellors are similar but use different methodologies; and CPSC-registered professionals are pastoral counsellors who focus on faith-based resources. These counsellors cannot claim back from medical aid, meaning that their fees are often lower.

Like psychologists, counsellors provide compassionate support through talk therapy and asking insightful questions. But counsellors are not qualified to diagnose mental illnesses or prescribe treatments. They are a good option for less serious symptoms and will refer your child to a psychologist if necessary.


While most psychology and counselling sessions use talk therapy, coaching sessions use a combination of compassionate counselling and solution-focused tools.

Instead of focusing on a problem or the past, the aim of coaching is to gain clarity around a set of issues. They then use tools to help a client build necessary emotional, social and/or coping skills to overcome these issues and take steps towards a defined vision. This may involve exploring their unique strengths, core values and setting goals (and importantly,  holding them accountable to them.) 

For this reason, sessions are a bit more structured than the free form, client-directed approach of many psychologists and counsellors. (Although as mentioned above, some psychologists and counsellors may take a coaching approach too.)

Coaches are a fantastic option for those needing guidance at transitory phases, to gain perspective and direction, or develop necessary skills. (See our section on ‘When to get your child a coach‘ below for more about this!) But they should rarely be used in place of a registered professional, especially for severe issues where the person may be at risk of harm. Instead, coaching can play a valuable supplementary role for someone already in therapy, or for continued support after they have already received treatment.

Coaches may train and be certified or hold a degree in a related field, but this isn’t a pre-requisite. There is no degree in coaching. Coaches also aren’t regulated by the HPCSA. Some might choose to subscribe to a governing body like the International Coaches Federation (ICF) or International Coaches Register (ICR). This is a good thing to check for as it shows accountability and transparency. But for the most part the field is still unregulated.

This can make it tricky when deciding on a coach. But stress not, we’ve outlined some pointers further down for how to choose a coach!

5 awesome advantages of getting your teen or young adult a coach

The list of perks for coaching is massive and each topic could be a blog piece on its own. Below are some of the biggest and most common benefits of coaching.

1. Have someone believe in the best of them

Having a coach is a lot like having a cheerleader that believes in the best of your child. They’ll walk alongside your young person as they navigate their challenges, reminding them of their potential and helping them unleash it. 

The teen and young adult years can be especially difficult as they navigate relationships. And I know you might be thinking But I’m their cheerleader!

It’s not uncommon as a parent to want to be their everything when it comes to caring for them and solving problems. But as I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s a critical time for the formation of an identity away from you, the parent, as well as healthy self esteem and self confidence.

Sadly, there are also situations where the relationship with their parent is a major source of stress.

Either way, a stable, encouraging relationship with a good coach is like STEROIDS for growth when times are tough. Especially when their relationships are strained at school, university, work or at home.

2. Prevent mental health issues

It’s important to understand that the tools for resolving past issues are not the same as the skills for building wellbeing. Likewise, the absence of mental illness is not really the same as  thriving!

A good coach can help your child when they’re in the dumps, but they can equally support their dreams and ambitions. They can guide them to set goals that boost their energy and motivation and develop internal resources that bulletproof their mental health. 

This means you can help them live more intentionally instead of waiting for their problem to be ‘bad enough’ to see a therapist. You can also help them go from ‘languishing’ to ‘flourishing’. Like the saying goes, prevention is often better than cure!

3. Help them build skills

As a teen who regularly had anxiety attacks, I remember being told, “You need to just learn how to control your mind.” As if it was something I was supposed to have been born knowing how to do.

And for all these comments, no one ever told me how. (Although now I suspect they didn’t really know how themselves.)

It took me ages to realise that this was a skill that I could develop (instead of an inherent character flaw) and that tools and people existed to help me do just that.

With a little help, your child can develop skills like being more calm, confident, self-assured, assertive, driven, able to cope and resilient. Doing so can increase your child’s success in life, boost their overall happiness and enjoyment levels and protect their mental health in the future.

4. Less stigma

Receiving a diagnosis can be empowering if it helps your child understand that they have a treatable issue and that they are not defective. In some cases, it helps to normalise their struggle, remove the shame associated with it and pave the way for solutions. 

