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Diploma in Holistic Life Coaching

Distance learning. Enrol any time.
Recommended study period: 3 to 6 months. Time limit for course completion: 12 months.

Entry criteria: open entry.

Cost: £350.00 (plus cost of textbooks)

Details of textbooks given below. Please wait until enrolment and issue of course manual before buying in case of any last-minute changes due to textbook availability. Current available editions may be checked on Amazon.

A multi-certification course that now includes Stress Management.
Completion of the whole course will result in you gaining the following three certifications:
(bonus free certificate)

Method of study: 

Textbook study plus exercises and reports. Written assignments based on the set textbooks. Assignment questions are provided in our comprehensive PDF course manual and students return their written work by email. Grades and feedback are normally issued by email.

Introduction to current version (now including a module on Stress Management)

The Diploma in Holistic Life Coaching was extended to include a comprehensive unit on Stress Management.  We felt that this was an essential addition because if someone is highly stressed, they will not be in the best position to use and benefit from coaching techniques, and will find it hard to keep up the momentum for change that coaching strives to achieve. We have placed the stress management unit first in order to provide you with the stress diploma (and stress coach certificate) as an interim qualification while you complete the coaching course.

The stress management unit is the same stress course as our separate Diploma in Stress Management and Relaxation course.
Have you already completed our Stress Management diploma? In that case you can take the Holistic Life Coaching diploma for a reduced fee of £ 250 without having to repeat the Stress Management course. Unfortunately we are unable to give credit for stress management qualifications taught by other providers.

Course overview

This distance learning course will especially be of interest to therapists who wish to make the transition to life coaching as an additional or new profession.  The course is also available to others with suitable backgrounds or for personal interest. 

The key differences between life coaching and therapy and counselling are an important part of the course. Study of these principles will help life coaches with liaison and cross-referral with therapists and will help you avoid overstepping professional boundaries.

The programme is taught in 8 modules covering stress management, one key skills model and drawing from four existing life coaching models (Attraction, Co-active, NLP and Coaching with Spirit), introducing a wide variety of life coaching techniques. There is an inspiring module on holistic spirituality and a final integrative essay is required. The focus of this essay will be how coaching relates to, or can be integrated with, your current work or practice.

Appendices are provided that briefly introduce the coaching student to several important health-related topics not usually taught to coaching students, with optional reading lists. These are for information and reference only and no tests on them are required. Current appendices cover:

PTSD, Stress Breakdown, Highly Sensitive Person, Bullying, Listening Skills, Breathing Problems, Social Skills, Mental Health Issues, Autism/Asperger’s, Coaching Autistic Young People.

BONUS - FREE COACHING TRAINING MATERIALS (subject to availability) We are pleased to provide a free bonus to our coaching students in the form of a set of instructions, handouts and Powerpoint slides to provide a brief 1.5-day live introduction to coaching for business and professional audiences.

No face-to-face or distant coaching is provided as part of the course. Some students will already have experience of life coaching and just wish to study in order to be certificated. Others may wish to arrange coaching for themselves - there are many on-line directories of life coaches and students are responsible for making their own arrangements for personal coaching or for working with voluntary clients (e.g. friends/family) to practise certain techniques.

Assessment and study method

Written assignments will be based on textbooks and selected exercises. Lesson plans for each unit will be provided, setting study tasks and questions. Written work may be returned to the college by email or by post to our London address. This is purely a correspondence-based course but students are expected to apply their knowledge of coaching to themselves and in interaction with other people, and how the student has done this should be reflected in the assignment answers. The tutor will give written feedback on assignments.

Many students will already have the capability to study and apply helping techniques, but the core techniques of coaching are easy to learn.  We are confident that the overwhelming majority of students will easily progress through the course. We have been impressed with student performance so far and we have received much positive comment about the course.


1.      Stress Management

Key text: Davis, Eshelman and McKay, The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. Seventh edition, 2019. New Harbinger Publications Inc, 2019.
Stress Management is practised by some people as a stand-alone form of professional helping, and is a useful set of skills to add to any counselling, helping, coaching or complementary therapy field.  The set text for this unit provides an excellent introduction to what stress is and how to cope with it, plus detailed instructions in many stress reduction techniques.

2.        Introduction to Contemporary Holistic Spirituality

Key text:  Bloom, William. The Power Of Modern Spirituality: How to Live a Life of Compassion and Personal Fulfilment. Paperback – Piatkus, 2011. (also available for Kindle).

Many people today describe themselves as “spiritual” or “holistic” and not “religious”. They feel free to develop their own spiritual ideas or paths with help from the many books, courses, resources and teachers available, as well as their own intuition. They may feel connected to the “spiritual” aspects of life in a variety of ways, both internal (for example via physical activities or altered states of consciousness) or external (for example via appreciation of nature and beauty). Whatever form their spirituality takes, it includes some form of deep connection with the wonders of life and the universe, and an urge to share in some way, either through service to community and humanity, or through sharing ideas through teaching, writing and the arts. This module explores the basic parameters of this new spirituality or holism and how it can lead to a fulfilling and compassionate life.

