Parent Coaching

Have you been absorbing the experiences of autistic and neurodivergent adults and want to fully support your autistic or ND child (of any age) to be their best self?

But you’re not sure how to get around the things that everyone says are the “right” way to do things?

The fear that’s it’s all going to go wrong and hurt your child in the end?

The mental adjustments you want to make, that you suspect are necessary, for your child to feel better, and do better?

I’m here to help.

Is this familiar?

You love your autistic teen or young adult dearly AND you’re struggling to connect, to help, to find resources that fit what they need, that actually make a difference, and that aren’t punitive or compliance-based.

You watch them struggling with anxiety and overwhelm. They’re tired all the time, isolate in their room, spend way too much time on devices, and avoid anything labeled as “social.”

They insist they’re fine and don’t need help, or are sick of it. Or they’re asking for help but you’ve tried everything. Or the options you’ve found make you queasy.

You’re feeling lost and confused about what to do, how to break through, and you really need some good sleep.

Person, with a jean jacket, sitting with their elbows on their knees. They are rubbing their hands and looking down.

And wouldn’t it be nice to meet someone who didn’t see your child as a problem? As difficult? Or challenging?

You want someone who sees your kid first as a worthwhile human being.

Deep down, you know there must be a better way

And it should feel good while doing it.

You know what? You’re right.

You've got this fire inside, you want better for your child, you just need help making it happen.

And you're hoping...wishing...

Someone will listen to you for a change, and make your vision of a better future for your child come true.

Kid and adult laying on the floor, writing on some paper. There's scattered, multicolour pencils to their sides.

Here's the problem:

Parenting help generally comes in three flavors:

  1. Many will tell you how to raise your child. (I have no interest in doing this.)
  2. Some will tell you what every autistic/ND child needs. (Except that we’re all different.)
  3. A few will offer a wider variety of strategies to modify behaviors and thinking. (But the results generally don’t last for long.)

Do any of those match the vision you have of what a healthy, communicative relationship with your child looks like? Your better future?

Don’t get me wrong, strategies are great, and sometimes new ideas are exactly what you need. Especially ones tailored to autistic and ADHD and other neurowonderful ways of being in the world.  

That’s why I have lots of this kind of free information on my website. (See my blog, downloads, and free workshops.)

But frankly, you don’t need to pay someone lots of money for the kind of generic info you can get for free on Twitter or Facebook.

If you’re going to pay someone for personalized help, it better be worth the cash. And in my book, that means getting to the root of a situation.

That’s why I offer a different kind of parenting help:

I invite you to tell me what you value most, and help you make the mental shifts necessary to create that for yourself.

This isn't ordinary "parenting advice."

I coach parents, not parenting.

This might sound like splitting hairs, but I’m not here to tell you how to parent your child. I trust and believe that you will always do the best job that you are able at any given time.

That’s what you’ve always been doing. The best that you were able.

And that’s what your child has been doing as well.

What I do is to help parents, as people, to

  • escape from the cultural pressures of parenting “their” way
  • let go of the doubts and fears that doing things differently will ruin your child’s future forever
  • tweak strategies and routines to work better for your family (not anyone else’s)
  • so you can live and parent more in line with who you truly are

Because when you’re not wasting energy fighting yourself or your environment, you can be your best self.

And when you feel better inside, you will naturally parent more in line with your best values, and your kids will get the benefit of that. 

They will feel better too, and they will do better.

Kid with long curly brown hair at a table, flipping through a book. There is an adult in front of a computer to the kid's side, and they are looking at the kid.
Child and adult wearing wigs and smiling, while sitting on a brown couch.

Who cares if you do things differently?

Well, you might. Part of you, at least.

The part that lies awake at night worrying… 

What will happen to them when they get older? 

When they have to do things on their own? 

How will the world treat them? 

Not everyone is going to be as accepting as you, and what if people are mean, or worse?

That worried part of you is working so hard to protect your precious, lovely child (no matter their age). 

That part of you has probably been hurt before when you were different, and you want to spare them the grief.

And it’s probably that part of you that says and does the things you regret later, because if your kid were just more normal, everything would be easier.

Except…

Being "normal" isn't the same thing as being happy.

