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Frequently Asked Questions

What is coaching? True coaching doesn't tell people what to do. It keeps your clients in the driver's seat and in charge of their decision-making. Clients think about what works best for them, and how they can achieve their goals. This is an important shift to our current "expert" models in healthcare and business because we know now that telling people what to do doesn't work. Research tells us that when people tap into their inner motivation, that's when they make real change.

How is coaching different from therapy, mentoring, and education? Some of the skills are similar but the intentions and goals are different. Therapy is about looking back and focusing on particular problems, challenges, or early childhood traumas. Coaching is about starting now and looking forward. We can recognize patterns, but in service of moving forward. Mentoring is when one person shares their knowledge, skills, and experience in a particular area with another person to support the growth and development of the other person personally or professionally. Education is the model most familiar to many students who have healthcare backgrounds. It is working with clients from the expert perspective, with a specific learning agenda, and instructing a client on what they should do.  Education can certainly be part of your time with a client but when you are in a coaching role this enters in only at the request of and with the permission of the client and does not make up the majority of a session.

Why should I choose Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy over another coaching program?  Choose us because we will partner with you and make sure you have everything you need to become a great coach. We will give you the knowledge, skills, and tools for you to start coaching right away...and practice, practice, practice! You matter to us. We care about you and what you do with your coaching after graduation. You can keep in touch with us on our free alumni calls for as long as you like! Not to mention we meet the requirements for multiple certifications so that you are not limited to a certain coaching pathway like you might be with other programs. Choose us because we are a home for discovery and exploration of a new way of coaching that creates wholeness and benefits the coach, the client, and the world. 

Bonus: A highlight of our coaching program for students is the unexpected personal transformation they experience as a student. You will not only learn to be a skilled and effective coach with your many opportunities to practice coaching others, but you will also receive coaching from fellow students and faculty throughout the program that will support your personal growth. That is a priceless benefit!

We make 4 BIG promises to our students:

Who is eligible to enroll in this coaching program? The only requirement for enrollment is that you are 18 years of age or older. We have a diverse group of students with many educational backgrounds and interests.

Can I complete this program completely online or is some travel required? Yes, this program is fully online with a combination of weekly Live video classes using the Zoom platform and online learning modules. The video calls create a close knit community for our students and online learning gives flexibility in scheduling your independent work.

What is included in the 90-hour Holistic Coaching Mastery Course?

  • First module is Coaching Core Competency Course (30 hours)
    • 12 hours of learning using our online educational platform. You will have supplemental videos and quizzes as part of the online content.
    • 18 hours of face to face live tele-conference classes using Zoom. Here the faculty teach coaching skills and fundamentals and help you to practice the skills. This is very interactive, and students usually feel energized after class and excited about what they are learning.
    • You will also have a 1-1 student advisor who works with you for 45 minutes 2 times during the 9-week class. You get to ask questions and coach your advisor, so you get immediate feedback on your strengths and the opportunity to receive some upgrades in a relaxed, positive way.
    • You will also be paired with another student in a “dyad” so you can practice coaching outside of class for 5 sessions. Nice way to build confidence and students support each other.
    • You will also practice outside of class with volunteers.
      • Core Course Summary
        • 12 hours of online learning
        • 18 hours of live tele-conference classes, 2 hours/week for 9 weeks
        • Student advisor- 3 sessions during this 9 week module; 1-1 support
        • Lots of practice, because that's what we know helps you learn. We pair you with a fellow student and then you find volunteers.
        • 30 days after completion of the live classes to complete and submit any assignments and coaching logs.

  • Second module is Advanced Tools (30 hours)
    • 15 hours of online learning.
    • AnchorWeekly 2 hour live tele-conference classes. Dr. Bark’s Coaching Tools are demonstrated during class and you have time to ask questions about and get support for your practice coaching.
    • You will have a 1-1 student advisor who works with you for 45 minutes once during the 8-week class.
    • A small amount of content about each tool is on the online learning platform.
    • Advanced Tools is 8 weeks in duration. You have 30 days after completion of the live classes to complete and submit any assignments and coaching logs.

What are the Advanced Tools? Over 15 of the tools described in the book are demonstrated during class. You are also given a deck of tool cards covering each tool.

