Characteristics of Effective Wellness Practitioners

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The positive impacts of wellness programs have led to significant growth in the profession over the past fifty years as more and more companies, hospitals, and community organizations offer wellness programs. Despite the touted success of wellness programs and the growth in the industry, little is known about what professional competencies are necessary for effective wellness promotion. This study used a phenomenological approach to explore which characteristics experienced wellness professionals believe are essential to effective wellness promotion practice at the entry-level through semi-structured interviews of ten experienced professionals who hold the Certified Wellness Practitioner credential. A thematic analysis revealed fourteen major competency areas important for entry-level wellness practitioners. This study suggests that there are similarities in the characteristics expected of entry-level wellness practitioners by employers from multiple wellness-promoting fields. This research can be used as a foundational framework to identify specific competency items for wellness practitioners.