Doing things "normally" doesn't create happiness.

And yet, does the idea of doing things differently, on purpose, inspire terror, shame, instant outrage, an urge to run the other way, to freeze or collapse?

You’re not the only one.

Most of us have had experiences in our lives in which being different put us on the spot, and not in a happy, look-at-how-cool-you-are kind of way. Maybe you were laughed at, made fun of, teased, insulted, hurt, blamed, or ridiculed. Maybe you were physically or emotionally abused.

And that’s not what you want for your kid. Of course it’s not. You want to protect them from all of that.

So now I’m going to ask a hard question. (And you already know I’m autistic, so I’m going to be direct, but it’s not intended to be rude or hurtful.)

Have your feelings, from your own experiences of being different, contributed to how you interact with your child? With their teachers and other support people? With your spouse or partner?

I’m guessing that the answer might be somewhat uncomfortable.

I’m also guessing that, if you’ve read this far, there’s another part of you that isn’t afraid.

A part of you that has memories of being seen and respected exactly as you are, with all your wonderful differences, and who knows that this is possible for your child as well.

And you want to live into that reality more, but the fears are holding you back.

That’s exactly what I help with.

Person with long straight hair, sitting down on a green couch. They are looking down.

If you’d like personalized help finding those fears, beliefs, and internalized ableism…

and helping them feel safe enough that they can let you go…

so you can live and parent from your best self…

your creative and compassionate and courageous self…

to make a better and brighter future for your neurowonderful child…

let’s talk. 

So what would you like to be better?

Most parents come to me looking for help with a specific issue, or a few, but also wanting more than surface strategies. This is a great place to start.

Here are a few of the things people came to me for help with.

And yes, they got real results:

  • I’m worried they’re addicted to screens. How do I limit screen time without cutting them off from their friends, or damaging our relationship?
  • I feel unable to cope and am frustrated, and also worried that makes me a bad parent. 
  • When I let myself rest, I feel lazy, and there’s so much to do.
  • I suspect I’m autistic, too, and want help, but my kid’s needs are always more important. 
  • I’m stressed all the time.
  • We all have high anxiety.
  • Homeschooling is helping in some ways but really hard, or hurting our relationship, in others. What do I do?
  • They’re constantly complaining and I can’t deal with it anymore.
Two adults and a child sitting on a white couch, all looking at a silver computer the child has in their lap. The adults are smiling.

I help you find the internalized barriers that are preventing you from answering these questions yourself, and gently guide you to let them go (or rather, help them let go of you), which opens up so many possibilities.

Then we find ways to live and work and parent that match how your brain/body functions best.

We’ll go back-and-forth between these two modes, letting go of one internalized barrier at a time, and finding a new truth, new possibilities, and new strategies to replace it. 

When you live like this, it takes soooo much less energy, lowers anxiety and stress, so there is less to complain about, and you feel better about yourself, so you’re easier to be around and everything starts working better, including your relationship with your kids. It’s a win-win-win-times-a-million.

Is this what you want? It is possible. I can help.

Why am I so confident I can help you?

  1. First off, I’m a pro at the not-at-all-glamorous art of being really f*king lost in the deep dark woods of confusion.
  2. More importantly, I’ve come out the other side.
  3. And I’ve helped many others create their own Journeys. 
  4. This matters so friggin’ much to me because I’m Autistic, too. And ADHD. With sensory differences from the perceived norm. And highly sensitive. And physically disabled. With chronic pain. So I get it.
  5. I have coached well over 1,000 hours, helping Autistic, neurodivergent, and Highly Sensitive People improve their own lives in their own individual ways.
    • I’m a Martha Beck certified Wayfinder Life Coach.
    • I’m currently in Martha Beck’s Master Coach Training Program.
    • I’m a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation, the largest association of professional coaches in the world.
    • And I’m a licensed teacher – in my “old life” I taught high school for three years and community college for five years (and was really good at it, apart from the sensory and social overwhelm).
  6. And I’m making sure I can be the best resource for you that I can be.* I’ve been trained in or studied: Byron Katie’s The Work, Shanker Self-Reg, interoception, embodiment, neuro-somatic mindfulness, trauma awareness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Nonviolent Communication, and Internal Family Systems. I’m also a certified provider of the Safe and Sound Protocol.
  7. I respect you and your lived experience.
    • I continually lean into the discomfort of diversity with curiosity and an open heart. I have taken trainings from Black activists, listened to transgender and GNC activists, and (literally) sat at the feet of Indigenous Elders to listen to their stories.
      One formal diversity training program even gave me a “badge” (below), which I do not see as a mark of accomplishment, but as an outward sign of my inward commitment to continually learn and grow.


