frequently asked questions
getting started with coaching ↘
coaching style ↘
how do I get started with you?
Step 1: Quick Intro Form
First, you’ll answer a few introductory questions on this form (like your name, email, pronouns, what makes you curious about coaching, and so on). You can also find this form linked at the “I’m Ready, Let’s Go” button, below, and on our coaching page.
Step 2: Schedule an Intro Meeting
After I receive your intro form, I’ll send you an email inviting you schedule a (free) intro-meeting with me using a private calendar link.
Step 3: E-Meet and Vibe
The day arrives—you and I e-meet and video chat for 30-ish minutes.
Our meeting is meant to be very chill—no need to make things fancy, stilted, or formal. Our goal is to know each other; you’ll ask me questions to try to determine whether I’m the right coach for you, and I’ll ask you questions to determine if the support you need is within my wheelhouse.
→ If I get the feeling you need resources outside the scope of my expertise, I'll let you know right away and share a recommendation or resource with you.
→ If it seems like support you need is within my wheelhouse, I'll offer you a spot in my schedule before I know what you’d like to offer to pay. (For more on this, see my notes on sliding scale under the question, “how much does this cost?”)
Neither of us needs to make a decision during this intro-meeting; you can take as much time as you need to think things over. If you decide we’re not a good fit, or it’s a “not right now," no worries!
what kind of coach are you?
I’m a integrative somatics-certified, positive psychology-certified, trauma-informed, and ICF-trained life/work coach; I’ll break down what that means in the questions below.
But in everyday-speak? I help people navigate change.
In practice, this means I help people MAKE changes: tangible ones, like figuring out what job they’d rather be working, and intangible ones, like how to actually trust themselves when they make decisions, stuff like that. I do this by “being a mirror” and asking clients questions that help them become more self-aware, more compassionate, and more familiar with what I call their “energy budget” (aka, their nervous system).
Wanna know more? You can watch this 3-minute, captioned “what kind of coach are you?” video, here.
what does “integrative somatics-certified” mean?
I earned my Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy certificate from the Embody Lab in February of 2023. I was lucky enough to study under both the pioneers of somatic psychology and practitioners devoted to decolonizing the fields of trauma research and traditional psychology.
To be absolutely clear: This certification does NOT make me a trauma therapist or therapist of any kind; this program was about learning from the expert therapists and leading minds in somatic psychology, to make me a more trauma-informed person and coach.
For more on somatics, see below.
what is somatic psychology?
Traditional psychology is obsessed with your mind. It wants to analyze how your thoughts, beliefs and experiences influence your behavior. In this discipline, your body is just kind of…there. Not super relevant to the practice.
Somatic psychology, on the other hand, is obsessed with your body. It wants to bring awareness to the connections between your thoughts, emotions, and sensations (as in: hot/cold, tension/comfort, etc). In this discipline, your mind and body are part of the same feedback loop, and influence one another.
Somatics is like, “Hey, uhh, everything that happens in the brain directly influences the body; everything that happens in the body directly influences the brain. Our nervous systems are more than our brain, you know?!”
I really like the way Generative Somatics (an organization focused on somatic transformation within climate and social justice) describes it:
" 'Soma' comes from the Greek, meaning "the living organism in its wholeness”...Perhaps what is most unique about somatics is that it integrates the body as an essential place of change, learning and transformation. You can think of it as muscles having memory and the tissues having intelligence. We have learned a more objectifying or dissociated view of the body as a pile of bones and tendons we think of as a science project. Somatics looks at the body as a place of evolutionary intelligence and learning. Somatics sees the "self," or who we are, as inseparable from the body."
—from What is a Politicized Somatics? via Generative Somatics, 2010
what does “positive psychology-certified” mean?
I earned my Specialization Certificate in Positive Psychology from a remote program offered by the University of Pennsylvania in early 2019.
