My in-depth understanding of human and student development, emotional intelligence, transformational learning, and the human brain provides the foundation for my work. I am a parent who has navigated the joys and challenges of parenting, I have a unique understanding of school issues and personal change strategy, and I have empathy and optimism to share!

How I can help you

PARENTING WITH CONNECTION - one-on-one parent coaching, parenting classes

We've all heard it said that "parenting is the hardest job you will ever love" and that "a parent is only as happy as their saddest child." Both of these statements reveal an unspoken thread of connection between parent and child. Nurturing that connections through the "thick and thin" of parenting can feel impossible at times.

You, like most parents I work with, wish for your child to be healthy and happy, have good friends, succeed in school, and contribute to their communities in positive ways. Learning to build and sustain a healthy connection with your child allows you to facilitate this growth and success. Parents come to me if connecting to their child feels interrupted and:

  • they continue to have the same struggles over and over with their child (homework, bedtime, screen time, chores),

  • the joy they hoped for in parenting just isn't there,

  • they are exhausted, stressed out, and worried about their child's future and the impact of behavior challenges on the family,

  • they have read all the "right" books and asked friends and experts for advice with no change,

  • their other relationships are becoming impacted negatively by their parenting troubles, and

  • they feel hopeless and held hostage by their child's challenges. 

I help parents develop their own unique style of parenting based on connecting to their children by identifying the unmet needs that underlie their behavior, by doing things "with" them rather than "to" or "for" them, and by understanding and appreciating the normal developmental patterns of childhood and adolescence. The goal is to strengthen the child's:​

  • honest and effective communication

  • intrinsic motivation

  • optimism

  • sense of purpose

  • pro-social skills

  • family connectedness

  • self-control

  • empathy and perspective taking

  • moral reasoning and responsibility

STUDENT COACHING

Today's youth are reporting higher levels of stress. 1 in 5 teens report extreme stress during the school months and they feel hopeless that they can do anything about it. This hopelessness and sense of overwhelm can lead to self-destructive behaviors, family stress, and anxiety and depression for the youth, not to mention conjure fear for their future in their parents. 

As a parent, I often found it difficult to know how best to help my teenager manage the unique demands of this often turbulent developmental period. I had so many questions: Should I tell him to finish up an assignment versus agonizing more over its quality? How important was his homework compared to getting enough sleep? Were his peer relationships healthy? Would he be able to attend a college that would be a good fit...and so on. 

 

I specialize in coaching students to better handle this ever-increasing pressure in both social and academic aspects of school including:

  • homework overload, 

  • time management and organization,

  • motivation and engagement,

  • decision-making and problem solving,

  • peer and teacher relationships,

  • identity development, and

  • college/career preparation.

 

I help them identify healthy stressors that build resilience and develop skills to help them gain balance in school, relationships, work, and with family. Students thrive with the development of these essential skills and the extra support of an empathic and qualified coach.

I also work closely with parents to help them connect in the most helpful ways during this period of growth and promise. (See Parenting with Connection.)

"BEST SELF" COACHING – coaching, consulting, assessments

More and more I hear people speak of the desire to find a deeper purpose or meaning in their lives. They are more aware that the world needs them to engage as their best possible self and more discontent when they do not. Adults and children feel this equally. They want to connect with meaningful work and create a positive impact, not just for themselves, but also for the greater good. I am passionate about helping individuals identify their "Best Self" – what it is that intrinsically motivates them, that inspires others, that gives them hope, and engages them more happily. To do this I employ a framework of Emotional Intelligence.

 

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to effectively blend thoughts and feelings to make good decisions and to have healthy relationships. Emotionally intelligent people are aware of themselves and others, connect with purpose and intention, and they act in a way that best serves that purpose. They are successful, healthier, have a high degree of self efficacy and achievement, and have fewer regrets. They stay connected with their "best self!"

 

I work with individuals, families, educators, and business professionals to develop the skills of emotional intelligence so they may:

  • understand and articulate why they seek personal or organizational change and what they wish to achieve,

  • connect with an awareness of their unique strengths, challenges, and limitations, 

  • define their noble goal or purpose, and 

  • generate options and make choices that bring their intentions and their actions into alignment so personal goals are easier to achieve.

 

I am certified to administer and debrief several emotional intelligence assessments for individuals (youth and adults) and businesses through Six Seconds-The Emotional Intelligence Network. This assessment is a great starting point to the conversation.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION – mediation and restorative practices for families, schools, and workplace

Can't we all just get along? Behind this statement is the wish to connect and return to the joy, support, and other positive benefits that come from our personal and work relationships. Unfortunately, there are times when getting along seems impossible. 

Whether you are a parent in conflict with your child about getting chores done on time, or dealing with a conflict at home or work in which a family member or colleague has been dishonest, disruptive, or otherwise fractured the harmony, I can help you restore those relationships. I have found that regardless the dilemma, engaging in a process that allows all parties to be heard, to develop understanding of each other's perspectives, and collaborating on ways to repair hurt feelings or harm done, conflict can be turned into a growth experience. 