*I’ve been super picky about what training, courses, and education I subject myself to, since so much is built on models that are part of old systems I want to move away from.

Here's what I offer:

I offer personalized life coaching based on Martha Beck’s Wayfinder model (how to find your best life), informed by my own autistic experiences and what works best for my clients.

I’ll adapt to what you need, want, and find helpful.

I guide, offer, invite, but never demand or “make” you do anything.

Close-up on two people, in jackets and hats, hugging.
  • I bring calm, compassion, and a non-judgmental space to allow you to explore new experiences safely. 
  • I listen and honor your knowledge and experience.
  • I uplift, seeing the potential in you even when you don’t.
  • I’ll challenge you, kindly, to leave the B.S. behind so you actually get the results you want.
  • I keep things simple, because simple is so much easier. In fact, you’ll find that your life gets a lot easier as we work together.

What’s involved?

We’ll talk together over Zoom, and sessions last about an hour. 

Most people get the best, most lasting results when we meet regularly: weekly, twice a month, or monthly. Some people prefer an occasional session here or there. It’s up to you, based on your needs and situation.

It generally works best to bring a particular issue that you’re struggling with. Something you want to be better.

From there I will ask powerful questions to help you find the things that you’ve been taught to believe about yourself, your child, and how the world works, that have been hurting you and holding you back. 

We will gently and compassionately question them to find out what parts are true and what parts are social conditioning that you don’t need anymore. 

As you unlearn each ableist belief, each bit of conditioning from your family, teachers, society, etc., new options for addressing that specific issue will emerge. 

And this will create ripples that will spread to your relationship with your kid(s), partner, and throughout your life to help in other areas as well. 

This is the process of making your whole life better, one little bit at a time. 

Someone holding up their hand with a compass in it, pointed towards the blurred mountains in the background.

FAQs About coaching with Heather

Is this what you're looking for?

Here’s a few videos (with transcripts) answering common questions about coaching with me, including what to expect, what I’m good at, and what I won’t be the right coach for (that’s just as important).

FAQs About Coaching with Heather

Answering the questions:

  • What is coaching?
  • What can we work on in coaching?
  • What can I expect in a coaching session?
  • What’s the difference between coaching and therapy?
  • Are you going to tell me what to do?
  • How often do we meet?
  • Is it okay if I stim?

What is coaching?

Coaching is a way to have a conversation with someone who has the skills and the ability to draw out from you what works for you. What’s getting in your way? Why are you not doing the things that you say that you want to do, that you genuinely do want to do but are having resistance to? There’s stress around it, or you are trying to and you just can’t make it happen. 

Or why are you struggling with certain things that you’re doing? You don’t want to do them, but you can’t stop yourself. You can’t get away from it. 

It can be a way to figure out what it is that you really want in life. How do you make things better for yourself? Not doing it the way that works for someone else, but the way that works for you specifically.

What can we work on in coaching?

So you can come to a coaching session with something in mind that you want to figure out. It might be, “This thing happened recently and I had this really big reaction to it. Intellectually I know that it was out of proportion, but I don’t know why and I want to figure out what happened there.” Or maybe there’s something stressful coming up and you want to work with it in different ways than you have in the past. 

Maybe there’s something in your life that you just want to make better communication with. A partner or at work, or how to figure out what’s you and what’s the mask. What kind of accommodations could you request that would actually be useful and how you can have that conversation that you’re dreading, and can’t get yourself to actually have, to actually request for accommodations. 

It could be any number of things. Those are common ones, but whatever it is that in your life you’re trying to make better. So we can work through that. If you’re not exactly sure what specifically you want to work on in a particular session, I can help you narrow it down. It’s usually pretty easy to find something juicy.

