Participants' Perceived Utility of Motivational Interviewing Using Co-Active Life Coaching Skills on Their Struggle with Obesity

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Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice





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The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the impact of Motivational Interviewing (MI) using Co-Active Life Coaching skills as a treatment for adults (age, 35–55 years) struggling with obesity. Eight women (BMI≥30) who reside in London, Ontario, received 18 coaching sessions over six months with a Certified Professional Co-Active (CPCC) coach. Participants engaged in semi-structured pre- and post-interviews, along with a focus group six months after the last coaching session. The study's CPCC was also interviewed post-intervention to gain an understanding of what it was like coaching this population. All interviews were analysed using inductive content analysis. Following the intervention participants credited increased self-confidence; learning to cope with life in a healthy manner; putting self first; increased emotional healing; the importance of social networks in weight loss; and learning to step outside their comfort zone to the coaching intervention. During the focus group, the following themes emerged: weight was a symptom; increased self-care; life coaching and weight loss as a journey; support required as a motivator; and importance of the coach/client relationship. The study's CPCC provided insight into the styles and skills most often used from the Co-Active method as well as suggestions for future coaches working with this population. MI using CALC is an effective intervention in supporting individuals in dealing with life factors that may impede weight loss.