Eating Disorder Coach Training: Things to Know About the Program General Questions:
1. How long will the program take to complete and what is the time commitment each week? The course can be started at any time and taken at your own pace. We cannot predict how long it will take you because people are very different in the time they have to work on the course and the time they need to read the material or watch videos. The only time requirement is that you have to finish the course in 18 months. This gives anyone plenty of time to complete the material. Supervision will begin after the course work has been completed. The time it takes to complete supervision will depend on you and your time commitments and the availability of your supervisor. You will be responding to scenarios we send you, as well as having a few meetings with clients where you record sessions for feedback. Therefore, it is hard for us to determine how long this will take you but you should plan for an additional month even though it might take longer or less time. For more details on supervision, see questions 11 and 12.
2. Is the course all online? Yes, the course is 100% online and can be taken from anywhere in the world. You can preview our learning platform here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-KC5zR0Xq8
3. If I can’t enroll right now, can I enroll during the next session? You can begin the course at any time. Enrollment is ongoing, so there is no deadline or specified “term” for students to enroll. You begin the course and complete at your own pace. However, you need to complete the course in 18 months.
4. If I am already a CEDS, CEDRD or CEDCAT, what added benefit will I get from this training? You will find a part of the answer to this question in the answer to question 5. In addition, note that the certifications like CEDS are not geared for coaches and do not focus training on the kinds of thing coaches will be doing so it is an entirely different kind of hands-on with the clients training you get from our coaching program.
5. I am already a LMFT, MSW, RD, etc. how could this training help me? Anyone wishing to gain expertise in treating or working with eating disorder clients can benefit from this training. Many people have a license or certification in their profession but have little to no specific training in eating disorders, especially regarding the kind of life skills work that coaches do. This course provides intensive training, designed by Carolyn Costin, an eating disorder expert, in how to work with this population to facilitate behavior change. Furthermore, this training teaches you how to assist eating disorder clients with important life skills necessary for recovery such as: Eating at restaurants, shopping at the grocery store or buying new clothes. These are all challenges for clients with eating disorders and providing support in these areas is crucial for long term recovery.
6. Is there an exam that I have to pass before I receive my certificate? There are quizzes for each module and a final exam you need to pass in order to demonstrate proficiency in coaching eating disorder clients, staying within the scope of practice and mastery of philosophy as well as key concepts. The quizzes and the final exam are administered by The Carolyn Costin Institute and not a state or national board.
7. Is the certificate recognized in my state/province? The certificate is a life coaching certificate to show clients, prospective employers, etc. that you have completed a rigorous training program in your area of expertise. Official recognition of life coaching education and training varies widely from area to area and eating disorder coaching is even less known. We are pioneers in this area and you can be, too. You might be the first to bring this new adjunct to eating disorder treatment in your area. You should investigate any legal issues for the location where you wish to work but this is a new field and has only recently been recognized as valuable to eating disorder treatment and recovery, even though the chemical dependency field has been using life coaches and sober coaches for years. It is also important to note that Carolyn has been a pioneer of many things and training eating disorder coaches is just another one of them. Eating disorder coaching is in its infancy, even though Carolyn has been training both professionals and non-professionals to do this kind of work with clients for three decades. There are currently no other comparable coach training programs offered for those wanting to work specifically with eating disorder clients. Your ability to say you received this training will mean something to people who care about quality. Additionally, your training, especially by someone with Carolyn’s expertise and reputation, will have meaning for clients, loved ones and families. Even if you are in a country where there is no such thing as eating disorder coaching, you could bring this aspect of treatment to your area. Clients know they need this kind of help and will respond. Just be sure you are following any legal rules about how you can operate your business, stay within your scope of coaching and be very clear to everyone how coaching is not therapy and does not take the place of therapy. Coaches should always take care to ensure that they aren’t misleading the public or potential clients into thinking they are a licensed clinician, unless they possess such credentials in addition to their coach training.