What can I expect in a coaching session?

So how I do sessions, usually you’ll start by bringing whatever issue it is that you want to work through that day, or we figure it out together, and then I’ll start by inviting you to tell me more about it. 

What’s going on? What are the thoughts that come up? Maybe what kind of body reactions or physical sensations you notice when you’re talking about this? What emotions come up? If those things are difficult for you, I can help you figure them out. If they’re triggering, we don’t have to go there. But I’ll try to ask questions, ask powerful questions that will help you get to the things that are happening underneath the surface, not just the things that are happening, but why it’s happening. Why are you acting this way when she says that or why when they say the other thing you have a meltdown? Why is this overwhelming? Why do you shut down in this situation? Whatever it is that’s going on. 

If you go off on tangents, that’s totally fine. I actually find that really useful, even though people apologize for it all the time. You don’t need to. Your mind made a connection to this thing, or that thing, or the other thing, and I see my job as trying to figure out what those connections are, “Why did this make sense to your brain? Why did that make sense? Why did this come up in your mind and put all the different pieces together?” And when I have a hypothesis about what’s going on underneath the surface, I’ll present that to you and invite you to tell me where I’m wrong. I don’t need to be right all the time, and you know your life better than I do. 

So we’ll start with that and refine it together until it feels to you like “Yeah, that’s it! That’s what’s really happening here.” And then, depending on what that is, we can work with it in a variety of different ways. I have lots of different strategies and tools, and we might be able to dissolve it, question it, resolve it or free it up in some way. It might involve a more thought-based questioning of the painful thought that’s underneath there. It might be like talking to your younger self, if you’re open to that. There could be a variety of different things that we could do with it. 

When it feels like it’s getting resolved, like it’s getting freed up, then so many things change at that point. Often your body will feel open or lighter, physically. Your brain starts working in new ways and new options become available. As we work through this, it frees up a lot of energy and your prefrontal cortex starts turning on all the way again. The right hemisphere of your brain, that’s creative and problem solving in outside of the box ways, starts being able to use all of its resources again.

Often what happens is the way forward will seem a lot more obvious to you. It will very naturally come back to that original situation that you started with, and you’ll know what you want to do about it. At that point, the practical stuff, the strategies and tools can become useful, and we can get into that and make plans for it. Make ideas, strategize, refine it, and those are the plans that actually turn out to work. You’ll actually do those kinds of plans now that the underlying situation isn’t getting in your way anymore.

What’s the difference between coaching and therapy?

So the difference between therapy and coaching, at least the way I do it: 

I find it useful to acknowledge that there are reasons why we’re doing the things that we’re doing, why we’re repeating certain patterns over and over even though we know they’re not helpful, or why we’re resisting certain things, even though we know it would be helpful. The areas where we get stuck in our life, things that we can’t figure out what’s going on there. There’s a reason for all of that. I find it useful to figure out where that’s coming from. It might be that this thing happened when you were six, for example, and it’s still affecting you in certain ways that may not be super obvious. 

Whereas therapy is going to go into that situation and be like, “Okay, this thing happened when you were six. Let’s get in there, unpack that, and heal the experience itself.” What I’ll do is to acknowledge, “Hey, that thing happened when you were six. Here’s the lesson that you learned from that or here’s the belief that you took away and that belief is still affecting you. Let’s play with that belief, that lesson that you’ve learned from it.” I want to play with that lesson.

Are you going to tell me what to do?

I’m not going to tell you what to do, tell you what I think you should do, or what I would do in your place, because I’m not in your place. You know your life and the situation better than anyone else, and you’re the one who will be living with it. What I can do is to help you figure out for yourself what you actually want and what you need, not what other people tell you you should want, or what should work or what would be a good idea. It doesn’t matter. Any of that doesn’t matter. What matters is what actually matters to you, and I can help you with that. I can help you figure out how to make decisions, how to listen to yourself and trust yourself. When you do, you will make the best decision.

How often do we meet?

Most people find that working with me on a regular basis is really helpful, especially at the beginning to gain some momentum. About every two to three weeks works well for most people. Some people want to work weekly, but to be honest, that can get kind of intense. Some people want to just do it once a month or once in a while when they have something particular to work through. And that’s totally fine. That works especially well after we’ve been working for a while, and you’re getting familiar with the process, and have been incorporating that into your life more often, and just need some help working through the especially sticky stuff.

