What is your professional background?
I have been a life coach since I launched World Tree Coaching in November 2013. I have also been a clinical social worker (with over 4,000 hours of direct practice experience), a teacher, trainer and program coordinator. I currently hold the International Coach Federation's Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential. I have a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on Clinical Social Work and Conflict Resolution. I have worked with individuals who are experiencing the challenges of cross-cultural adaptation for over 10 years. My client base is broad and diverse. I have worked with immigrants to the United States, students, trauma survivors, serial expats and Peace Corps volunteers.
What else should I know about you?
I grew-up in a small town just outside of Austin, Texas, but I am also a chronic expat and have lived in Japan, Northern Ireland, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Madagascar. I am a wife and mother of 3 children. I currently live in Tokyo, Japan. My native language is English, but I am also fluent in Spanish and speak passable French. In my free time, I enjoy reading, being outdoors and creating a warm and inviting home space wherever we are. I practice meditation daily and the practice of mindfulness is a guiding factor in both my personal and professional life. I find a long, outdoor run to be food for my heart, soul and body. I love to write and consider it an essential part of everything I do. I also love to cook and eat. A natural extrovert, I’m energized by great conversation with friends and family and I love a good party.
What services do you offer?
I offer life coaching to individuals facing the ups and downs of transition. These services primarily include one-on-one support sessions via Skype or phone, email follow-up and periodic check-ins. I provide insight into the culture shock experience, support you in determining your goals in relation to your transition, help you better understand what may be holding you back from experiencing the joys of living around the world and, most importantly, I provide a safe and non-judgmental space for you to truly be yourself during the process of realizing a life centered around the things you hold most dear. A significant portion of my coaching practice is based on the concepts of mindfulness. To that end, much of my work is dedicated to helping my clients build a better foundation for understanding their thought and emotional patterns, raising awareness of and insight around those patterns and developing strategies for using that awareness for a more fulfilling daily life.
Isn’t what you’re offering therapy?
No. My background as a clinical social worker definitely informs the work I do here, but coaching is not therapy. I listen, support you in reaching your goals, offer feedback, assign homework and help you understand how life’s transitions affect your ability to stay true to yourself. However, I do not provide mental health assessment, diagnosis or treatment. I do not treat or assess substance abuse issues. I do not provide crisis intervention or domestic violence counseling. I do not provide services related to long-term personal or family-of-origin issues. In the event that I feel you could benefit from any of the above services or from more traditional, long-term therapy, I will let you know and make every attempt to make the appropriate referral. Moreover, if during our initial consultation I feel that you would be better served by another resource, I reserve the right to decline services.
What can I expect from our work together?
Above all else, you can expect an open-minded, non-judgmental space to be yourself. It is not my job to tell you what to do or how to feel. My job is to listen, help you consider your options, provide feedback and support you in better understanding what may, or may not, be keeping you from living your life the way you truly want to. I will ask you to envision how you want your life to look and then help you to make clear, concrete goals that will get you closer to finding your new normal. You can expect to benefit from the following advantages of my background and experience:
- I understand the expat experience first-hand and have personally faced many of the issues you may be facing.
- My counseling background and coach training have provided me the listening and insight skills important to supporting people in high-stress situations.
- My experience as a teacher and trainer enables me to present ideas in a way that is clear, concise and helpful regardless of your background.
- As an expat myself, I recognize the importance of having a support network that is constant. With the advantages of the Internet I can meet with you wherever you are, including before, during and after an international move and even for follow-up as you face ongoing transitions.
What should we talk about?
This largely depends on where you are in your life, but the simple answer to this question is - Whatever you want! Here are some ideas of topics clients might bring to a coaching session:
- Focus on putting your passion to work for you
- Gain confidence in promoting your new skills
- Apply the insight you’ve gained from living abroad into all aspects of your life
Students or People New to the Expat Lifestyle
- Plan and prepare for what you want to get out of your international experience
- Create a cost/benefit analysis
- Learn strategies for overcoming common fears and anxieties
- Develop plans for maintaining relationships (at home and abroad)
- Find ways to put what you’ve learned and experienced to lifelong use
- Strategize your next move
- Learn ways to cope with culture shock and reverse culture shock
- Find ways to get over the moving rut
- Gain professional freedom
- Expand your definition of You
- Develop better strategies for your ever-changing normal
- Learn new strategies for overcoming anxiety about how your lifestyle affects your family
- Open up to giving it your all even when you know you're moving on
- Create better balance between “here” and “there”
- Find home (no matter where it is)
Are you an certified coach?
Yes - I am credentialed by the International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC). I am also member of the International Coach Federation and I am a graduate of the Coach U Core Essentials Program.
How do we get started?
First, you should take a look at my Work With Me page and see which coaching package fits your needs. When you're ready to move forward, just shoot me an email and we'll go from there.
What are your rates and how do I pay?
Rates vary depending on the coaching package you select. Please see my Work With Me page for more details. All fees are payable using credit card, debit card or PayPal.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?
I expect you to notify me if you need to reschedule or cancel a session. You can do this via email or phone or simply reschedule your appointment using my online scheduling system. Ideally, you should notify me at least 24 hours in advance. However, I understand that extenuating circumstance do arise and simply ask that you be mindful of my time and yours in canceling or rescheduling appointments. If you miss more than two appointments without notification, I will not be able to continue to work with you.
I live in Country X and you live in Country Z? How do we deal with the time difference?
I try to maintain a wide range of availability, including some evening and occasional weekend hours. I am almost always able to accommodate clients all over the world. I use a highly adaptive online scheduling system that allows clients to enter their own time zone and see my schedule as it will look to them (e.g. what time it is wherever he/she is). If we have trouble finding a time that works for both of us, we will work out the kinks on a case-by-case basis.
Are you willing to see people face-to-face?
Yes, of course, but only if we’re living in the same city. I do not travel more than thirty minutes to meet with clients.
What if I’m not an expat? Can we still work together?
Probably. I work primarily with people facing major transitions and because of my own experiences and background, that often means expats, soon-to-be expats, recovering expats and immigrants. If you’re facing transition in your life and you like what you see here, but you’re not sure if coaching would be right for you, please feel free to contact me to discuss your options further.
How long will we work together?
As a general rule, I work with all of my clients for the number of sessions specified for the packages listed on my Work With Me page. In the event that both you and I feel that we need to make adjustments to the normally allotted number of sessions, we will do that in consult and for an agreed upon rate. I enjoy maintaining some level of ongoing relationship with my clients and to that end, all of my clients are free to email me at any time after completing our regular one-on-one sessions. However, if I determine that our email contact is excessive I will make every effort to refer you on to more appropriate services or suggest a coaching package to meet your ongoing needs.