8. Why do some practitioners seem hesitant to embrace coaching? Early on, there was a lot of fear that coaches would get out there and try to act like therapists, or do things that therapists do. Understandably, clinicians were concerned about how that could negatively affect the clients if someone who hadn’t been trained as a therapist (or dietitian) was acting like a therapist (or dietitian). We have been doing A LOT of educating about what we train our coaches to do, and what we don’t allow them to do. We have already seen a big shift in how some clinicians view coaches, at least our coaches. We created an infographic that really helped explain the difference between coaching and therapy for those who might have felt threatened by coaching, or those who worried that coaches would be “treating” eating disorders. It has been a very helpful teaching tool to those who didn’t quite understand. Infographic can be found here: https://www.carolyncostin.com/copy-of-what-does-an-ed-coach-do Also, eating disorder coaching is so new in the field that some clinicians don’t fully understand it yet, or the scope of coaching, so it feels a bit threatening or unnerving because it’s a big change in the ’treatment’ model they are used to and, as caring members of a treatment team, many clinicians were worried about the statement made above, where people who hadn’t had the depth and breadth of training that they had received would be doing the same jobs. That was a more fair assumption/fear before our program emerged because really anyone could call themselves a coach and some coaches (eating disorder and otherwise) weren’t respecting the boundaries of coaching. We make it very clear that we teach our coaches differently and that we teach them to respect the role of the clinician, not try to take the place of it. We have taken it upon ourselves to try to help clinicians understand how a coach is there to complement what the clinician is doing with the client and help the client implement the goals he/she is setting for them (i.e. working in harmony with them, not competing against them). We believe that as coaching becomes more and more prevalent, those who were against it from the outset will start to come around…and every coach that we put out there who is doing real GOOD for the clinicians’ clients is yet another testament to the value of coaching and the place it has, alongside all of the other support methods.
9. What is the requirement for coaches who have recovered from their own eating disorder? Recovered individuals must have at least two years of being recovered before beginning the CCI course
10. How do I earn my supervision hours? Students are required to obtain a minimum of 10 supervision credit hours prior to becoming certified. Unlike many other programs, which charge a separate fee (on top of tuition) for their required supervision, the cost of supervision is built into our program tuition, so there is no additional charge. Students will earn a portion of their hours in each of the following three areas: -Responding to sample client statements and scenarios and receiving feedback from your supervisor -Participating in group supervision calls -Sending in recorded sessions and receiving feedback from your supervisor (this will comprise approximately half of your supervision hours, as you receive credit for the time the supervisor spends reviewing your session – up to an hour – and the time he/she spends giving you feedback) There are also other ways students can earn supervision hours, such as: -Participating in supervision conference calls that are offered to discuss certain topics -Working under the direction of a CCI approved supervisor -Attending trainings that CCI has approved for supervision credits
11. How do I get clients for supervision sessions? And will I need to get my own supervisor? Clients: While some of the students are licensed clinicians who already have a client base for which to draw from, we understand that many students are brand new to coaching and have some concerns about how they will obtain clients for the supervision piece of the course. CCI will provide resources and assistance to those students who are having trouble obtaining clients for supervision. When you reach module 10 or 11, please reach out and we will be happy to assist you. Supervisors: The supervision is done by either Carolyn herself or a select group of clinicians that she has trained and trusts to conduct this very specialized supervision required for our coaching students. Fees, etc.
12. How much does the program cost? The cost of the program is $6200. A payment plan is available where each of the 12 modules can be purchased individually for $404.16 apiece – however, a $500 administrative fee is charged on all payment plans and is collected during the first payment, so the payment schedule is as follows: Payment 1: $1016.67 (covers administrative fee plus the cost of the first module) Payments 2-12: $516.67 apiece
13. How does the cost of The Carolyn Costin Institute compare to other life coaching programs? Our price is extremely competitive compared to other life coaching courses of a similar nature, none of which offer training to work with eating disorders. The Carolyn Costin Institute’s Eating Disorder Coach training is the only course of its kind with a rigorous training program and supervision tailored to training coaches to work with eating disorder clients. We encourage you to look up the cost of life coach training programs, see what they offer and compare them to what CCI is providing. There are a few inexpensive programs but these are geared for a completely different kind of work, e.g., the Intuitive Eating program has a clause that the training cannot be used for working with eating disorders. The only other program we found that trains people to work with eating disorders certifies individuals for under $500.00 after only six hours of watching videos. We strongly believe that a more rigorous program is mandatory for working with this population and have tailored our program as such. Obviously, life coach training programs vary significantly in price, depth, duration, program complexity, program accessibility/location and program quality. Additionally, many programs are not upfront with their pricing structure, so students find themselves having to pay “hidden fees” after paying their tuition. For example, we have noticed that some programs charge for supervision and/or exam fees on top of tuition, which can add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the price students are expecting to pay. It is important to us that our fees are transparent and that the cost we quote to students is the true price of the full program, access to online learning tools, training materials, exams and supervision. While anyone can call themselves a coach, Carolyn is a licensed therapist, has been treating eating disorders for over 30 years, has written six books on eating disorders, is a well-respected clinician and educator, and is an Approved Continuing Education Provider with the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT # 134625) and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC; ACEP No. 6849). As the “go to” expert on eating disorders, Carolyn’s well-known standards of training, client care and methodology carry with them a level of quality, integrity and recognition.