Is it okay if I stim?

When we’re working together on Zoom, you are very welcome to stim, fidget, tic, doodle, take notes, eat or drink, and look away from the camera. I don’t mind any of that. Do what you need to do to feel good in your body and in your mind. You’ll notice that I often have a fidget toy or a stim with me, and I always have a weighted blanket on my lap. That helps my body relax. And if the zoom thing doesn’t work for you, we can do it just over the phone. That works fine too.

Coaching with Heather: more FAQs

Answering the questions:

  • How do you work with people?
  • How do I prepare for sessions?
  • Can I be autistically direct with you?
  • You put out so much free info, do I really need one-on-one coaching?

How do you work with people?

So I believe that that you understand how you work best. You may have been taught to ignore that for much of your life, or you might not have spent a lot of time trying to formulate that into words, or figuring it out deeply. Or you might have but there’s still areas you haven’t figured out yet. But you have years of your actual lived experience doing things, and knowing what works and what doesn’t work for you. 

So I’m not going to say, “okay, here’s a few tips that work for ADHD, this should work for you,” because they don’t work for everyone. 

I tend to work more on figuring out the underlying thoughts in a situation. 

Like you’re trying to get this assignment done for work and you want to do it, you need to do it, but you just cannot get yourself to do it. What’s going on? I’m going to ask questions to start noticing your thoughts around it, what’s really going on there? 

And there’s usually some sort of painful thought, or an association to something that’s old, or some sort of inner resistance to it. It might be a very practical thing, but even then there’s usually some sort of underlying thought or emotion that’s also influencing you. 

And I do a lot of work on dissolving those, resolving, relieving, seeking the truth, and freeing ourselves from the thoughts and beliefs that cause us unnecessary pain.

And usually what happens is when that gets more cleared up, the practical stuff becomes a lot easier. And that’s when your brain will all be automatically be like, “Oh, well I could do this,” or “I work well like this or when I do this kind of thing.”

I often don’t even need to suggest things at that point. Because you know what works for you. You’ve just got a lot of crap in your head from other people telling you that you’re not good at stuff, and you believed it and it seems like the truth. It feels very true. But usually it’s not. 

What might be more true is that you’re not good at doing things in a particular way. Because the standard way doesn’t work for your brain, or your motor skills, or your sensory system, or whatever it is.

But if you’re trying to force yourself to do something someone else’s way, and it conflicts with how you function, of course you’re going to get pretty crappy results. And when you do that enough, you’re going to have a lot of bad associations with it. 

So when you try and force yourself to do that, of course there’s going to be a lot of resistance. And it may have happened so many times, for so many years, that you don’t even notice what’s going on anymore. It just feels like this is the way things are. 

Or it might be more true, that you’ve never actually been taught how to do something. Maybe you just had people assume that telling you to do it was enough, and then criticize you for not catching on. That’s sadly, incredibly common. And we can deconstruct that one, too. And all the other false beliefs that cause unnecessary pain.

So that’s the stuff that I love to work on. When each one of those gets freed up, sure, we can do practical stuff, too. I’ve got lots of those ideas. You probably have lots of ones that work for you a lot better than what I can suggest. But sometimes it’s helpful to get some ideas to get you started.

But I don’t tend to start with practical suggestions. Otherwise you’re just trying to force yourself into someone else’s box.

How do I prepare for sessions?

Here’s a bit on how to prepare for sessions.

A lot of my clients, because we’re all Autistic, we want to be very prepared, have all our ducks in a row, and have a list of all the things that you want to talk through in our sessions together, and that’s great, when it comes naturally, but it doesn’t need to be that clear.

Having an idea of what topic you want to work through might be something like, there’s this thing coming up, and I’d like to have better skills for dealing with it this time. Or I recently had a reaction to something and, intellectually I know it was out of proportion to the actual event, but I still reacted this way and I can’t figure out why, can we figure that out? Or something you’re struggling with. Or that keeps weighing on you and you need to process. Or that you’re having a lot of anxiety around, even though it’s something that you want. The question for the day might be, what’s going on with that? It can be that vague. It’s all right.