  • These tools are aligned with the different structures of consciousness. Examples are:
    • Magic – intuition, magic wand
    • Archaic - meditation, connection to source, breath
    • Mythical – story telling, affirmations
    • Mental – timeline, options, 1-10 scale

  • Third module is Practicum (15 hours)
    • It is all about practice.
    • Fine tuning your coaching skills in weekly online video calls using Zoom. This class meets 2 hours a week for 8 weeks and requires 5 volunteer coaching sessions and a recorded session.
    • During that time, the faculty and fellow students observe you coaching one of your fellow students or the faculty member. They can give you feedback about your strengths and some upgrades you could make. The class is very supportive, like all our classes.
    • You will submit a 30-minute recorded coaching session for skills review and will receive feedback and a grade of Pass or Upgrade.
    • Practicum is 8 weeks in duration and you have 30 days after completion of the live classes to complete and submit any assignments and coaching logs.

  • Fourth module is Healthy Lifestyle Basics (15 hours)
    • Self-paced with 15 hours of online content covering the basics of a healthy lifestyle from our experts! In this course, we will cover nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress reduction, and many more topics! (Recommended completion within 60 days of starting the module.)

How often do the classes start? The series of 4 modules starts 2 or 3 times a year. You can find the schedule for upcoming courses at https://www.wisdomofthewhole.com/. We offer our courses from 4:30-6:30 PM Pacific Standard Time and from 9:00-11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time.

How long does the course take?

  • The Coaching Core Competency course is 9 weeks and takes about 2-3 months to complete. Advanced Tools and Practicum are each 8 weeks long and taken consecutively after the Core Competency course will take 4-6 months. There may be a break of one or more weeks between courses depending on the session, you can view the course registration page for specific course dates. Students have 60 days to complete the Healthy Lifestyle Basics and start when they choose. Most students complete the full 90 hour program in 7-8 months.

Time commitment? Wisdom of the Whole is designed for busy people. People who work full time, are in school, are parents or just have busy lives!

  • Weekly Live 2-hour video classes (mandatory attendance on the live calls).
  • 10 practice coaching sessions over 2-3 months—flexible, you schedule these.
  • Texts: Wisdom of the Whole, Coaching for Joy, Health and Success by Dr. Linda Bark and Master Coach, Vol.3; Masterful Questions by Michael Stratford. These are easy reads and align with the information learned in class and on our online learning platform.         


  • Core Competency total time commitment is about 4 hours a week (including 2-hour weekly live classes, reading, and coaching practice) for 9 weeks.
  • Advanced Tools is a 2-hour live class per week + a small amount of online work and 5 coaching partner practice sessions over the 8 weeks.
  • Practicum is a 2-hour live class per week plus 5 volunteer sessions and a recorded session, there are no outside assignments over the 8-week course.
  • If you are going for certification, most certifications require additional practice hours.

Note: This course is not like a graduate level class. Students take the course because they are passionate about coaching. They are interested in helping people.  It is not boring! 

What kind of certification can I get at the end of the course?

  • Wisdom of the Whole provides training requirements for Certification. Certification does not come with this course. 
  • Our 90-hour Holistic Coaching Mastery Program meets the TRAINING REQUIREMENTS for several certifications (Be sure to check the links provided for each organization to confirm you will meet the requirements for certification, information may change from what is shared here):
    • American Holistic Nurse Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) - Nurse Coach-Board Certified
      • Must have 60 hours of training and we provide that.
      • Must have 60 hours of MENTORED coaching practice.
        • Most students can obtain that if they can count their practice at work, with friends, and family and can complete the program in 6-8 months.
        • Coaching practice hours are mentored during all 3 modules so you will receive a verification letter of coaching practice hours from us at the end of each module after you send in your coaching practice table.
        • If you do not finish your 60 hours of practice, we offer mentoring at an additional price.
      • Written test and must be a BSN nurse although some associate degree nurses have applied to the board and been allowed to sit for the exam.
    • International Coaching Federation (ICF) Level 1 Pathway
      • Must have 60 hours of training and we provide that.
      • Must have 100 hours of documented coaching practice (75 hours paid) and at least 25 hours within the past 18 months. Must submit one recorded session for evaluation.              
      • Need 10 hours of mentoring (7 hours can be in a group of 10 or less and 3 hours need to be 1-1). This needs to happen during your coach training program with us over a period of at least 3 months. We offer a group Mentoring Course (additional fee) that will cover the 7 hours of group mentoring and you can also arrange for your three 1:1 mentoring sessions at a special rate.
      • Written test.
    • National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)
      • Must have an Associate degree or higher.
      • 75 hours (Must have 60 hours of coach training and must complete a 15-hour Healthy Lifestyle Course (this is included in our 90-hour program).
      • 50 documented practice sessions of 20 minutes each.
      • Multiple choice exam.
    • Wisdom of the Whole certification (This is not a national certification but a branded certification from our school. Nurses need a national certification for it to count in their health care system.)
      • Must have completed the 30-hour core course, a written test, and a skill test by sending in a recording of a 30-minute coaching session that will be assessed by faculty.

