Forget your preconceived notions of life coaches for just a moment. Life coaches aren't for needy, neurotic celeb-types; they can help anyone and everyone with all areas of life.
Author Domonique Bertolucci says coaches work with future-focused themes.
"Although it may be helpful to learn from past situations, it is not a life coach's role to help you resolve any issues you may have relating to your past. A life coach can support you in achieving goals you have for any area with the 'Wheel of Life' including friends, family, romance, career, finance, health, recreation and personal growth," she says.
She says they can also help with personal challenges like becoming more confident, overcoming limiting beliefs and achieving more potential - something which you could be unwilling or unable to do on your own.
This is the crucial difference between engaging a coach and reaching for a self-help book.
"Reading self-help books can be very inspiring and instructive when you embark on a personal change program, however, reading a book is essentially a passive, single-direction activity. When you work with a coach, not only is the dialogue two-way, with the coach challenging you with his or her questions and ensuring that you are fully honest with yourself, it is also the coach's role to keep you accountable for the actions you are proposing and the commitments you are making," she says.
Principal coach at Total Balance, Kate James keeps her sessions action-focused. Her aim is to align all aspects of her client's personality, wants, needs and lifestyle to create a personalised master plan with goals and steps.
"I use psychometric tests to work out what people's strengths are and then explore what their interests are and what their ideal work situation is. We also brainstorm to think about options," she says.
After that, the client will give some thought to what their values are and what their life plan is; what they want and what sort of life they want for themselves, Ms James says.
Some people know what they are after but need to clarify their goals and to know they have a deadline in the form of their coach's appointment."And that, I think is probably the most powerful part of coaching."