So if you have some idea of what you want to talk about, or what you want to be different by the end of a session, that’s helpful. If not, I can help you find something at the beginning of a session. It’s usually pretty easy to find something juicy.

Can I be autistically direct with you?

A little about my communication style.

It might be useful to mention that you can be very direct with me. I am not likely to take offense or assume the worst possible interpretation. So if you have a question or want to tell me something, you don’t need to soft pedal around it or spend a lot of effort trying to figure out how to say it so that I don’t take it the wrong way. If something is phrased awkwardly, I’m not going to interpret that as being rude. You can ask me how many minutes we have left and I’ll simply give you an answer. I’m not going to assume that you’re bored or anything like that. 

I’m also likely to just take your comment at face value, think about the merit of whatever you have to say, and respond to that.

As you get comfortable with me, I hope that you can give me feedback about what does and doesn’t work for you. And because I know that’s not always easy right off the bat, when I have an idea of something that might be helpful, I’ll describe what it is and then give you the option about whether you want to do it. And I’ll often ask for confirmation two or three times, and reinforce that you really do get to choose, you don’t have to go along with what I propose out of habit or people pleasing.

And when you say you don’t want to try that or no, that’s not really, my style, or that kind of thing hasn’t worked for me in the past, I’m just going to say okay, and move on. I’m not going to push, or try and talk you into it anything.

By the way, if you ever want me to explain what the point of something is, why I asked something, I can do that. I’ll just give you a direct explanation. I see no value in hiding the how or why of why I do what I do.

You put out so much free info, do I really need one-on-one coaching?

Do you really need 1:1 coaching? 

I don’t know. Probably not. Could it be useful? Probably. This isn’t about whether or not you’re capable of figuring stuff out yourself, or whether you could get a lot out of my free materials or the courses or group stuff. I’m sure you can, and I hope you do. I hope you have. That’s what they’re for.

It’s more about, would you like a shortcut, so you don’t have to figure out everything on your own? Would you like some help personalizing the general info, translating it to your particular life? That’s more of what it’s about.

One thing about the free content I’ve put out, is it’s kind of scattered. It’s, “here’s a thought that I had today,” or “here’s something that came up in my life,” and that’s useful, but it’s not structured content. 

The workshops, courses, and ebooks are more structured. They take a specific topic and work through it systematically, but it’s still a fairly high level overview of the topic. It can’t be personalized to every individual. It can address patterns and commonalities that many of us face, but not your particular situation. Still, I hope you can apply a fair amount of it to your particular situation and get a good deal of use out of it. That’s the point of it.

And if that’s what you need at the moment, great, you might not need the one-on-one approach. 

As for me, when I’m following other people’s content, I’m a pretty quick learner, and I’m often able to put general concepts into practice on my own. But sometimes, with certain things, I need a little more help in the implementation. Or help seeing aspects of my own situation that I have a hard time seeing for myself, because I’m so enmeshed in it, and an outside perspective helps, especially one that has more experience with the subject than I do. And it can save me a ton of time and effort, and even money, to pay someone who can quickly figure out where I’m getting stuck and who knows how to get unstuck.

The biggest value that people get out of working with me one-on-one is that I can meet them where they are now, figure out what they’re wrestling with now, what’s useful for them at this stage of their journey, and get right to the heart of it.

Coaching with Heather: FAQs on goals and structure

Answering the questions:

  • How do sessions link together? How much structure is there?
  • Do you give homework? 
  • Will you be an accountability partner for me?
  • What kind of coaching do you do?

How do sessions link together? How much structure is there?

So, here’s a bit about how sessions link together.

My mentor, Martha Beck, holds the philosophy of being in _constant creative response to the present moment_. And I really love that. It’s so very much not how I lived most of my life before I realized I’m Autistic, but I’ve gotten to a point where that resonates with me. 

And so I don’t I don’t have a specific curriculum that I take everyone through. I don’t come up with goals at the beginning, and then we work towards meeting those goals. It doesn’t work. Because the goals that you would set initially are coming from a place of your internalized ableism, and your internalized capitalism, and your internalized painful thoughts, and your trauma history. 

