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Phoenix Life Coach: Martha Beck Training Review

Updated on December 22, 2010

Martha Beck

Coach to the stars? Since first gaining national attention as a life coach while working with Oprah this Harvard educated coach has had enormous success as a writer of best-sellers and life coach trainer. Martha Beck, a Phoenix Life Coach has had incredible personal success but does that equal a fantastic training opportunity for you, the prospective life coach?

In fact, Martha's training courses and tele-classes are so popular, the only opportunity you may have to get a hold of Martha is through one of her pre-recorded tapings. For those of you fortunate enough to be one of the 25 students enrolled in her latest training sessions will have to opportunity to train remotely with one of the most famous and predominant thinkers in the coaching industry. It sounds like an incredible opportunity, but it comes with a price ($$ See Below)

So how do you know whether or not you should train with Martha? Well does this sound like you?

  • When times get rough in your friends lives, they turn to you
  • Everyone always comments as to how empathetic you are, how great your listening skills are
  • When you think back about it, you have really been coaching since you could talk, you just didn't know what you were doing was called coaching!
  • You have an innate desire to learn what makes someone 'tick'
  • You can't stand watching someone stuck in neutral. You need to help them get their 'drive' back
  • You have faced adversity yourself, and want to help others through their tough times
  • You want the best possible life that you can achieve. Mediocrity will NOT cut it!

Did that sound like you? If so, you may benefit from Martha Beck's Coach Training. But what exactly makes Martha's system different (or better) from other coach training programs?

The key is Martha's first philosophy the each individual has the key to success tied up inside themselves. The coaches ONLY goal is to help them release that potential. By working with the client to find their blockers, you can help them succeed and start achieving their Wildly Improbable Goals (WIGs).

Martha's Coach Training is a little pricey though. Especially considering that Martha is a Phoenix life coach doing most of the training remotely. The training comes in at $6000 US plus and additional $775 for certification. But when you consider the depth of training you will receive plus the ability to do your training with one of the best in the world (plus Martha's and by extension Oprah's) brand names behind you can really be the kick start that your coaching business needs.

Things to keep in mind if you are considering this training.

  • Getting certified by Martha Beck does not equal getting certified by the ICF. Martha views her style as "unique" and somewhat fluid and wants to maintain independence in how her courses are run. But not having the ICF credentials can potentially turn off some clients.
  • More than other coaching programs, Martha's takes the time to build a strong foundation before forging ahead and working on attaining goals. Martha feels building this strong foundation gives the coaches the best opportunity for success.
  • If you are considering doing the training, make sure you do the certification as well, the benefits for that extra chunk of money are huge including, using Martha's logo on your promotional materials (website included) access to a whole slew of coaching resources and discounts on future training.

All in all, despite the hefty price tag, Martha Beck's Coach Training seems to the be the system du jour. She has had plenty of opportunity to hone the system working with her clients (locally and globally) as a Phoenix Life Coach. There are plenty of positive reviews on the web and as long as you are aware of (and ok with) the costs and the lack of ICF certification, then this is a fantastic option to get you started in the coaching industry. Martha's philosophy is very down to earth and makes it easy for beginners to grasp.

But what do you think? Anyone out there have experience (positive or negative) with Martha's program?


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      "And that is: as soon as I read the "negative" reviews of the detractors, I knew that the program probably demands a very high level of personal responsibility."

      This is really crafty: it suggests that if you don't like the product, it's somehow because you aren't good enough to deserve it. Yet this commenter states that they don't know about the program firsthand--they can just tell all of this from the negative reviews! Sometimes negative reviews are negative because they're truthful--not because the person saying them is somehow deficient or "just doesn't understand." Assuming the latter, especially without any actual evidence of the situation at hand, is irresponsible and dishonest. I hope it doesn't discourage further bad reviews.

