What Is an Empowerment Coach?

By Celeste Hirschman | Updated: August 3, 2023

It can be difficult to picture what exactly an empowerment coach does, or even what it means to help someone around empowerment. It’s certainly not as straightforward an idea as being a life coach or a health coach.

In a nutshell though – empowerment coaching helps you in every area of your life because it goes beyond solving specific problems. It guides you in finding an overall sense of confidence – and the agency to go after what you want for yourself.

What Does an Empowerment Coach Do?

There are many different methods of empowerment coaching which rest on varying philosophies about what it means to be empowered.

Some methods rely on ideals like: “If you believe in yourself, you can do anything.” These kinds of programs are often full of platitudes and lofty ideas, but generally simply pump people up and make them feel excited without a lot of substance behind the method.

Other forms of empowerment coaching are much more grounded in reality. Good empowerment coaches help people see how their negative feelings towards themselves and/or others can get in the way of connection and achievement. This kind of empowerment coaching focuses on learning how to be gentle and curious with yourself and others.

As you learn more about yourself and how to accept yourself fully, you begin to have the space to explore your dreams and goals. It gives you permission to do this without the static of self-doubt, criticism, or other’s voices inside your head, holding you back.

Empowerment coaching

What Does Empowerment Coaching Help With?

A big part of empowerment coaching’s goal is getting rid of the social messages in your life that limit your options and opportunities.

When you start to listen to the voice inside of you – particularly your body-voice or emotional voice – you begin to form your own definition of what you want your life to look like. You embrace these goals and desires without feeling like you have to justify, explain, or apologize for who you really are.

Often, empowerment coaches will concentrate specifically on working with one gender or another. While there is some logic to this – men and women are treated differently in society – it’s also important to realize that human beings, regardless of gender, are more alike than different.

Yet other empowerment coaches focus on specific communities. In their work, they support people who have explicitly dealt with experiences of disempowerment. Examples are external or internalized homophobia, or discrimination associated with racism, or sexism.

The Work of Women’s Empowerment Coaching

It’s important to understand that social messaging and the long record of sexism and oppression have been the driving forces behind female disempowerment.

Historically, women have always been seen as less capable, intelligent, and therefore deserving of power. Seemingly basic rights, like owning a credit card without needing a husband’s permission, were not granted to women in the US until 1974. This is shockingly recent.

Strengths such as emotional intelligence (often more present in women than men) are also not regarded as highly in society as other forms of mental acumen. In fact, self-awareness has been greatly devalued – even though it can be the key to success in many careers, and most of all in personal happiness.

So in women’s empowerment coaching, help should be focused on teaching women to go after what they want – and be true to themselves, above all else.

These are the challenges most coaches and their clients face:

  • Combating a lack of self-worth, particularly in the face of ongoing societal forms of sexism.
  • Internalized sexism can also represent a sizable stumbling block. Women often do not realize they put down, marginalize or sabotage members of their own sex. Often, this is based on a lack of taught awareness that they are just as intelligent, capable and worthy of power and recognition as any man.
  • Help women embrace and reclaim their sexual selves – a frequent source of societal shaming. Recover and integrate their natural sexuality lets women reconnect with a part of their power they have been robbed of.
  • Show women they are part of a powerful and safe sisterhood! In our heteronormative and sexist society, women have been taught to compete with each other for purportedly limited resources – like jobs and male attention. Instead, they should see each other as allies who can lend help and support in achieving their dreams and goals.

Empowerment coaches are here to celebrate women – for all their amazing strengths they have to offer to themselves, the world, and each other.

Why Men Also Need to Be Empowered

If you look at the world of men’s empowerment coaching, you will find many misguided programs amidst a couple of good ones.

Unfortunately, a lot of masculinity coaching encourages men to simply embrace masculine stereotypes. Yet it’s important to discern between continuing to support toxic and outdated ideas about what it means to be a “real man” – and actually helping a man embrace his unique qualities and desires.

A good coach understands and teaches:

  • That true power does not mean “power over” but “power with”.
  • Men are part of the social fabric – as opposed to being a separate rock.
  • Empowering men means helping them get in touch with their emotions. This has been highly shamed and repressed by society in the past.
  • How to embrace their sexual desires in a positive, non-harmful manner.
  • That women are equal partners.
  • Men need to seek enthusiastic consent when connecting sexually with women.