3.         The Coaching Transformation 

Key text:  Skibbins, David. Becoming a Life Coach: A Complete Workbook for Therapists. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications Ltd., 2007.

Working through this unit’s textbook will provide practical skills and knowhow for the therapist or other helping professional who wishes to become a life coach. A crucial part of this unit will be learning the distinctions between working as a therapist and working as a coach, and interacting with clients on the basis of their ability rather than their need for help. 

4.         The Attraction Model of Coaching 

Key text: Leonard, Thomas J., The 28 Laws of Attraction: Stop Chasing Success and Let It Chase You. New York: Scribner, 2008.

Thomas Leonard (1955-2003), the founder of life coaching as a distinct profession, developed the model of “attraction” coaching. His book was originally called "The Portable Coach".   Learn how to discover your vision and purpose, organise yourself, deal with procrastination, make life fulfilling, be constructive and be yourself. The highly condensed strategies presented in the key text may be adapted as a toolkit to help a wide range of coaching clients, or may be cherry-picked as required. 

5.         The Invisible Coach

Key text:  Kimsey-House, H., et al., Co-Active Coaching. Fourth edition. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2018. (includes downloadable online resources)*

This unit offers a superb collection of practical deep coaching skills within a holistic framework, and as well as providing a stand-alone coaching model, it is ideal for students bridging the gap between their other helping practice and the skills of coaching.  After discussion of the coaching relationship and context, the student proceeds to learn the life coaching skills of listening, intuition, curiosity, the action-learning feedback loop, and self-management. A comprehensive set of technique tools is provided which can inspire you to create your own coaching tools in conjunction with your existing expertise. Practical exercises are given which may be carried out on friends, colleagues or clients.

6.         The NLP Coach  

Key text: McDermott, Ian and Jago, Wendy. The NLP Coach: A Comprehensive Guide to Personal Well-Being and Professional Success. London: Piatkus, 2002. 

In this unit, the two modern helping approaches of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Life and Personal Coaching are brought together. The student will learn the basic principles, strategies and tools of NLP and how they fit into the framework of personal coaching. This integrated framework of NLP and life coaching is then applied towards self-coaching success in different areas of life, from a balanced perspective valuing personal harmony, self-esteem, relationships, enhanced brainpower, health, wealth, happiness, rewarding work and spirituality. 

7.         The Spirit of Coaching 

Key text: Belf, Teri-E. Coaching with Spirit. Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 2002.

This unit is about the relationship between life coaching and spirituality. Spirituality does not necessarily mean religion, and people use the term in different ways. However, essential to all views of spirituality is the sense of connection to a greater reality than oneself.  Coaching with spirit rests on three  “grounded principles” :  connection with self, connection with the client and connection with the Whole. These principles inform the art of coaching in various ways, producing a holistic view of coaching whether one is doing personal coaching, business coaching, marketing one’s coaching services, or training. 

8.         Integrated essay on “The Integration of Coaching into my Current Work or Practice”. 

Entry criteria and suitability 

There is no particular qualification required to take this course, but students should have good written English. People with previous experience as therapists or helping professionals are especially welcome.

Qualification and Professional Societies

Successful graduates will receive the Diploma in Holistic Life Coaching awarded by UK College of Holistic Training which is a private UK qualification. Course graduates may use the postnominal initials Dip. H.L.C.

Course accredited by  ACCPH

Graduates will be eligible to apply for membership of  ACCPH and possibly other societies
- see our Societies page.

If you have other relevant qualifications in counselling we can suggest what societies you might be able to join based on your background and experience.

We reserve the right to change the fee, syllabus and other details of any course at any time. If any key textbook becomes unobtainable we will provide a substitute module based on another book or resource.

*Online resources linked to a book and provided by the publisher or their associates are beyond our control and we cannot accept responsibility for any changes in availability of those resources, whether temporary or permanent. However, in case of problems, please contact your tutor for advice.

More information on coaching

Various other inexpensive, self-contained, self-study diplomas and certificates in life coaching have come on the market.  The typical such course uses an in-house manual of about 150 pages or a single textbook of up to 250 pages.  Our course, because it makes use of a number of textbooks, contains at least six times as much content as the typical self-study course.  Some “live” courses that lead to a certificate in a couple of days do not even give you as much as 150 pages of content - no wonder some such courses are now free!  Thus, even when you take the cost of buying the books into account, our course still represents incredible value for money in terms of the knowledge imparted.

Life Coaching is an unregulated profession that is free from the constraints imposed by some countries on counselling and psychotherapy. It is therefore one of the most portable sets of helping skills.

In common with various other distance learning courses in life coaching, this one does not include one-to-one coaching. Students will be encouraged to self-coach during the course and some voluntary practice is encouraged. The phrase “all hypnosis is self-hypnosis” has long been known to those involved in hypnotherapy.  We would like to offer the view that “all life coaching is self-coaching” – because true coaching fosters the inner ability to make sound and creative decisions for successful change.  Many top coaches have written books on how to coach yourself, emphasising the value of self-coaching. It is a central principle of coaching that the answers and power are within the client. Readers of such books will seek a coach when they wish to go further!


You may start at any time of year
Click this link to go to our Application page


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