I am an experienced restorative conflict specialist. I help you find a peaceful resolution to your conflict and to repair and rebuild relationships that are being damaged by unresolved differences. Resolving conflict requires empathy and perspective taking, self-awareness, and skillful communication. I can help you develop these skills while facilitating a process of conflict resolution to meet your specific needs.

 

Below are conflict resolution processes in which I specialize.

Restorative Practices (RPs)

RPs are formal and informal practices intended to precede wrongdoing and conflict by proactively building relationships and community. The fundamental unifying hypothesis of RPs is that “human beings are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them."  (Wachtel, 2005) This is true in families, classrooms, schools, and in the workplace. RPs have been shown to:

  • foster connectedness and belonging

  • strengthen leadership,

  • support successful collaboration at home, school, and at work, and

  • reliably reduce hurt feelings, misbehavior, bullying, violence and crime among youth, and to improve school and workplace culture and climate. 

 

Mediation

Mediation is an informal and confidential way to help you and your partner or entire family work out solutions to their differences. It is not intended to determine who is right or wrong. Instead, the outcome of mediation ideally leaves those involved feeling as if their needs have been met and ready to move forward out of conflict. A mediator is an impartial and neutral party and does not take sides. Rather a mediator helps each party:

  • identify their respective needs,

  • communicate effectively,

  • and navigate the inevitable frustration of conflict towards a mutually beneficial solution.

 

Mediation is cost effective and more efficient than traditional court litigation. And, it allows for all parties to maintain dignity and confidentiality in the process.

Couples and Divorce Mediation 

Couples locked in intractable conflict often seek mediation for their differences hoping to save their marriage or to successfully navigate terminating their marriage. Couples mediation can avoid lengthy and costly litigation of divorce and helps all parties come to a win-win solution. Ideally, even in divorce, relationships can be restored so that any necessary future interactions, especially parenting, can be less stressful.

Parent Coordinating / Decision Making

In the event of divorce, as a Parenting Coordinator I work with you to implement the terms of your decree or custody order and to address issues that create continued conflict. I will meet with you to learn more about your unique situation and family dynamic. This includes understanding the history of your conflict, issues of current concern, and each child’s unique needs and circumstances. We would decide together if it would make sense to meet with your children to know them better and understand what is important to them. In getting to know your family, I also may review reports, school records, and court documents or speak to teachers, coaches, therapists, doctors, grandparents, caregivers, and other important people in your lives. If a mediated resolution is not possible, I can serve as a Decision Maker and make a decision about the specific intractable dispute.

Family Mediation

Families can experience conflict as well. Siblings in conflict over aging parents and even parents locked in battle with their teenage or young adult children can seek mediation. Division of assets, financial conflicts, and determining living situations can create conflict. Mediation can be ideal in solving the conflict and restoring relationships. 

Regardless of your experience with conflict in your life, I can help you engage with it constructively to transform its negative impacts so that you can go forward with peace. I am committed to a child centered (when children are involved), cost-effective, dignified, empathic, and harmonious process.

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING – coaching, professional development for educators, curriculum development

Remember "that" teacher from your school days? The one that made you feel excited to learn? The one that noticed when you were needing extra help and could give it without embarrassing you? The one that knew that to learn you had to feel like you belonged, had choices, and had a unique contribution regardless of your quirks? That teacher was modeling the skills of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).

A child with low social and emotional skills can feel overwhelmed or easily hurt by his peers or teachers actions, routinely disrupt class, struggle with instructions and completing assignments, bully or be bullied, and have increased stress and anxiety related to school. 

 

If your child is struggling in school – socially or academically – it is likely that looking at those struggles in relation to her social and emotional abilities or skills will help you help her feel more successful and happier at school. I work with children and their parents to develop or enhance social and emotional skills so that school and learning are more joyful.

 

SEL is the process of developing the ability to:

  • ​recognize, understand, and manage emotions (especially strong ones!)

  • communicate clearly with others

  • empathize and be able to take the perspective of others

  • motivate self and others

  • build enduring and satisfying relationships

  • solve problems effectively and efficiently

  • control impulsive behavior

​SEL research has found that the outcomes of teaching social and emotional skills are:

  • increased positive social behavior 

  • reduced school conduct problems 

  • increased focus and attention

  • reduced emotional distress and anxiety related to learning and school, and

  • increased academic success (11% on average)

Implementing SEL results in students who are happier and more successful, and teachers who are supported in their efforts to help students meet their learning potential.

 

I work with students, families, and educators to facilitate SEL in students through one-on-one coaching and SEL curriculum development. 

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Fees

Payment is due in cash or by check at time of session. Reduced sliding scale fees are available on a limited basis.

 

Individuals

$90 per 50 minute session

Families

$120 per 50 minute session

Mediation

$150 per hour

Training and Consulting

Variable depending upon number of attendees and length of event. Please contact me for more information.

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