When it comes to business coaching services, there are a few general laws and legally binding terms that coaches must be aware of. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a high potential for scams, false advertising and financial harm to customers, so it's essential to understand the differences between training and therapy. It's important to be able to explain these differences to prospective coaching clients, and maintain appropriate boundaries with those clients to avoid accusations of illegally practicing psychotherapy. Although it's not a legal requirement, it's best practice to only train with a contract in place to set clear expectations with customers.
This is true regardless of whether a coach has received education and training similar to that of a psychotherapist. The agreement should include the methods of communication, the duration and frequency of training sessions, the fees and any additional expenses, the payment methods accepted, and the time of payment. A coaching certification can equip you with structured frameworks and a training methodology that has been tried and tested. Setting your own conditions (and following them) is what makes you a professional life coach and helps you offer the best experience to your clients.
There are no laws that guarantee that the information shared during the course of a coaching relationship will remain private. When practicing both professions, it's best to have different business names, separate letterheads, business cards, promotional materials, and websites.It's important for coaches to be aware of the legal restrictions on their services in order to protect themselves and their clients from any potential legal issues. By understanding the differences between coaching and therapy, having a contract in place, obtaining certification, and maintaining separate business identities for each profession, coaches can ensure they are providing their clients with the best possible service.