Spotting The Grift in the Wellness Industry

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Over the last few few years I’ve noticed a huge shift in what has come to be known as the wellness industry. Almost as if from nowhere, social media platforms have been flooded with people claiming to be life coaches, therapists, counsellors, wellness gurus and healers. From the outset this just looks like a well-intended move towards prioritising the mind. But when you look into it, it’s just another opportunity for grifters to make money off of vulnerable people.

To caveat, I am not suggesting everyone in the wellness industry is at this craic. There are many fully trained psychotherapists and counsellors, many of whom I know, doing incredibly important work. What I’m talking about are the unqualified coaches who promise you the life you have always dreamed of all in exchange for a few hundred euro.

The reason I take issue with this is because it’s predatory. The target market here is inherently vulnerable. It’s made up of people who may be dealing with very real mental health problems, who may not be able to afford months of therapy, who may feel insecure and helpless. I’ve been in this position, and it’s often quite difficult to know when something sounds too good to be true.

But if someone is appearing on your screen, telling you they have the answers, suggesting that you can change your life within a few weeks if you buy their course or package or whatever they’re calling it – ask yourself this:

If what they’re saying is true, then why isn’t everyone taking these courses? Why aren’t doctors suggesting you visit an Instagram life coach as opposed to a licensed therapist? How have they come to this knowledge without any, or very little training? What is their intention?

It just all feels a little sleezy. It feels like a grift, like a fast-cash scheme. Just another scam in the age of the internet. I’ve had countless coaches contact me personally. Telling me they could help me to self-actualize without any evidence that they have done this in their own life. In the same way that I wouldn’t hire a PT who wasn’t in incredible shape, I wouldn’t hire a coach or therapist who isn’t at the very least walking the walk.

Beware of anyone who is telling you they can fix your life in exchange for money. Therapists don’t even do this.

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