Keynote Sessions

The Joy Choice: How to Finally Achieve Lasting Lifestyle Changes 
Keynote Speaker: Michelle Segar, Ph.D., MPH, MS
Saturday 6/17, 9:15-10:30am

Much of what we're taught about helping others create lifestyle change is simplistic, outdated, and for many, misguided. In this provocative, science-driven presentation, University of Michigan sustainable-behavior-change researcher and health coach, Dr. Michelle Segar, PhD, MPH, MS, explains why popular conventions, like habit formation, can't work for most people when it comes to changing complex healthy behaviors. Instead, Dr. Segar contends our field needs to rethink our behavior change strategies. In this keynote session we'll turn our outdated behavior-change paradigm on its head to reveal a flexible, fun, and brain-based approach to creating changes in eating, exercise and self-care that can help our clients and patients finally achieve long-term success. 

Group Health & Wellness Coaching: Design, Delivery and Dynamics
Keynote Speaker: Michael Arloski, Ph.D., PCC, NBC-HWC
Sunday 6/18, 9:00-10:15am

Group health and wellness coaching can offer services to more people with efficiency, affordability and effectiveness. Group coaching with people who share a common health challenge can be particularly effective. As organizations, health systems and corporations seek to leverage the numbers of people they serve, the need for group coaching has risen and is expected to expand greatly once direct reimbursement is a reality. Join us in an exploration of how we can design wellness coaching groups that serve clients with a wide range of health and wellness needs. Learn how to implement a group process based on the behavior change methodologies that make coaching effective. Discover how group coaching can be creatively delivered in-person and via web-based platforms that reach remote populations. Join Dr. Michael Arloski for this didactic and experiential keynote session to deepen your coaching craft and add the group dynamics skills you need to your toolkit for successful group facilitation.

Educational Sessions


Coaching with Motivational Interviewing: It's More than OARS— It's the Essence of Coaching (and it Works!)
Speaker: Cecilia Lanier, M.Ed., NBC-HWC
Saturday 6/17, 11:00am-12:00pm

Motivational interviewing (MI) is not a set of strategies to use on clients but something we use with and for them. It's the way we do everything else we do. If you see it as an optional accessory in coaching, you might be missing the point. Scan the new NBHWC Practical Skills Guidelines and catch a glimmer of MI as the continuous golden thread woven into the tapestry of coaching skills, as it's foundational to our coaching practice—from the initial discovery call to the final session. Without an anchor, we could lose our way in a sea of strategies that seem to lead us in circles. In MI, the often-neglected anchor is the spirit of MI, something we call the "Coaches' CAPE." With Compassion, Acceptance, Partnership, and Evocation, we embrace the essence of coaching and become more than managers of goals and next steps. In this interactive presentation, we'll reconnect with the mind and heart set vital to the MI process. With the Coaches' CAPE fastened, we'll learn why the skills are used and when and how to infuse them into coaching conversations. Walk away more confident and empowered to use MI with ease and effectiveness, and keep the joy in coaching! 

Health and Wellness Coaching: Where We Are Now and What's Needed To Keep Us Moving Forward (NBHWC Panel)
Panelists: Leigh-Ann Webster, NBC-HWC, CPT, Bettina Beech, DrPH, MPH, Ruth Q. Wolever, Ph.D., NBC-HWC and Karen Lawson, MD, ABIHM, NBC-HWC
Saturday 6/17, 12:00-1:30pm (lunch session)

The field of health and wellness coaching is rapidly growing, but what should current coaches, aspiring coaches and collaborating health professionals know about the current state of the field, as well as the needs and opportunities on the horizon for continued advancement of this science-based profession? This engaging panel discussion— enjoyed over a delicious and nutritious catered lunch— will feature National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) Executive Director, Leigh-Ann Webster along with current NBHWC Board of Directors members Dr. Bettina Beech, Dr. Ruth Wolever and Dr. Karen Lawson who together will shine a light on the exciting achievements in the field over the last few years, as well as offer areas of opportunity for future evolution within the health and wellness coaching profession to support a world where all people thrive.

Context, Trust, and Health Coaching
Speaker: Marino A. Bruce, Ph.D., M.S.RC., M.Div
Saturday 6/17, 1:45-2:45pm 

Behavioral change is challenging in the best circumstances, and the difficulty of lifestyle modifications increases significantly for individuals with fewer resources. Unfavorable economic, familial, political, and social circumstances faced by clients from backgrounds underrepresented in scientific and practice communities can strain and adversely affect the coaching relationship. Contextual awareness and understanding can be beneficial as these skills can facilitate and deepen trust between coaches and clients. The purpose of this session is to provide an overview of contextual factors that can inform efforts to diversify the health coaching profession and expand the pool of potential clients.

Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching: The Best Future We Can Create 
Speaker: Karen Lawson, MD, ABIHM, NBC-HWC
Saturday 6/17, 3:15-4:15pm

Over the last 20 years there's been an increasing presence and recognition of health and wellness coaching in the United States. However, the rapid growth in number of both coach training programs and individual coaches has led to a lack of optimization of the true potential of health coaching to address the full scope of mind-body-spirit well-being in our clients. It has also led many coaches to be not as well oriented and equipped to awaken individuals to the wide array of possible therapies and systems of healing— something made possible through embracing an integrative perspective.  By committing to a solid foundation of the four pillars of health coaching, exploring the full range of integrative health approaches and applying an energetic lens to each of our client encounters, we can evolve health coaching into the truly transformative profession that is desperately needed in our healthcare system today. 