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      3 years ago

      Just revisiting. STILL think this program was a waste of time, money, and is not a scrupulous outfit/organization. I don't even cite this training in my online presence. Good luck getting certified without the investment of $thousands more, and poor you, if you think anyone will care, or any sense or spirit of camaraderie, tribe or friendship(s) will follow you out the door. A complete scam. Good luck

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      3 years ago


      I have recently had several sessions with a certified Martha Beck coach, and I think you should review your certification standards. This coach told me that everything I do is wrong, everything I think is wrong, & that I am just a wrong. And that my life will change once I pay her $$$$ so that she can fix me.

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      4 years ago

      There was little of value in this training for me. I did not meet Martha (ever), was not able to attend any of her day-time only teleconferences due to the nature of my work; and received no comments from her on any of my homework assignments. "Martha Beck Life Coach Training" is a misnomer in every sense of the word. I never met the lady, and now credit a talented editor with most of the charm we've come to admire in her writings.

      Further, because I have been a student of "these types" of teachings for years I count in the decades, I felt my know-how and experience exceeded all of my class cohorts (and many of the instructors). Honestly, I would happily trade the $10,000 I paid for various trainings in exchange for removing any association of my name with this training. It is substandard, and unnecessary for those who have a calling to be of service in the world. Buyer beware.

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      4 years ago

      I really enjoy the blog post. Great. dbdffbfffdkg

    • profile image


      4 years ago


      I am currently a cadet in the Martha Beck Life Coach Training Program. We began in April 2014. I had read the above comments before signing up and thought I would give it a chance because we were able to sit through a few weeks of training and then receive a refund if we so wished.

      I have to chuckle now at how worried I was about getting ripped off. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      I already have a Masters in Business plus an additional 36 graduate hours in Counseling Psychology from Rollins College in FL. I have learned more tools to truly help people in the last seven months in Martha's program than I learned the entire time I was at Rollins.

      All of the Martha Beck teachers have been patient, kind, encouraging and supportive. I've not interacted with any who seem to 'just want my business'.

      As for my fellow cadets, most show up sincerely and are willing to be vulnerable, helpful and authentic. Yup, there are a few exceptions, but you find that in any situation.

      If you do the work, you will change your life for the better and also become equipped to help others do the same.

      I hope this was helpful!

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      5 years ago

      I attended MBI in 2012. I worked full time and never missed a class. I was fully involved and conscientious in my training throughout the nearly 9 month program.

      After the first class I was feeling very uncomfortable with the way Abigail had us choose our coaching buddy. I hated the process and ended up with a coaching buddy who instantly gave advice to me rather than use the tool of listening.

      I aproached Abigail via phone and she simply told me "oh she will learn that she can't give advice."

      I felt zilch concern from Abigail. I was definitely left to fend for myself, which I did. I got another coach buddy and started my own coaching group.

      But I can assure you I did not feel the love from any of the leadership team.

      It is a very incestuous group and cheerleading is in store for sure....the louder and attention seeking you are the more popular you are with the instructors.

      I really found it to be a lesson in patience. I love Martha Beck's teachings, there are a few excellent instructors, BUT you don't get taught by all the good ones.

      Be aware that you will get newbie in- structors as well that don't know diddly squat in how to communicate with a personality other than their own type.

      Yes, now they offer a refund as they should. Overall I'm glad I did it, however, for someone who has experience working with patients as an allied health professional, working directly w ith patients for the past 12 years, I would have liked to learn more tools for the $6,000 I paid.

      In order to learn more precise, advanced tools you have to apply to become a master coach and pay an additional $6,000, or somewhere near that price.

      Be sure you can go with the flow and be okay without structure.

      It's total crap you can say something forthright and be heard without judgement or consequences. Yes, that was my experience with several master coaches.

      No one says anything cause all the calls are recorded and people, I think, generally do not want something negative they say to be on record. People were very hush hush also because they want to be liked.

      I agree with another contributor. The students really ought to be screened as well before being accepted into this type of arena.

      I did say I'm glad overall I did it, BUT I still feel over a year later I was ripped off.