But there are two sides to this coin. For some, a diagnosis confirms that there really is something wrong with them. Often the biggest barrier to therapy in teens is the fear of receiving a diagnosis and being seen and treated differently. It’s a tricky line to tread. 

The advantage of coaching is that it is diagnosis and label-free. Coaches (and counsellors) work with people as they are, recognising issues, validating feelings and working together to find a solution to their struggles. In our experience, we have found that because teens and young adults know they won’t be receiving a label in coaching (and there is therefore less stigma and risk of being seen differently), they are often more open to support.

*While this can be incredibly advantageous, it’s important to remember that there are situations where a diagnosis is critical and a coach is not the right choice as the primary form of support. At F&T, we do not to work with anyone with serious mental illnesses such as an active eating disorder or suicidal ideation and self-harm unless they are already receiving treatment from a psychologist. Please make sure to read the section ‘When a coach is not appropriate’ if this is a concern for your child.

5. Accountability buddy

Most of us know we need to change our habits… Procrastinate less, exercise more, manage our time better.

But actually changing them is a whole ‘nother story. (If it weren’t, our track records for sticking to new years resolutions would be stellar!)

For the average adult, this is already tough. 

So consider a teen or young adult whose ability to control their impulses is still developing. Yikes!

There’s an art to habit-making and breaking. The trouble is, many of us set goals without knowing how to account for completely normal fluctuations in willpower.

And when they have setbacks, many people tend to berate themselves and take it as a confirmation that they aren’t good enough. This couldn’t be truer for many teens and young adults.

Having someone by their side to show them the ropes, hold them accountable, turn their ‘failure’ into useful feedback and motivate them is priceless.

It can take a struggling child from feeling helpless to being wiser, more empowered and better equipped for the future.

When to get your teen or young adult a coach

The list of reasons to get a coach is a long one and the situations below are by no means exhaustive. Your child might be struggling with issues of gender fluidity, sexual orientation or body image issues, for example, in which case it would be massively beneficial to seek a coach specialising in this area. 

(What if you feel your child could benefit from coaching but you don’t see their set of struggles listed below? If this is the case, please feel free to reach out to me at, and we can discuss whether this is the right support for your child.)

Why your child needs a good life coach

They’re navigating a change

Adolescence and the transition into young adulthood is rife with changes. It can be an exciting phase but may also present challenges to their identity or direction, especially for those who struggle to adjust.  

The uncertainty of a new school, starting university or a job, changes in friend groups (which we see impacting teens often) and navigating romantic relationships can be unsettling for young people who lack confidence and self esteem.

Having a coach by their side to support and guide them through their struggles and help them develop the necessary perspective and coping skills is invaluable.  

They’re having a quarter-life crisis

Although it’s generally thought of as a time of freedom and opportunity, the early to mid-twenties are becoming increasingly stressful and anxiety-ridden for young adults. More and more people in their early twenties to mid thirties are experiencing crises “involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life” (a quarter of the way through adulthood – hence the name “quarter-life crisis”.)

If you went through this yourself, you know it really ain’t fun. The shame of not having things “figured out” or feeling like they’re falling behind can open them up to bigger issues if left unchecked. The problem is, it’s often overlooked as “just a phase”. And maybe it used to be. But now more than ever, I strongly believe that young adults need coaches in order to help them define goals and manage the anxiety that comes with this phase.

This phase of life can be debilitating. But it can also be fertile soil for growth and purpose, if used correctly. I’d even go as far as saying we all need a quarter-life crisis.

They lack energy and motivation

We’ve seen many a young person say “I just don’t have the energy to do anything”. Parents and teachers often label them as ‘lazy’. But being ‘lazy’ is often a misdiagnosis.

Because here’s the thing. Everyone is energized towards something. When someone lacks energy, it’s usually because they’ve fallen out of touch with what’s truly important to them or where their strengths lie.

They might feel mildly depressed or unable to define a clear vision. This can easily happen in high school or university when it feels like they don’t have much agency over their lives. 

A coach can help them identify their innate strengths – qualities that come naturally and energize instead of drain them – and work together to find ways to use them more in their day to day.

They can also help uncover the unique set of core values that give their life meaning and set goals for the future that are important to them.