How Does Confidence Coaching Compare?

Confidence coaching is a less gendered and more broad category of empowerment coaching.

A confidence coach looks at an individual holistically to discover what is getting in their client’s way. Do they feel confident at work, but lack dating courage – or vice versa? Do they feel trusting in long-term friendships but have trouble meeting new people?

A lack of confidence can come from may places. Inexperience, a high level of self-consciousness, or the presence of a strong self-critical voice may lead someone to second-guess everything they do. Maybe they have experienced failures in the past and have not been able to talk through them. Or they haven’t gained resilience around the ups and downs of doing something different or challenging.

A confidence coach works with each of these challenges differently. When a client lacks experience, the coach helps them practice certain skills to gain a fuller sense of what’s possible. In case of a critical voice, learning gentleness and positive self-talk are the tools. And, a confidence coach can facilitate the realization that reaching any goal usually comes with a mixture of success and failure.

Is This Type of Coaching Based on Emotion or Logic?

While emotional empowerment coaching might feel like yet another category, the truth is most empowerment coaching is emotionally-based. Particularly around relationship dependency and being emotionally reliant on a partner.

After all, feeling powerful, confident, and in charge of your life are just that – feelings. Many people feel powerless because they are disconnected from their emotions. Instead of trying to help someone transcend their emotions, a good empowerment coach will actually help the client become self-aware around their internal life.

A big part of this self-awareness is about figuring out when a person feels triggered and when they are in a relaxed emotional state. Knowing how to move from that triggered state to neutral and then into a connected emotional place is deeply empowering. They feel a sense of mastery of their emotions.

While lots of people think the best way to make a decision is by using logic, living life in alignment with your emotional well-being is actually the most effective path to empowerment. It will allow you to live the life you actually want – not the one you feel logically you should want to live.

What Is it Like to Be an Empowerment Coach?

So what if you’re drawn to enter the field of empowerment coaching not as a client, but as a professional coach?

Here’s what a day in the life of your new profession might look like: when a new client comes to your office, you might start by finding out why they don’t feel a sense of agency in their lives. Have them make a list or talk with you about any areas where they lack confidence, don’t know what they want or need, or don’t have a sense of choice or boundaries.

You can use different types of coaching modalities to help your clients overcome feelings of disempowerment, insecurity, or helplessness. The empowerment tools offered in the Somatica Training are a mixture of embodiment, experiential, emotional and talk-based modalities. The use of embodiment practices are very important. Fully inhabiting our bodies as a location of power and source of deeper intelligence are foundational to walking around in the world with a full sense of power.

Experiential practices are especially helpful when a person has a lack of experience. When you take your clients through practices and they try out new ways of being and interacting, they start to gain the confidence to also experiment with those things out in the world. The feeling is, “I already did that with my coach, I know how to do it, and feel ready to take give it a shot with the people in my life.”

How to Get Your Empowerment Coach Certification

The Somatica Method is founded on a philosophy of personal empowerment. We support all humans, across the gender spectrum, in being true to themselves and empowered out in the world.

While Somatica is not specifically labeled as an empowerment coach training, at the deepest philosophical and practical levels, the tools of Somatica are empowerment tools. They are helpful not only in the realm of sex and intimate relationships, but also in a person’s career, family life, and even in identifying how they want to spend their free time.

If you have a Somatica Certification, you can definitely offer empowerment coaching.

Women having passed their empowerment coach certification

How Much Can you Earn?

On average, an empowerment coach salary is about $50,000 per year. This number can vary widely however – depending on your location and, most importantly, the clients you are seeing.

A corporate coach, for example, makes a lot more than $50,000 per year because they are working with clients who have high incomes and are willing to invest in feeling more empowered.

Why Be an Empowerment Coach?

If you love to see people transform from helpless and uncertain to strong, capable, sexy and full of vitality beings – empowerment coaching might be your calling.

As we have experienced so many times first hand in the Somatica Training – it is a truly blissful and fulfilling experience to teach people tools, and then cheer them on as they go and achieve their highest potential for joy and success.