      One last thing....the master coaches want your business after graduating, I'll just keep it at that.

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      5 years ago


      Other than reading Martha Beck's 2012 book which I found beautiful and resonant, I don't know much at all about the coaching program. I landed on this page early in my information search and I'll share something you all might find unusual and a bit different from what has been shared here, both by the critics and by the program coordinator.

      And that is: as soon as I read the "negative" reviews of the detractors, I knew that the program probably demands a very high level of personal responsibility.

      I've been coaching for a long time in creative expression, and I've seen similar resistance any time money is asked to be invested in good faith. Whenever a participant hands money over with a "cost" mindset or with a "prove it to me" attitude, then the participant will almost always be disappointed. This is pretty much a good rule, and I say it from years and years of experience. (The money back guarantee type of programs in the American landscape haven't helped this existing attitude toward money -- a coaching program isn't a customer service platform; it is a transformation that requires tremendous personal faith and commitment.) Only if money is seen as an energy flow, an investment, can a committed participant gain from such an experience. Technically I can hardly "afford" the $6000 the program "costs," but I didn't come looking for information to justify the cost. I was trying to get an intuitive sense of the overall resonance of the program.

      Amazingly, these "negative" reviews have (counter) intuitively showed me that the program likely asks for a very high level of internal motivation, courage and faith.

      And finally, while every program, no matter how world-class, must self-reflect on its own limiting beliefs and blind spots, it is not the job of the student to enter a program with the view of improving IT, the teachers, etc. A student's job is FIRST to surrender to her own learning, including in a system that might appear to be flawed or less than in some way. An opportunity to give valuable feedback will surely arise at the appropriate time ... stopping the sessions, then waiting to be contacted, and then posting on a public forum is hardly the way to offer responsible feedback. This may seem crazy to many of you, but I say this from sensing the energy here, not blind faith, and like I've already said, I have no personal bias for or against this program. (And I also sense that Abigail's responses are heartfelt.)

      My entry here does not imply I will or won't join the Martha Beck coaching program. I just want to share a completely neutral and intuitive perspective from simply reading the posts here and my own life experience / understanding.

      Thanks for reading!

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      Abigail Steidley 

      5 years ago

      I just thought I would respond once again to the reviews posted recently, as I've thoroughly read them and pondered them quite a bit. For the last eight months, we have been renovating the Martha Beck Life Coach Training from top to bottom. I listen to all criticisms and reviews and look thoroughly at what we are doing in the training to make sure that we are standing in our integrity. I do indeed look for any limiting beliefs within our way of doing things and regularly find them. This is why I love working with Martha Beck. We truly do live it to give it. In fact, I'm not sure anything could be quite so rigorous as the current renovation of the training! There's sweat pouring from every staff member's brow, lol! The last thing I want is for anyone to feel a sense of superiority from instructors to students, as our focus is entirely on equality and compassion and love. So, I have taken all criticisms into account and they have helped a great deal in our current renovation of the program. We hope to have it completed very soon, and are rolling out most of the changes in our current training, so the current cadets get to experience them.

      In fact, I'll be announcing all the changes to coaches who have taken the training so everyone will know what we're doing differently fairly soon. Thank you for your input, everyone, as I really do value it. I would also love to have this input given to me directly, as that would make it even easier to address and consider. Everyone is always welcome to email me with feedback.

      Martha's program does indeed grow and evolve, always. It's just that once someone has finished or left the program, they may not know about the changes we've made for the new cadets. However, we always love getting feedback and making those changes.

      I'd encourage anyone interested in our program to look at the current program information and not rely on any outdated material about the program. Our goal is always to serve those who want to take our training to the best of our abilities.

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      6 years ago

      The fact that there are no refunds at any kind is BS. Check out The Coaches Training Institute, the offer refunds, and the first course is a money back guarantee, to see if it is the right fit for you. I have enrolled but sadly had to cancel before I started due to finances, it is a a few thousand more than this one, and it was not a problem at all.

