Health Coaching: A Real Success at Boston College

(By: The Health Coach Team Leads)

Health is a Journey. What’s Yours?

The Office of Health Promotion, affectionately dubbed OHP, is rolling out new programming that focuses on group coaching and health behavior changes this year! OHP provides a multitude of programs designed to educate and empower students to improve their personal health, including nutrition counseling, stress, time, and sleep management strategies, and conversations regarding alcohol and drug use. However, the focus of the office’s programming is shifting to make the most out of students’ time and to truly meet them where they are at.

Group coaching involves a group of 8 to 12 students all focusing on one aspect of their health, such as rejecting diet mentality that is so pervasive in our culture or talking about ways to avoid the temptations of procrastination. They will meet together with 2 to 3 student health coaches to engage in fruitful dialogue and make individual plans of action to invoke change in their health behaviors.  By envisioning what life will be like once they invest in making cognitive and behavior changes, the students can really understand more about their personal health philosophy and the direction in which they are hoping to take their health. Students can sign up for group coaching sessions that fit their interests in needs on the OHP website.

In addition to group coaching, a new program that we are offering entitled “The Body Project” is a peer led body acceptance program that provides a space for college female-identifying students to contemplate and to combat cultural pressures regarding idealizing appearance. Operated within small groups of 6 to 12 female-identifying students, these two hour sessions occur every other week, and each meeting builds upon the information and experiences discussed in the last. Participation in The Body Project has been shown to reduce both negative body image and disordered eating patterns in young women, and it is certainly fulfilling a need in the Boston College community.

Lastly, OHP is focusing strongly on Express Health, which is a new modality of meeting students where they are at (literally): the Rat, residence halls, bus stops, elevators, the stairs to Upper, or the Gasson Quad. By engaging in activities that only take a few minutes, but truly implore the student to take a deeper look into their health behaviors, students who stop by the Express Health tables are taking the first step in making positive change.

OHP is really excited about these new group and express programs and being able to invoke a positive change that meets students where they are at.  More information about any of these programs, as well as sign ups to participate, are all located on the OHP website. OHP looks forward to being a part of the health journey for the students of Boston College!

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