14. What if I can’t afford to pay the full tuition right now? The Carolyn Costin Institute offers financial aid for those who want to take the course, but are unable to pay the full tuition upfront. This is offered in the form of a payment plan, which you can select when you go to pay for the program.
15. Are there discounts for groups? Yes! We do offer discounted pricing for groups. Percentage discount is based on the number of students you will be enrolling. • 5-10 students = 15% off • 11-25 students = 20% off • 26+ students = 25% off After Certification:
16. Am I guaranteed a job if I become certified? Although there is no guarantee of a job, the CCI training will prepare you to become an eating disorder coach in a climate where coaching is taking on a greater role. Currently there is no other program or institute that offers comparable eating disorder coach training. To date, we have only discovered one other eating disorder coach training program, which varies greatly from the depth and breadth of the training that The Carolyn Costin Institute is offering to eating disorder coaches. As a result of this, and because there is no clear standard to distinguish one “Eating Disorder Coach” from another as they go into this field, we are building our program to become the gold standard. Your certification will show that you have the understanding and skills to support individuals with eating disorders in their recovery process. However, our training course is like any other licensing or certification program in that we give you the education and training to be an Eating Disorder Coach and the rest is up to you, just as if you got a license to be a therapist or fitness trainer. You will need to decide if you want to start your own coaching business or work for another coaching business, or use this certification to assist you in getting employment at a treatment center or agency.
17. What will I be called once I complete the course? Upon successful completion of the course, you will get a certificate indicating that you are a Certified Eating Disorder Coach from The Carolyn Costin Institute. You will need to complete continuing education from CCI every 2 years to remain as a certified coach in good standing. Recovered coaches will have a special training module and may choose to have “Recovered” on their Coaching certificate if they desire.
18. How is coaching being perceived in the field? Coaching, similar to the way residential treatment was about 20 years ago, is a new thing for eating disorders. It has been around a bit, but without reliable training and someone with credibility behind it, it has gone slowly. Carolyn has a stellar reputation and we have honestly already seen it begin to change the idea people have of eating disorder coaches. We get requests all the time for coaches and don’t have enough graduates to supply them. Coaching will be perceived differently by different people in the field. Those who know Carolyn have shown special interest and support in her efforts to offer a sophisticated training for eating disorder coaches since this is a role that is going to be an increasingly used adjunct to traditional care.
19. How should I market my coaching services after I graduate? We have a module in the course on managing your business where marketing is discussed. We provide you with forms, releases and many other tools we think will help you not only be the best coach you can be, but will help you explain your role to other professionals and families. We suggest you figure out ways to connect directly to outpatient treatment providers, such as therapists, dietitians and doctors, as well as patients and their families, through advertising, creating a website, on Facebook, other social media and more. You will need to decide the best strategies that suit you.
20. Will treatment centers send me clients, or should I approach treatment centers or providers? You can try treatment centers because clients often need help transitioning to different levels of care but these programs are usually reluctant to do anything new that is not part of their system already. They are also most likely to refer to professionals who are sending them clients. So, much of it is a marketing thing. That said, it is worth a try because some see the value. The best treatment programs to try would be day treatment and Intensive Outpatient programs because the clients attending these often need extra help with meals and support outside of program hours.
21. Will CCI help connect me with clients? Once certified, you will be listed on our CCI website and we provide you with materials to advertise your certification and give you special access to order business cards bearing the CCI logo, demonstrating your training and certification. Keep in mind though, like becoming a therapist, you have to create your own business and business contacts. We definitely try to help our graduates. We have assisted our coaches in getting clients for their supervision and training and connected those requesting coaching with our coaches. We remain a small, individually-oriented company and Carolyn likes to be hands on like she ran Monte Nido, the treatment program she founded. We will, of course, help when we can, but a lot is also up to you.
22. Does CCI hire coaches? CCI trains but does not hire coaches. Once certified you are on your own or you can work for another agency.
23. Are there coaching organizations I could work for: Yes, there are a few eating disorder coaching organizations that have already expressed special interest in, and hired, CCI coaches.