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      6 years ago

      Hi Abigail,

      While I realize this isn't a forum for dialogue (more for responses to the article posted) I do feel compelled to say that your focus, and the program's focus on putting the whole onus on the student - after you've collected your full fee requirement and make no room for refunds - is precisely the issue for a lot of the folks here, myself included. It seems overly convenient to say that participants difficulties, frustrations and legitimate criticisms of the program are a result of what I think you imply is their unwillingness to 'do the hard work'. It would be great if your program, itself, would take the kind of responsibility you expect your individual students to take and 'do the hard work' of looking internally as well. There's a lot of meaningful response here from people who came to you and to Martha looking to learn and grow and finding the experience extremely disappointing and limited. This is YOUR opportunity to look at limiting beliefs that may exist about the correctness and unchanging practices of your program and grow as a training program and in your own compassion for your students. This perhaps sounds harsher than I intend, and I believe you and I crossed paths in a valuable way which I do appreciate. But there is a not so thinly veiled superiority in the personal and now public responses I've seen from critiques to the program that seems duplicitous given the rigor with which you consistently expect students to look deeply at themselves and how they might grow, i.e. this seems like an invitation for Martha's program to do the same.

    • profile image


      6 years ago


      I’m Abigail Steidley, the current Martha Beck Life Coach Training Coordinator, and I just wanted to note a couple of things about the program in case you’re feeling concerned or unclear as you consider taking the training. I appreciate that anyone taking the course will have their own views or perspectives on different aspects of it. However, it’s important that anyone considering the program knows the facts about fees and participation. We do like to make sure you feel right about your decision, so we are always willing to take the time to connect with anyone who is interested in our program.

      As far as fees are concerned, we most definitely do NOT require you to purchase ANYTHING extra that is not listed upfront on our website. You are NOT required to hire a coach during the training or for certification. Should you choose to do so, that is fine, but it’s completely up to you, the participant. I’m not sure why the reviewer who thought this was a requirement didn’t bring the question up to me as the coordinator, because I would have certainly let her know she did NOT need to do that at all!

      In the very first class, we talk about participation and explain that this training is much different from regular old school! We don’t take attendance or track participation, because we want you to participate from an internally motivated place rather than in response to an authority figure. The whole training is about accessing and trusting your own inner wisdom. As the coordinator, I am always here if you need to discuss something, but we do expect you to reach out and take charge of your experience if you are having an issue with something in the program. The initial connection and conversation around the program is, after all, created because you reached out to us and inquired.

      Participants will have six classes with Martha Beck herself, which we explain on our website. Personal attention from Martha for every single participant would not be possible for Martha – there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. We do not advertise that you will have personal attention from Martha, because you might not. However, there is an opportunity on the calls with her to get coached and talk with her. She reads all the homework assignments and calls on volunteers in every class. There’s also a chance to meet her in person at the optional Meet and Greet event. As far as soliciting clients, instructors have clear guidelines around NOT posting advertisements for their own coaching practices. Recruitment of clients is NOT allowed in our program. If a participant chooses to coach with an instructor, that is their own personal decision.

      Lastly, I just have to mention that I myself am an introvert! I know plenty of Martha Beck coaches who are introverts. We’ve enjoyed the program just as much as our extrovert colleagues. Like anything in life, the program experience is what you make it. We do a lot of deep work in our program around letting go of limiting beliefs and other personal blocks. Sometimes, this can feel scary and difficult, and it might feel easier to blame the program or the instructors for this. However, we believe that the best coaches are willing to look inside and do the hard work on themselves. This makes them compassionate and kind coaches who can truly guide their clients to connect with their inner wisdom.

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      6 years ago

      The program is not up front with all the hidden costs. Those of us in training now have been told that in order to be certified that we should work with a master coach for a suggested six months. These coaches are hand picked by the leadership team and they charge $125 per session. An e-mail was sent to us letting us know that this was suggested. Now, I'm concerned I won't be certified, if I don't hire a master coach for the extra sessions. I'm so disappointed in this training, I'm currently in training now in 2012.