What can I do with coaching after I complete the program?

  • More and more coaching jobs are available as many different types of companies discover the success that coaching can bring to their employees.).  
  • See what some of our Wisdom of the Whole Graduates say: https://www.wisdomofthewhole.com/graduate-success-stories/
  • Graduates report that they have an advantage in the marketplace, even if they are not looking for a coaching job. Ask about the NIH study completed in 2018.
  • Enhance your current role and relationships and improve your existing worksite culture.
  • You can pursue a private practice.

Do you have payment plans?

  • Payment plans are available through a Pay Pal line of credit. You will need to apply for this via PayPal at the time of registration. Ask about other payment plan options.
  • AnchorWe offer special Early Bird pricing which gives a deep discount if you register early for a course.

Saw an ad for a coaching certificate I can get over a weekend. Why would I go through this long process? 

  • Our coaching programs offer you the advantage of a time tested and validated approach to coaching. Our founder, Dr. Linda Bark, has been a nurse and a coach for over 30 years and has been teaching coaching for 25 years. You will learn solid, research validated coaching skills with the support and mentoring you need for success. Our programs prepare you to meet the requirements for national certification and offer a holistic and integral perspective. A weekend program may offer a few skills, but coaching competency takes time, support, and practice!

What is Holistic about this program?

  • Holistic is a way of being, knowing and doing. It is a different way of understanding things which includes involving our whole selves, our feelings, thoughts, imagery, intuition, body and sense of purpose, values, and beliefs.


    • Coming from the MENTAL, sequential, logical perspective can help us spot patterns, incongruencies, and give us increased awareness around our thoughts.
    • Coming from the MYTHICAL perspective, we can ask ourselves what the “story” is about our situation, wave an imaginary magic wand, and consider how we want our “story” to be different (and get us out of “stuck” thoughts).
    • Coming from an INTUITIVE perspective, we can tune into our inner landscape and see what our “gut instincts” or hunches are telling us.
    • Coming from an ARCHAIC perspective, we can foster our connection with our sense of purpose and meaning. This informs our choices, decisions, and focus, as we move forward (and/or, perhaps change course entirely, or give us a second wind!)

More than ever, we need to trust our intuition and gut feelings, and align with our purpose... While we continue to embrace our logical thinking minds. Combining all perspectives (the INTEGRAL) will change the paradigm into something new.

How do alumni keep in touch and what support is available after the program is finished?

  • We have a very strong alumni group for networking and support.
  • Alumni portal that includes resources for alumni and networking opportunities.
  • Opportunity to join our public facing alumni directory to share your coaching practice.
  • Regular alumni calls covering a wide range of topics and practice sessions such as Imagery in Coaching, Motivational Interviewing, Nutritional Coaching, Business and Marketing, Sharing Coaching Experiences, Grief Coaching, Intuitive Storytelling, and many others!
  • Quarterly alumni newsletter with topics geared towards coaching and alumni interests.
  • Specialty Classes for continuing education and development that are aligned with our model.
  • You are invited to an Alumni Facebook page.
  • Coaching Business Manifestors group for alumni to support one another building practices.

How do I learn more about the Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy and get my questions answered?

Revised: August 4 2023

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