24. Will insurance cover clients who see me as a Certified Eating Disorder Coach? We do not know how insurance companies are going to deal with coaching. Typically, they only pay for licensed professionals. However, coaching is an emerging industry and insurance companies are starting to have discussions with coaching services about possible coverage. You can try to get an insurance company to cover the services you provide to your clients, but will have to educate them about the benefits to eating disorder clients.
25. How many hours a week will I be working with clients as a coach? This is all over the map and will be determined by how many clients you have and their needs. Food and Eating
26. What are CCI’s expectations for coaches when it comes to food and eating? Will I have to eat with clients? Modeling a healthy relationship with food and eating is an important philosophical tenet of CCI. All coaches need to be prepared to eat freely at a level that goes beyond even being “recovered” for those who have had eating disorders. A person can be recovered and/or living a healthy lifestyle and yet not be suited to be a coach because to be a coach you have to go beyond even normal eating at times. Clients will have all kinds of challenges and some might involve doing something you prefer not to do yourself. For example, you might have to have a meal late at night or eat French fries when you don't feel like it. You might be asked to eat pizza and a dessert or have breakfast in the wee morning hours. You might need to help a client cook even if you don't cook all that much for yourself. Being healthy is one thing, being a role model for those struggling with an eating disorder is another. For those who are taking the recovered coach track, we like to explain the food and eating aspect of coaching as requiring you to be “Recovered Plus.” For those without an eating disorder history, if you’re on a structured eating plan or have a routine eating schedule, you will need to bend your routine on a regular basis in order to accommodate your clients’ meal session needs. If this makes you uncomfortable, you may not enjoy or succeed at coaching. Consider the following examples: Example 1: Dave is working with a therapist and dietitian but his progress has been very slow and they need a coach who can help him shop for food and have meals with him. Dave’s job entails him working sometimes until 9 at night and he needs a coach to have dinner with him at after he is off work. Example 2: Julie has a long history of bulimia and there are some foods she does not remember ever being able to eat without purging through vomiting afterwards. One of these foods is donuts and one of her goals is to be able to go out to eat a donut and keep it. She needs to do this several times in order to reestablish new neuro-patterns in her brain because at this time purging after a donut is habitual and automatic. As her coach you need to help her have a number of experiences when she does not purge after the donut. Both of these examples demonstrate how coaches need to be able to exceed a “normal” level of comfort and flexibility with food and eating. You obviously don't have to eat dinner at 10 pm, or eat donuts several times a week, to be recovered or healthy, but you likely will have to do such things as a coach. If you’re running your own coaching business, you will ultimately be in control of your own schedule and meal sessions, but we want to make sure coaches are prepared that they likely will have to eat things that they wouldn’t normally choose to eat at a particular meal. For example, if you usually like to eat a salad for lunch, you might have a lunch meal session with a client who has received a challenge from his or her therapist or dietitian to eat something such as pizza for lunch. Because it would not be appropriate or helpful to eat a salad while the client is eating pizza, we encourage coaches to eat what the client is eating, so in order to provide the most benefit for your client during that meal, you would eat pizza as well. The ability to do things outside of one’s normal routine and/or comfort zone, makes the difference in a coach’s level of success.
27. What if I have food allergies and/or sensitivities and can’t eat exactly what the client is eating? We completely understand food sensitivities and we respect that in our program and even have specific guidelines for coaches with food sensitivities in the meal coaching portion of the training because it is a real issue and we don’t want you to be uncomfortable if you have an adverse reaction to eating certain foods. What we tell coaches is that if you eat, say, gluten-free or vegetarian, just try not to have that come up with your client. In the case of the pizza example, you could order pizza with gluten-free dough and the client won’t think twice about it, as they are watching to see if you eat the cheese, pepperoni, etc - the parts they are “afraid” of. They might even have an aversion to carbohydrates and to see that you are eating the whole slice and whole crust (whether gluten-free or not) will be a comfort to them. If you are vegetarian, you would just order a slice of cheese pizza or pizza with a topping that doesn’t contain meat and the client would never know. While coaches have food sensitivities for very real (non-eating disorder) reasons, we just don’t want the clients to see or focus on those limitations with food as the coach is a role model and the client's eating disorders can feed off of seeing those types of limitations. So, in your case, you would just order around the foods you are sensitive to, while making sure you are still eating what the client views as “fear foods” and you would do your best not to mention the limitation as his/her eating disorder would misinterpret it and perhaps view it as justification for his/her own food rules - when, in fact, yours are for a VERY different reason than the client’s.