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      7 years ago

      I completed this program in 2011 and can quite honestly say I hated it. The competition is beyond what anyone has described, and does nothing to foster any sense of being part of a "tribe." The training is kind of a "we'll toss everything at you and see what sticks," and there was never any personal contact from Martha Beck, ever. Not worth the money.

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      7 years ago

      Currently enrolled in the program, and concerned beyond all description (this class exhausted my savings). Cheerleader Camp? I've compared it to Disneyland. Lots of hero-worship here! No personal contact with Dr. Martha Beck. Expensive. Insincere. Rather pyramid looking in many respects. Have also stopped attending classes. Nobody notices or follows up to check in. Lots of recruiting and hand holding at the front end to get you signed on. Little to no support through the program. Relieved to see others who feel the same way. We are on our own, which I suppose is how it should be. Nevertheless, a big disappointment. I feel scammed.

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      7 years ago

      Just want to say thank you for those thoughtful comments and for potentially helping someone else save a dollar in this unforgiving economy.

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      7 years ago

      I took the Martha Beck Life Coach Training Course starting in January 2011.

      Here are my thoughts after taking the course:

      I question in general the validity of any course that only asks you to pay, but not prove any sort of qualifications before signing up. I also question the validity of any course that refuses to give refunds of any kind.

      Make sure you understand the culture of the course before going in---- in my experience it was much much much too much like cheerleading camp. I've never been to one, but that's what it felt like. Both in the cheering and the competition.

      I felt like the instructors, not all of them, but some of them, were looking for clients in the students, as opposed to just teaching them.

      Please do not take this course unless you've had 10 sessions with a Martha Beck Life Coach.

      Please do not take this course until you've read all of her books cover to cover and watched any and all videos you can find of her online.

      In the introductory telephone call I listened to Martha Beck said she would teach Stephen Hayes' ACT----in reality-- in one of the videos she talks about it a little bit and then she encourages you to read his books.

      Please do not take this course thinking that it will change your life-- YOU change your life, not online telecourses-- and there's much cheaper and more soulful ways to do everything that's in this course!

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      7 years ago

      I enrolled in this program largely based on the bullet points you list above (all apply for me) – I also attended an orientation call, researched the program online and took three separate hour long calls with graduates. There was additional information that I would have found invaluable in deciding to take Martha’s Life Coaching training, however, that was not available, which is what I’d like to say here. The first is that the program is very, very effective and useful for extremely extroverted and highly talkative/enthusiastic folks. If your learning/speaking/processing style tends toward the introspective, quiet or more subdued you may find it extremely difficult to be a part of the culture which is a central aspect of the experience. The second detracting factor is that expense of the program is total and irrevocable. There is no withdrawing after enrolling which the program connects with ‘commitment’ on the part of the student. That said, it is impossible to know what one’s experience will be before entering any training program. So, having done as much research as humanly possible, it was still not possible to know – until experiencing it - that this was not the program for me, after handing over $5,000. Having befriended other students with similar experiences, I’m guessing it’s a problem that is larger than me. Each of us eventually stopped attending classes. I never heard from an administrator or trainer as to why I stopped participating, which I found disappointing given the high premium placed on community and belonging to a ‘tribe’. My suggestion to anyone considering this investment would be to have as much exposure to existing MB life coaches as well as Martha herself – see if your energy and personal ‘volume level,’ so to speak, matches up with what you see there. If you feel quieter, more pensive or gentle maybe than what you are encountering, I totally urge you to pay attention to that feeling, which, interestingly, Martha would urge you to do too. (I am not going into all of the innovation, value and interesting aspects of the program because those can be found in many places online and are certainly a part of its appeal as well.) Thanks for the opportunity to share this experience and hopefully help others make a good decision.


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