For those with an interest in incorporating neuro-linguistic programming techniques into their coaching practice, combining their NLP training and Life Coach Certification is a huge plus.
There are many training programs available, each with pros and cons. Read on to find the best program for your interests, timeline, and budget.
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What is NLP Life Coaching?
First, let’s get clear on how NLP combines with life coaching to offer coaches and their clients an effective set of tools for their work together.
As you probably know, a life coach is someone who helps clients reach their goals, make decisions, and conquer life’s difficulties. There are many paths toward becoming a life coach, and one of those is through training as an NLP practitioner.
Neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP, is a technique that capitalizes on the connection between our minds (neuro-), language (linguistic), and behavioral patterns (programming). While NLP can be used to overcome physical and mental illness, its use in coaching is more frequently that of helping individuals achieve personal and professional goals—from improving relationships to reaching the next level in their careers.
(If you’re new to NLP and want to learn more, iNLP Center provides a handy breakdown of the term (and a great deal more) on their site.)
Rather than bringing a mindset of “either/or” (NLP vs life coaching), we can think about them as “yes, and” (NLP and life coaching). NLP is simply the set of tools and techniques that some coaches use to help clients access and modify their thoughts, language, and behaviors in order to reach their goals.
We would be remiss not to point out that there are some criticisms of NLP. Skeptics have their doubts about the claims of comprehensiveness (“NLP can enhance all aspects of your life”) that some practitioners make, and they critique the language founders Grinder and Bandler used to describe the method as “vague and ambiguous.”
Despite this, the thousands of practicing coaches who have trained in NLP are a testament to the popularity (and, we think, demonstrated effectiveness) of this psychological approach.
Which NLP Life Coach Training Program Should I Choose?
Once you start researching, you’ll find that there are numerous options for training as an NLP practitioner and life coach. There are several key factors to consider, including cost, length of the program, and whether you want ICF-accredited NLP training.
The biggest determinant of how much you’ll be investing in a training program is whether you study online or in person. Of course, doing your NLP coaching certification online is more economical, but think carefully about the environment in which you learn best before making a commitment to going fully virtual.
There’s a huge variety in the length of programs for an NLP coach program. Some immersive courses are less than a week long and are jam-packed with sessions and information. Other courses may take up to a year to complete, while some even offer work-and-learn hybrid models.
Think about your goals for certification and the timeline you imagine for your coaching business when deciding which style of program is best for you.
One of the most common questions we get is: “Is certification required to be a life coach?” and, as a follow-up, “Does accreditation matter?”
And the answer, somewhat rhetorically, is this: “Does accreditation matter to you and/or your clients?”
While there’s no institution that governs the licensure of life coaches (as compared to psychologists, for example), there are a number of entities that evaluate and give their blessing to life coach training companies, the most recognized of which is the International Coach Federation, or ICF.
Choosing an accredited certification program can be a plus, as you’ll have greater confidence in the quality of the training and instructors, knowing that they’ve been assessed and approved by a third party. And that shiny certificate you receive at the end of your training can be persuasive to certain clients. Still, it’s a personal choice and one you’ll have to make for yourself.
Top Pick: iNLP Center
When it comes to name recognition, credibility, and experience, iNLP Center is the clear standout in the field of NLP coach certification.
While iNLP Center’s training is virtual, the practice you’ll get is real. iNLP Center emphasizes experiential learning—putting your new skills into practice in the real world, as opposed to acquiring theory that only holds up in the classroom.
Their trainings use a hybrid model that combines self-paced study with live, interactive sessions led by experienced NLP practitioners. One of the unique features of iNLP Center’s method is the inclusion of peer-to-peer practice hours—all of which count toward your ICF-accredited certification.
- Course Length: 170 to 240 hours of self-paced study, plus practice coaching hours
- Program Cost: basic NLP Practitioner Training costs $499; NLP Master Training costs $599; a combination of the two programs is $799
- Accredited by ICF: Yes
- Mode of Delivery: Online
To get all the details about NLP Life Coach certification with iNLP Center, see our full review.
Budget Option: Transformation Academy
If your ideal learning model is one that’s exclusively online and self-paced with no offline activities at an affordable price, Transformation Academy is likely a good fit for you.
Among Transformation Academy’s huge catalog of programs, you’ll find their NLP Practitioner and Life Coach Certification, a comprehensive training in NLP techniques that are suitable for beginners as well as experienced coaches.