And as we’ve mentioned already, having a coach be their cheerleader and remind them of their why can boost their motivation and feeling of empowerment.  

They’re experiencing a loss of direction and purpose

I remember being 21 and stuck. I’d been studying Medical Biochemistry for almost four years and although I was ambitious with a promising future in academia, it felt like my life had no meaning. Nothing, in fact, had any meaning.
A good coach can help with loss of direction

In the years that followed after my degree, I grappled with this uncertainty. I suffered a loss of passion and no clear “why” to choose any one direction. It was debilitating.

I fear that many school and university-leavers struggle with this void of meaning and lack of certainty, and that it tends to not be taken seriously.

While it’s normal, it most certainly warrants attention. And although it’s a phase, there’s a lot that you can do about it to make them even stronger in the long run.

Understanding purpose, where meaning comes from and uncovering what is really important to someone can help unwind the knots of their struggle.

Setting goals for the future can also restore hope and pave a healthy direction. This is an extremely important step in both success and preventing problems like depression and addiction, which feelings of meaninglessness can open them up for.

They procrastinate and have poor follow-through with goals

I once asked a hall full of grade 11s, “How many of you know you should stop procrastinating?”

Every single student put up their hand.

“And how’s that going for you?” I teased.

They giggled. No one had managed.

Sometimes procrastination isn’t serious. It might come down to not knowing why they’re doing geometry when really their passion lies in creative writing.

But the problem comes in when it becomes chronic and starts eating away at their self-trust and ability follow through on meaningful goals.

Having a vision or desire, however vague, but feeling unable to act on it can be very frustrating. It can also cause an overwhelming amount of anxiety when they leave things to the last minute. Sometimes it’s about not having a clear step-by-step plan. Other times it’s a symptom of self-limiting beliefs.

Either way, a skilled coach will be able to unlock their potential by weeding out limiting beliefs and helping your child develop a clear action plan. This is real fuel for self-trust, self-belief and becoming unstoppable!

They struggle with anxiety and stress

Does your child meltdown before exams, essay deadlines or oral presentations? Or maybe it’s social situations or important competitive events. We’ve heard many parents say they feel like they’re walking on eggshells and bracing themselves for the next explosion. In a moment of frustration, one mom told us, “I never want to hear the word ‘trigger’ again!”

If your child is already showing signs of this, don’t trust that this will just go away or wait until it’s ‘bad enough’ to see a psychologist. The best way to mitigate this is to help them develop coping skills now and avoid destructive coping strategies later in life as their stress compounds. A good coach can identify your child’s needs and work wonders with this.

Avoidance behaviours that keep a person in their comfort zone, far from any triggers, are a common hallmark of anxiety. Think excessive gaming, Netflix binges or spending the whole day on social media. While it might look like a good thing that they’re not being triggered, it can actually be incredibly destructive. Why? Because as human beings, we need to step out of our comfort zones and slowly confront stressful situations in order to grow. Without this, our self-trust deteriorates and anxiety escalates dramatically.

Having someone teach your child these concepts and provide trusting support as they venture into the unknown is incredibly empowering. Life won’t get less stressful. But your young person can learn to handle life’s challenges as the hero of their story, instead of feeling overwhelmed by them!

They have trouble navigating relationships

Toxic friendships, relationships and breakups are all too common in the teen and young adult years. And in a phase where the need for belonging is amplified and critical to healthy development, for those who struggle to make and keep friendships, life can become increasingly lonely.

“Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.”

Douglas Nemecek, MD, chief medical officer for behavioral health, Cigna

Research is now showing the severe impact of loneliness on mental and physical health. Lonely people are fifty per cent more likely to die prematurely than people with strong social relationships. What’s more, Millennials and Generation Z are among the most affected by loneliness today, making it critical for them to learn how to navigate relationships.

Likewise, as addiction research evolves, we are beginning to see that loneliness has a strong link with substance abuse. In fact, research into wellbeing consistently shows that strong, supportive relationships are the cornerstone of resilience and mental health. Meaning that finding ways to help teens and young adults develop social skills and positive relationships could save them a lifetime of unnecessary struggle.