I decided to enroll in this program after I had spent over a year researching these topics for my book, and I was lucky enough to take classes taught by legends in the field, like Angela Duckworth, Martin Seligman, and more. Fun irony: When I started classes, I found out I had apparently already read every foundational text we would eventually be assigned! Turns out my brain’s capacity for hyperfocus can be really helpful, sometimes. 😂
To be absolutely clear: This certificate does NOT make me a psychologist or therapist. If you are looking for a therapist, I recommend searching for one that matches your values on Inclusive Therapists or Open Path Collective.
For more on positive psychology, see below.
what is positive psychology?
what does "trauma-informed" mean?
People who have lived through trauma (and/or experience it on an ongoing basis because of the fucked up society we’ve built) are often re-traumatized through the ignorance and carelessness of other people—and each of us deserves better than that.
Coaching is built on conversations that help us navigate change; those conversations are only helpful if they’re built on trust (and trust has to be earned). “Trauma-informed” means I’m trained to act with sensitivity and awareness, with the goal of earning your trust by building as “safe” a conversational environment for us as possible. (Trauma-awareness was the focus of my somatic psychology certificate; see above.)
PS: Even if we don’t end up working together, please look for a coach who is trauma-informed!
how often would we meet?
We typically meet two times per month, for 60 minutes a time—with weekly asynchronous coaching in-between—for three consecutive months. (More on asynchronous coaching below.)
Over the course of a three month agreement, that’s six hours of face-to-face time in virtual sessions, and up to 3 additional hours of available asynchronous coaching, should you choose to use that.
Substantial, hour-long meetings give us time to “cover a lot of ground” when it comes to getting to know one another and navigating change, and meeting for three consecutive months ensures we have enough time to build trust and momentum. Meeting every other week (twice-monthly) is just frequent enough for us to remember what we talked about and what you’re working on—while also leaving enough space for you to process, experiment, and reflect.
That said, everyone has unique needs, abilities, and preferences! I always invite clients to share your meeting preferences (e.g. more session time, phone call instead of video, irregular cadence) in our initial conversation together.
what is "asynchronous" coaching?
It’s coaching in-between the coaching.
Epiphanies aren't predictable and accountability is hard to come by; asynchronous coaching helps keep us on track between sessions with a dedicated, individual, and private Slack channel, just for us.
Some clients use their Slack channel to send me voice notes, updating me on what they’re noticing and changes they’re making. Some clients request personalized reflection questions or journal prompts from me, like voluntary self-awareness-homework, in-between our meetings. Some like to use the space regularly with notes, GIFs, and responses—and others prefer to go radio-silent between sessions and stick to our virtual conversations only. It’s up to you!
I'm not just dropping an emoji in the Slack feed and calling it a day; I aim to be available —truly present as your coach—in-between our calls. To ensure I can be available, I set aside an additional hour, every month, for asynchronous time with each of my clients. That's one reason my suggested monthly rate is what it is: I'm dedicating three or more hours to working with you, specifically, every single month!
how long do clients typically work with you?
Anywhere from 3 months an entire year at a time.
If you're like: "UHHH, THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LIFETIME RIGHT NOW??" I know what you mean. Who will I even BE in a year? It's impossible to predict whether you'll want to work with someone for that long when you don't know them yet.
This is why I suggest we work together in three-month increments: It's just enough time to get to know each other and make progress, but you're not committed a long-term contract if short-term support is what you need.
Some clients find six meetings to be more than enough to get the clarity and self-awareness they need; others prefer the recurring connection and accountability and decide to sign on for second, third, and fourth rounds with me. I’ve lost count of how many of my clients initially signed on for 3-months together, but when our sessions are wrapping up, go, "Oh god, no!!! Can we keep going!?" Makes me double-chin-smirk with joy, every time.
how much does it cost?
It costs what you and I can afford.
I operate on a sliding scale. It’s my belief that our economic system is broken and access to money shouldn't stop people from receiving the support they need. Yes, I need to charge for my work because I, too, need to pay my bills—but why would I “set my rates” in a way that effectively excludes people people simply because of their distance from financial privilege?
What monthly rate works for you? Feel free to offer whatever you'd like. Yes, I do mean that. Some of my clients pay $1347 per month. Some pay $160 per month. Some pay $997. Some pay $0 per month. Some pay $747. Some pay $500 per month.