If you’d like to learn NLP skills as part of your training without giving it the primary focus, Transformation Academy’s Professional Life Coach Program may suit you; this course incorporates NLP techniques as just one aspect of the toolkit coaches can utilize in their practice.
One thing to note about Transformation Academy is that, while their courses won’t get you accreditation through ICF, their trainings are accredited by the Continuing Professional Development Standards Agency. You can learn more about Transformation Academy’s philosophy on accreditation in our complete review of their program.
- Course Length: 50 hours including video lectures and worksheets
- Program Cost: $197 (Get 80% off using our link! Discount applied at checkout.)
- Accredited by ICF: No
- Mode of Delivery: Online
For more info about certification through Transformation Academy, read our full review.
Alternatives for NLP Life Coach Certification
When you sit down to Google training programs to be an NLP life coach, it seems the list is infinite. To help you with your research, and in case the above recommendations aren’t up your alley, here are a few more you should consider:
Mind Bridge Training
Mind Bridge’s NLP Coach/Practitioner Dual Certification Training stands out for its double accreditation by ICF and the ANLP (Association for Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Taught by Jerry & Marilou Seavey, these in-person trainings are composed of multiple sessions over a series of weekends. Trainings are held in the USA and in Dubai, UAE. Schedules and more information can be found on their website.
- Course Length: 80 hours of training plus 20 hours of practice coaching
- Program Cost: $4795
- Accredited by ICF: Yes
- Mode of Delivery: In-Person
Coach Transformation Academy (CTA)
Take careful note, this training program is distinct from Transformation Academy which we mentioned previously.
Based in Dubai, Coach Transformation Academy, or CTA, offers a Certified NLP Practitioner Coach training that’s aimed at “HR, Sales & marketing, training professionals, corporate managers, leaders and coaches.” Their “fast-track” model packs all the necessary learning modules into a fast-paced week-long course that will jumpstart your NLP practice.
- Course Length: 60 hours over 6 days, plus assignments
- Program Cost: unknown
- Accredited by ICF: Yes
- Mode of Delivery: Online or In-Person (a variety of international locations)
With a unique blend of NLP, the ancient spiritual art of Huna, and their trademark method Mental and Emotional Release®, NLP.com’s Integrative NLP Coaching delivers a curriculum of “science-based methods that stand the test of time.” Over the course of 12 months, students participate in online training sessions, peer mastermind groups, receive one-to-one mentoring, and attend a 5-day in-person training in Arizona.
The program also includes modules on entrepreneurship, marketing, and sales to empower participants with the necessary skills to put their training into practice in their coaching business.
- Course Length: 1 year
- Program Cost: $15,995
- Accredited by ICF: No; courses are accredited by the Association for Integrative Psychology (AIP)
- Mode of Delivery: Primarily online, with a 5-day in-person training in AZ
Global NLP Training
Global NLP Training boasts being the “only NLP training and Life Coach Certification company in the world to offer personality profiling (MBTI®), Social and Emotional Intelligence training using cutting edge NLP techniques to improve your EQ.”
They offer programs in 3 tiers—NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner, and the “Full Immersion” combination of both levels—and their trainings are done on-location in an immersive environment.
- Course Length: 7, 9, or 16 days
- Program Cost: $1450-$2750 depending on location; Travel, hotel, and expenses are not included
- Accredited by ICF: No; courses are licensed by the Society of NLP
- Mode of Delivery: In-person immersion trainings in locations worldwide
Other Alternatives (Non-NLP)
If you’re still making up your mind about what direction to take in your quest for life coach certification, it’s worth exploring the many offerings that aren’t strictly focused on NLP.
You may recall that Transformation Academy offers more than 80 certifications, and NLP is only a small portion of that.
As yet another alternative, Coach Training Alliance provides an apprenticeship-style program on an accelerated track that “is designed to have you working and earning income before the course is complete.”
You’ll find the full rundown of our analysis and rankings of life coaching trainings in our article on the best life coach training and certification programs.
All things considered, our recommendation for the best NLP training and life coach certification goes to iNLP Center for their sole focus on and expertise in NLP training. Plus, you’ll get ICF accreditation with your certification.
As an affordable alternative, we recommend Transformation Academy’s NLP Practitioner and Life Coach Certification.
Remember that many programs also include components on marketing, including getting coaching clients, as well as defining your niche; it’s worth studying the curriculum intently to be sure the program is a match for you. And once you’ve made your decision, congratulate yourself! You’ll be one step closer to becoming a life coach and pursuing a meaningful career that helps others.