A good coach can normalise your child’s feelings of loneliness (which are usually accompanied by shame and embarrassment) and help them become more secure in themselves. They’ll also help them regulate their emotions, develop strategies to form the strong, fulfilling bonds they need to thrive and experience greater connection. With research showing that strong relationships are the indispensable for resilience, this will be a skill they’ll benefit from their entire life!

They have low confidence and self worth

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

E. E. Cummings

Does your child have the heartbreaking habit of thinking negatively about themself? Do they generally tend to focus on the worst parts of themselves, their failures and mistakes?

If so, they’re not alone. Almost every client we see has the goal of increasing their self worth and becoming more confident, especially in social situations. And for many, feelings of worthlessness, not being good enough or fear that they’re unlikeable are all too common.

Confidence can be an absolute mystery for people who struggle with it. From the outside, it can appear as if some people have it and others just don’t. But the belief that confidence is a fixed, inherited trait is a total myth because it can be developed! Especially with the help of a coach who has the tools and strategies to help you get there.

There have been thousands of studies published about self-confidence, and many of them link confidence with success in life. Confident children tend to perform better at school and have higher job satisfaction later in life. Some studies also show the link between confidence and positive mental health!

Helping teens and young adults shift their focus to their value is possibly our favourite thing about coaching. And giving them this gift at a young age allows them to begin fulfilling their potential and building a life on top of a rock-steady internal foundation.

They are extremely ambitious

My favorite thing about coaching is that you don’t have to wait until there’s a problem to get your child support.

Most of the world’s top achievers and most successful people have coaches. From Bill Gates to talk show empresses like Oprah, the best people have a team to make them even better.

A good coach can help your child fine tune their goals and plot a map to making their ambitions a reality. They’ll provide support in difficult moments, teach them emotional regulation and remind them of their why when they need it.

Most importantly, working with a coach will give your child the skills to keep making giant leaps long after their partnership has ended.

When a coach is not appropriate

For all its merits, there are situations where coaching is not appropriate. If your child is exhibiting any of the following behaviours, please turn to a registered professional first before considering coaching.

Your child has deep-seated trauma

Traumatic incidents like sexual assault, verbal or physical abuse (including bullying), death of a loved one or a divorce should always be seen to by a counsellor or psychologist. While coaching can complement and support traditional, long-term therapy well, coaching should only become an option once your teen or young adult is already in therapy. Unless, of course, you know of a coach who specialises in trauma and whose credibility and professionalism you can verify.

Your child is showing signs of psychological issues that require a professional

Unusual changes in your young person’s behaviour could signal something deeper or more serious. But it can be difficult to know when professional psychological help is needed.

If your child is self-harming, running away, using substances, becoming defiant and angry, getting into legal trouble, acting out sexually or showing issues around food, a counsellor or psychologist is needed.

Pay attention to fluctuations in energy and enthusiasm, mood, social habits and posting habits on social media (e.g. are they posting dark and depressing quotes?) Getting help sooner rather than later is important.

Your child is not interested in being coached

This is a tricky one. As is often the case, parents see the need for support for their child long before they do. And they may be resistant, but it doesn’t necessarily mean coaching will be unsuccessful. In this case, the coaching process may become about deconstructing the resistance itself.

On the other hand, if your child is genuinely not interested in being coached, a more passive process like talk therapy may be a better fit. This will allow them to process feelings in a safe space without having the added effort of “homework” that often comes with coaching.

Luckily, we’ve put together a short guide to overcoming resistance and getting your child on board below!

How to broach the topic of needing a coach with your child

So you know your teen or young adult needs coaching but the thought of having this conversation with them is making you cringe. Don’t stress! Preparing yourself with some of the simple strategies below will help you get their buy-in.

Girl on an adventure

Appeal to their goals, values and ambitions

Teens and young adults don’t often want to acknowledge they have a problem. By asking yourself what they really want and explaining that a coach can help them do just that, you’re much more likely to pique their interest.

(Hint: being more confident is a big thing in this age group!)

In other words, sell the dream instead of focusing on the problem!

Sell it as an adventure 

If your young person doesn’t feel as though they’re going to someone to “get fixed”, getting support won’t make them feel like they’re broken.