Coach with Care: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Coaching 
Speaker: Gia Merlo, MD, MBA, MEd, DipABLM, FACLM
Saturday 6/17, 4:15-5:15pm 

Trauma can affect human functioning in dramatic ways that often appears to be a permanent change in psychological functioning. Trauma can be physical, mental, medical, or emotional and can be experienced directly or vicariously. Many in the healthcare system may misclassify people who have experienced trauma as difficult or non-compliant. Health and wellness coaches can have a special place encouraging and motivating individuals who have suffered trauma by understanding through a positive psychology lens. In this session, brain neuroplasticity and the latest science of underpinnings of trauma will be discussed, and the components of trauma-informed care and adverse childhood experiences will also be explained. Additionally, the difference between diagnosable trauma and ways to observe and listen to clients for more subtle signs of trauma will be explored. Stigma and ways to minimize its effect will be highlighted as well as the concept of nonviolent communication as a tool and resource to empower coaches to communicate clearly and compassionately with their clients. Attendees will be encouraged to explore the power of social connection, therapeutic and grounding interventions, and apply the foundations of the neurobiology of trauma to aid coaches in their work supporting clients to enact and sustain true lifestyle change.


Self-Compassion: Cultivating Resilience and Facilitating Change

Speaker: Steven Hickman, Psy.D.
Sunday 6/18, 10:45-11:45am

Far beyond a "feel good" practice, research has shown that self-compassion actually facilitates each of us activating our full potential, allowing us to overcome inner obstacles (like shame, self-criticism and self-doubt) in ways that foster resilience, resolve and empowerment. We are usually adept at meeting our friends with compassion when they struggle or face difficulty, but many of us respond to those same struggles in ourselves with harsh criticism, shame and doubt. Self-compassion, at its essence, is learning to "transfer" these skills of compassion to our own selves. This experiential session will introduce some basic practices of self-compassion that will not only demonstrate the power of being kind to ourselves, but reveal how doing so can facilitate our clients and ourselves to live more in alignment with our core values and make needed change in our behavior for our own wellbeing. Becoming more self-compassionate can facilitate each of us in turning our inner critic into a motivational and compassionate inner coach that only wants the best for us.

Lifestyle Medicine: The Foundation for Transforming Health and Healthcare 

Panelists: Justin Charles, MD, Sabrina Falquier, MD, CCMS, DipABLM and Camila Romero, MD, MPH, DipABLM 
Sunday 6/18, 11:45-1:15pm

To transform the health of individuals and communities as well as the practice of medicine and systems of care, a paradigm shift is needed— one which can achieve the quintuple aim and provide a path to whole person health. At the core of this mission to transform health and redefine health care is the rapidly growing field of lifestyle medicine, which provides a foundation for value-based care and the framework for truly improved health and well-being, in which an interdisciplinary team— to include qualified health and wellness coaches trained in lifestyle medicine— is vital. This insightful session— enjoyed over a delicious and nutritious catered plant-based lunch— will feature practicing lifestyle medicine professionals who will highlight the rapid growth and incredible milestones in the field of lifestyle medicine to date, specifically addressing key areas such as research, education, clinical practice and community-focused initiatives. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the role health behavior change as the foundation for the six pillars of lifestyle medicine as well as insights into the innovative opportunities on the horizon, to include the exciting role both coaches and clinicians can play together, in collaboration, to positively shift the tides in the direction of improved health outcomes and enhanced healthcare.

The Entrepreneur's Journey in Health & Wellness: Guiding Principles for the Real World
Speaker: Anthony Masiello, NBC-HWC
Sunday 6/18, 1:30-2:30pm

Building a viable business centered around a passion for helping others in the field of health and wellness can be incredibly rewarding. Setting out to do so, though, also comes with its fair share of challenges. In this session we will take a careful look at some of the guiding principles and practices that will help to identify the right opportunity for you, model a business plan and set targets for objectively assessing milestones and progress, as well as develop a mindset that will enable you to overcome unforeseen challenges as they arise. We'll explore these core tenants utilizing real world examples of the presenter's recent experience building a marketplace for lifestyle telemedicine services, pausing along the way to reflect and unpack lessons learned in an effort to avoid the process of trial and error in figuring these things out the hard way. As both coaches and entrepreneurs, we possess so many of these tools and qualities inside ourselves already, and with additional perspective the objective of this session is to equip you with the keys to unlock your personal potential to create a professional experience and viable business that is both rewarding for yourself and incredibly valuable for your clients and customers. 

Evidence-Based Coaching
Speaker: Mark D. Faries, Ph.D.
Sunday 6/18, 3:00-4:00pm

Evidence-based practice requires us to understand patients and clients' unique experiences, highlight their personal values, and incorporate the best scientific research to improve the practice of health and well-being coaching. However, coaches may feel inadequate in their abilities to interpret and apply research to their professional practice. As a result, approaches—often times fueled by popularity—can be utilized with little to no evidence of their effectiveness, while effective approaches supported by the scientific evidence can be missed. This session aims to simplify and demystify the process of interpreting and applying research utilizing well-known examples of theory and challenges faced in health and well-being coaching.

Navigating the Field: Professional Insights for Paving Your Personal Path 

Panelists: Tasnim El Mezain, MS, RDN, NBC-HWC, CNSC, Cherie Kroh, Ed.D., NBC-HWC, EP-C, CSCS and Stephanie Wolfe, NBC-HWC
Sunday 6/18, 4:00-5:00pm

With so much interest and continuous growth in the field of health and wellness coaching comes exciting new opportunities as well as anticipated and unforeseen challenges. This session— geared toward practicing and aspiring coaches alike— will offer practical insights from seasoned national board certified health and wellness coaches (NBC-HWCs) as to areas of opportunity for professional practice along with important considerations when it comes to paving your own personal path as a health and wellness coach. Discover ways in which you can cultivate a career that you love (and make a viable living while doing so) while enhancing your impact in the lives of others.

View complete speaker bios under the Speakers section