Meet Health Coach Kathleen Jones: Waking People Up to Their Resources and Potential

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

This month’s inside look at a health coach, the choices she made on the road to success, and the challenges ahead.

Kathleen Jones, MA, Wellness Coach Mentor, LifeSynch, Humana.

HIN: What was your first job out of college and how did you get into health coaching?

Kathleen Jones: I was fortunate to find a faculty position in a family medicine training program after finishing graduate school. I served as core faculty for over 20 years, teaching wellness and lifestyle medicine to the resident family physicians. My position also included a clinical component, coaching patients in wellness and lifestyle change. My colleagues and I developed a lifestyle medicine team and clinic on site, allowing coaches and family medicine physicians to work alongside one another – a very unusual collaborative setting.

Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road?

Yes, listening to Lee Lipsenthal, MD, describe how profoundly our thoughts impact the heart. In those moments, I made the promise to live more in line with my heart – which led to the difficult decision to leave my academic and clinical faculty role to focus on coaching. I now provide online and telephonic coaching through Humana, and serve as a mentor to a team of coaches – a position that I absolutely love!

In brief, describe your organization.

LifeSynch and its parent organization, Humana, employ a highly skilled and talented team of coaches committed to helping people achieve life-long well being “living with a balanced sense of purpose, belonging, security, and health.”

What are some important concepts or rules that you follow in health coaching?

To recognize and reflect back strengths and, from Robert Biswas-Diener, to show people what is possible, and then to wake them up to the idea that they have the personal resources to enact change in their own lives.

What is the single-most successful thing that your company is doing now?

There are a great number of successes; I’m impressed with LifeSynch’s ability to operationalize an effective coaching model on a very large scale and across a wide spectrum of client needs.

Do you see a trend or path that you have to lock onto for 2012?

I envision continued demand for coaching with increased standards of quality and professionalism.

What is the most satisfying thing about being a health coach?

I personally enjoy the moment-to-moment “flow” of coaching sessions; listening and asking into what a person most wants to move toward in his or her life.

Where did you grow up?

I’ve lived in Colorado my entire life.

What college did you attend? Is there a moment from that time that stands out?

My college education was through Colorado State University (undergrad) and the University of Northern Colorado (graduate school). I’ve since continued my education in coaching, completing certifications in intrinsic coaching, real balance, and advanced motivational interviewing. I’m currently enrolled in a positive psychology and well-being master class through MentorCoach.

One standout moment was when I made the switch from ˜expert” to coach. The patient I was working with gave me a hug and shared how excited she was to move forward. That was my first glimpse of the power of coaching.

Are you married? Do you have children?

I am married with two college-aged sons.

What is your favorite hobby and how did it develop in your life?

Right now my favorite activity is teaching yoga. It keeps me balanced and grounded, and allows me to help others find that for themselves.

Is there a book you recently read or movie you saw that you would recommend?

I recently read A Philosopher’s Notes, by Brian Johnson – a book that’s both playful and deep. Here’s a line from his book: Self, did we get a little better today?

Any additional comments?

Balance is taking care of your body,
learning to accept and appreciate your own limitations,
being open to new ways of thinking,
and remembering to listen from your heart.

From Lee Lipsenthal, MD

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One Response to “Meet Health Coach Kathleen Jones: Waking People Up to Their Resources and Potential”

  1. Rick Botelho says:

    Kathleen, It’s great that you are getting exposure for your life’s work. Ideally all family medicine programs should have such a position in their training programs, but regrettably there is no financial support. The book. Motivational Practice: Promoting Healthy Habits & Self-care of Chronic Diseases ( captures a motivational coaching approach, using a wide variety of behavioral strategies for interested practitioners working outside of the box. I too have also been touched by the influence of positive psychology,, Keep up the great work. Rick