At F&T, we like to talk about coaching as the adventure of becoming their Thriving Self, whatever that means to them.

Ask them, “Don’t you want to find out what your inner superpowers are?” Or, “Don’t you want to become unstoppable in the pursuit of your dreams and goals?”

(Trust me, even if it’s very deep down, they do.)

You can also remind them that the most successful people in the world have coaches. And just like they can get a coach for physical strength, so they can get one for mental strength to turn them into the strongest person they know.

Offer them a free, no-strings attached introduction

Most coaches offer a free introduction or strategy session. This is where your teen or young adult will really be able to envision how coaching will make a difference for them. They’ll also be able to gauge the coach and intuit whether or not they’re a good fit, giving you both greater peace of mind before you make the commitment!

At F&T, we offer a free 30 minute introduction over Zoom. Click the link below to get started!

Give them space

Even if they’re being stubborn, try to take a step back and let them think it over instead of forcing them into it.

Also, bear in mind that your idea of their problem might be different from the actual problem. Allowing them to decide for themselves will increase their commitment if they decide to go ahead in the end.

They probably won’t thank you for the trust and respect in their own decision-making, but it will make a massive difference!

4 tips when choosing a coach

By now you have a pretty good idea of the advantages of a coach, when to get one and how to get your child on board. But choosing a coach can be a tricky process, especially when it’s for your child.

As mentioned earlier, the field is not regulated like that of HPCSA-registered professionals. This can make it nerve-racking. Using the good practices below can help you make an informed choice and help you get the most out of the process.

Make sure the relationship is a good fit

Research shows that the relationship between therapist and client is the most important factor in the success of a therapy. In other words, make sure your child feels like they can develop a trusting relationship with their coach. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t push it.

As I mentioned above, most coaches offer some form of free introduction. Take advantage of this! Meet with as many as you need to to find one that your child feels comfortable with.

Check if they are certified

Certification is not a requisite to become a coach. In fact, anyone who feels they have a skill to share can call themselves a coach. (Yes, this does include 22 year olds who have amassed an Instagram following with their inspirational quotes, six packs and reels.)

Still, some opt to be certified in counselling and communication skills, or particular techniques like Neurolinguistic Programming, Imago dialoguing, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Quantum Coaching… the list goes on.

Certifications show a commitment to furthering knowledge and responsible coaching.

See if they are certified with a regulatory body

The field of life coaching is not regulated by a central body like the HPCSA for psychologists and counsellors in S.A. But international bodies do exist that uphold standards and that coaches can apply to, like the International Coaches Register (ICR) or International Coaching Federation (ICF). Organisations like these do background checks and knowledge tests. They also outline responsible procedures and regulations that members must follow and where they can be reported. While this isn’t entirely necessary, the choice to be held accountable by a regulatory body shows commitment, integrity and transparency. 

At F&T, our coaches are registered with the ICR.

Ask for referrals and testimonials

You may already know this one intuitively. Asking friends and acquaintances for their recommendations of coaches they have experience with can help you make a decision with confidence.

But what if you’ve found a new coach no one you know has been to? In this case, look for testimonials on the coach’s site, Facebook or Google reviews or their brochure. An absence of authentic testimonials is a definite red flag. Reading more about other people’s experiences can help you decide if the coach is the right fit. Their struggles may even overlap with yours and shed some light on the process!

In conclusion

In a world where mental health is declining at unprecedented rates, support for struggling young people has arguably never been so important. While traditional therapy is critical, it’s worth considering the value of a strong coaching relationship for your teen or young adult.

Addressing issues now that are predictive of future mental illness (like loneliness, low self-esteem or lack of energy) and developing skills can safeguard your child’s wellbeing. Likewise, learning how to set goals, tap into personal values and inner strengths and develop coping abilities is an invaluable way to prevent the onset of serious mental illness. It can also set your child up with knowledge and tools for a successful future. This is where coaching has an important role to play, both in combination with other therapies and on its own.

I hope you’ve found this useful. If you have any questions regarding coaching for your child, please feel free to email me on

If you would like to book a free call to find out more about how we can help, click the link below! We look forward to hearing from you.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get tips and updates about personal transformation and resilience that we only share with our subscribers.