If you aren't sure what to offer, my suggested rate for Twice-Monthly, 60-minute sessions plus weekly asynchronous coaching (for people who have access to financial stability) is $597 per month.
Is my suggested rate outside what you can currently afford? No problem! Suggest any amount you that feels right to you. You'll be able to propose the rate you'd like to pay on a form I'll send you, after we've had a chance to e-meet and get to know one another.
Can you afford to pay me my suggested rate, or more? Great! I appreciate you investing in my time, skills, and experience. When people with access to wealth pay that rate or higher per month, it allows me to offer my coaching services to people who don’t have that option right now. Thanks for helping me practice the redistribution of resources in this small way.
do I book one session with you at a time?
Nope! You and I will choose a recurring day and session time to meet.
You have enough to keep track of already, so why add the variable of having to remember to book a random time from my online calendar for every session? Once you confirm your preference, I'll send you calendar invites with meeting link for each of our six sessions, so reminders can be automated.
If, however, you’d prefer to book each session one at a time, you can! All of my clients get a private, dedicated scheduling link to use as-needed.
what if I need to cancel one of our sessions?
Life happens! When it comes to rescheduling, let's try offer one another as much notice as we can— ideally 24 hours or more.
→ Got certain dates you know you'll be unavailable / out of town? Let me know up front! We can try plan our recurring session day & time slot (like "every other Wednesday at 2pm," for example) around your plans.
→ Is it a true last-minute emergency? Your peace is always more important than holding an appointment. Let's use our private Slack channel and/or email to let each other know if we can't make it to a session unexpectedly.
do you offer a payment plan?
Yep! It’s built in. Billing happens month-to-month.
I've never liked the mental gymnastics that coaches present as "doing us a favor" when it comes to paying for their services. Like, "Pay for everything up front and get a 3% discount!" Why? What's that 3% really doing for our financial peace of mind? What if we don't have that kind of money right now? Or "Put down half now as a deposit and pay the other half on a payment plan!" — meanwhile, the payment plan tacks on an additional 20% per month, punishing us for not having enough to cover the whole thing up front? No thank you.
Monthly billing helps my clients factor coaching into their budget and offers peace of mind, in case their financial circumstances change abruptly (like in a *clears throat* global pandemic *clears throat again* for example).
If something does change about your finances, let me know via email or in Slack and we can discuss pausing sessions, changing the rate, or cancelling the agreement; whatever supports you best.
how does payment work for clients outside the U.S.?
International clients have the option to pay our invoices via debit, credit, or ACH-transfer, just like clients in the United States.
If you’d like to pay in a currency other than USD, I like recommending the platform Wise; it is free to sign up, typically has the lowest currency-conversion fees of most digital platforms, and is designed to be secure for online payments.
is our work together confidential?
Yes, our work together is confidential.
But yes, you can tell people I'm your coach.
Confidentiality is built into our work together. To me, privacy means that:
I will not disclose to anyone that you are my client, unless you give me explicit permission to do so.
I will not record any of our sessions, unless you ask me to.
The contents of our "asynchronous" communications in Slack (and all other "third party" platforms, like email, Loom, voice notes, etc.) are confidential. If either of us wants to share something from those spaces with anyone else, we must get explicit permission from one another.
There’s only scenario where I could be forced to break confidentiality, and that’s if we were subpoenaed by the federal government, in which case I'd have to turn over the contents of our online communications. So let's not, uhh, plan any """criminal""" activity in Slack, yeah? 😅
what if I don't feel ready to "move on" when our agreement ends?
As we get closer to the end of our coaching agreement, I'll give you time to think about whether you wanna keep the party going. I prioritize my existing clients when it comes to scheduling, so you'll never have to worry about me giving your spot away!
Some clients sign on for another round of six sessions; others sign up for “rolling” coaching, where we meet on an ongoing basis with a month-to-month contract. Some request the option to schedule a “drop-in” session when they need it; others give me a virtual high five and move on with their lives! You’ve got options.