Can life coaching help our teens?
We’ve taken this question and more to businesses in this field. The result is a great overview to provide you with some direction or options if you feel like you’ve exhausted everything else.
So who did we ask? Well, we hunted around and found four gurus who specialise in coaching teens: John George of Inflow Education, Melissa Katz of Melissa Katz Life and Family Coach, Michaela Launerts of Etiquette and Co and Emma Weldon of Motivational Empowerment Youth Life Coaching. You’ll see that we didn’t forget the mums either, when we introduce you to Kajsa Humphreys from I Am Well at the end.
The International Coach Federation (ICF), defines coaching as ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential’. The ICF therefore sees a coach as having four fundamental elements to what they do — identify their client’s goal in respect of coaching, encourage introspection, draw out potential ways for their client to meet these goals, and provide a mechanism for responsibility and accountability.
Coaches, don’t arrive with the answer; their aim is to empower and support their client to search for and generate their own solution by implementing a supportive framework conducive to this process.
Psychology is defined by the Oxford dictionary as ‘the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context’. The resulting therapy is treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder.
Therapy tends to focus on understanding what was and what is, and supports dealing with events in an emotionally healthier way, but as Melissa Katz says, ‘Coaching is future oriented. It directs people to focus on the actions they are willing to take to unlock their true potential.’
John George draws an analogy with overcoming the fear of driving a car. He says psychologists want to uncover when and how the fear began, and to help their client learn to rationalise it. ‘Coaching involves putting the person in a car that is not moving, and sitting in the passenger seat with the client until they can drive without you. Simple action steps layered into each session, focus on doing rather than theory.’
Consulting relates to experts who are brought in to provide a solution for a specific problem based on their wide range of experience. The programs offered by Etiquette and Co. are more aligned with consulting and are provided via small separate groups for teen girls and teen boys, or arranged privately.
Mentoring is someone who brings wisdom and expertise to their client based on their own personal experience. It can cover advising, counselling and coaching. On its own, mentoring does not include counselling or advising as the objectives and solution is sought from the client themselves.
Emma Weldon, tells us that ‘Mentoring is a less structured approach to life coaching as it focuses heavily on being a supportive listener rather than utilising skilled tools and techniques. Constructive advice can be given by the mentor having had, in most cases, prior life experience and knowledge.’
Training is a linear method of achieving outcomes. When the objectives have been clarified via a coaching process, training provides a mechanism for achieving the desired result.
Interestingly, many coaches come into this area as a result of finding something missing in their own life.
Emma says, ‘From years 7 to 12, I remember wishing I had instant access to a professional support person like a qualified life coach and mentor; someone who genuinely cared about my welfare and was passionate not only about supporting me through all the challenges I was experiencing, such as bullying and low self-esteem, but was just as importantly there to assist me with achieving my personal goals’. For John, it was coming out of his battle with depression and lack of motivation that took him down the path of coaching.
Coaching for teens is predominantly delivered via one-on-one programs. Small group coaching workshops are often also available.
Coaching for teens can address many areas, but overall (whether in a one-on-one or in a group situation) the most common areas include: self-esteem, self-awareness, motivation, goal setting, time management, organisation, managing exam and study pressures, and stress. In addition to this, each coach also adds some other unique elements. John suggests that his program also helps build resilience, mindfulness and self-love. Melissa added that the development of social thinking skills and emotional PLACEintelligence are addressed in her programs. Michaela’s courses focus on developing skills needed to navigate the social obstacles presented in early adulthood, while Emma’s work also includes addressing assertiveness, negative and positive peer pressure, and bullying.
It seems this is best answered by considering the opposite case. First and foremost, it won’t suit a teen who doesn’t want to improve or want assistance. Neither will it suit young people who are unwilling to take accountability and responsibility for their choices, or are struggling heavily with past experiences. Finally, it’s NOT suited for teens who have a medical pathology, such as major anxiety disorder, chemical imbalance, self-harm, suicidal thoughts or depression. This is where a psychologist is needed. However, for the first two situations, most reputable businesses offer a free discovery or suitability consultation, and this could serve to bring any teen who may not seem willing, on board.
There are also fewer stigmas attached to seeing a coach and so this could be presented as a strong positive.
All of our coaches have had extensive experience working with young people and have qualifications or experience that support this. For example, John and Michaela are qualified high school teachers while Emma and Melissa have specific certification in coaching. In addition, Emma has post graduate qualifications in psychology while Melissa, a former lawyer, constantly undertakes significant levels of training in order to remain current and informed.
As a result, all of their programs have been developed based on a combination of their qualifications, experience and proven standard techniques they have learnt from their training.
John has developed his ‘5 Keys to Inner Peace’ program — a simple step-by-step path to inner peace that a teen can understand and follow. He also runs a free live seminar/webinar for parents and teens that provides an overview of what they will learn in the coaching or at the teenage workshop.
Melissa believes that teens in her programs will develop the self-confidence and internal motivation to reach their true potential. They will gain an understanding of their unique personality and will be better equipped to make choices and decisions that are true to their core emotional needs.
Michaela equips students with the interpersonal skills to build character and integrity, giving young people an understanding of the world outside cyberspace. She also offers detailed insight into correct etiquette and decorum in a dynamic and fun learning environment, building the confidence teens need to be the best versions of themselves for personal success at school/university, at work and beyond.
Emma has listened to the desperate pleas of parents/guardians who seek a genuine professional support person for their children. Emma endeavours to be the person that young people can call upon to guide them through this often challenging phase of their lives.
Well, we haven’t forgotten you! Both Melissa and John either currently run or soon will be running parent workshops.
Melissa already runs ‘Parents as Coach’ small group workshops. The focus is on learning how to build mutual, trust and love in a family by building communication and connection skills and learning how to be a compassionate parent. These parent programs are about teaching parents the skills of a life coach so that they can adopt a coaching voice and a coaching role in their own families. Melissa believes that as parents, we need to educate ourselves, develop new skills, learn new tools, become aware of the trends in our teens’ environment, be relatable and most of all be there for them. Our kids need us.
John is shortly introducing small group parent workshops that will run on a model similar to the one used in his teenage coaching programs. He will help parents to help their teens by
referencing his ‘5 Keys to Inner Peace’ program. ‘After all’, says John ‘if as parents we’re not at peace, then how can we help our teens be at peace?’
Got you covered again! Kajsa Humphreys is a health and wellness coach working mainly with time-poor women who are looking to increase their energy levels, lose weight and generally increase the feeling of health and wellness in their lives. She is a certified health coach and a
personal trainer with Certificate 3 qualifications. Similar to coaching for teens, people unsuited to Kajsa’s program are those that are:
Kajsa’s programs are based on her Scandinavian upbringing. She’s taken the main concepts of the Scandinavian diet and lifestyle and developed a simple step-by-step lifestyle program —
The Swedish Solution. Her programs focus on holistic wellness and cover the following
THIS IS SPONSORED EDITORIAL, brought to you by Inflow Education, Melissa Katz Life and Family Coach, Etiquette and Co, Motivational Empowerment Youth Life Coaching and I Am Well