But as you heal from those things, and as they become less of an influence in your life, those goals need to become less relevant in your life. Because the goals are going to change based upon a new understanding of yourself that’s in constant development. 

It’s not like flipping a switch, like oh, I’ve figured out everything and now this is going to be a new static me. You’re constantly going to be unpacking layers and layers of the onion, figuring out new ways to be you. 

And so having a set of goals, or pre-defined curriculum, or any set thing to be accountable to from the outset, is going to be an exercise in frustration because you’re going to be constantly failing at doing that. But failing at that is actually succeeding at becoming more authentically you and building a better life for yourself.

And I think the goal becomes a distraction from realizing the beauty of that failure. Because goals, at least in areas of personal growth development, can be a way of over focusing on a single thing. 

I mean, sometimes a broad enough goal can be valuable. Or goals that are more value based, like, figuring out what you want, how you feel more creative, more connected, more meaningful, that sort of thing.

Some people want to have more of a link between meetings, like I’m working on this type of thing, like my relationship with my partner, or making my job better, for example, and there’ll be a new aspect to it each session. 

And some people prefer that every time could be completely different. And I like to give you the freedom to be able to choose that. 

So I generally start sessions with a question like, “Where would you like to start today?” Or “what’s on your mind that you like to talk about today?” And if you’d like to keep them linked, you can bring up something that’s related to what we usually talk about. If you’d like it to be something completely different, you can bring up something new. Whatever you bring up, I’ll go along with it.

Do you give homework? 

Do I give homework? No. Except in rare cases, when someone really insists. 

Because I’ve found that often what happens, if I assign homework, is that my clients are more likely to spend the entire time between sessions focusing on the homework, and resisting doing it, and obsessing about not having done it, and beating themselves up about not having done it, and anxious about what I’ll say or think, and hating that they care about that, and not actually reflecting on the stuff that we’ve talked about. 

But if I don’t assign homework, they’re more likely to reflect on it naturally, and may even do more to actually live into it than I would have ever dreamed of assigning.

Will you be an accountability partner for me?

So, I am not an accountability coach.

A lot of coaching, and coaches, are very goal oriented, like “be able to strike up conversations with three people,” or “always take your pills at the same time,” and the coach provides accountability to get you to do it. I don’t do that. I don’t like that. That’s not my style. And I think it’s buying into the kind of coercive systems of our society that I want to break away from. 

Of course you have practical things that you’d like to work towards, and I can help support you do to do that, but I’m not going to create artificial, external goals for you, and I’m not going to get on your case about why you didn’t follow through on something you said you would, or why you chose to do something else.

In fact, I rarely even ask follow-up questions on where we left off before, even when I’m curious, because I don’t want it to seem like I’m checking up on you. And when you freely update me on what you’ve done between sessions, I’m not going to get on your case about what happened. That’s not me.

And at the same time, I recognize that we all have practical things that we’re trying to get better at. It might be taking your pills regularly, or dealing with distractibility, or other executive functioning stuff.

But how I approach it is by looking deeply at what’s going on. Why is this not working for you? Is the goal itself inappropriate? Sometimes it’s hard to tell, because we’re so used to thinking about it in a particular way, because our society assumes that’s the only way to do it. Well, we could gently question that story and loosen the grip of the expectation of doing it the same as others. 

If you know you need to do it a different way, maybe you’re not really sure what other options there are? We can explore those. 

Or maybe there’s something holding you back because of a belief that you that you should be better than this, or it’s not okay to make mistakes, or waiting is intolerable, or you’re not allowed to be weird, or you need to try harder, or nothing works for you anyway, so what’s the point in trying? or you’re bad at people so you’re bound to mess it up. We pick up so many of those kinds of beliefs throughout life, that influence how we are in the world, and how we interact with other people, and how we think about ourselves, and what we manage to accomplish, and they’re usually not true. Not entirely. And because some part of you knows they really aren’t true for you, that conflict drains a lot of energy. It takes a lot of energy to believe things that you know really aren’t true. 

So that’s my specialty; deconstructing those beliefs.

And then we very naturally go back to the original, practical question,  and if it’s something you still want, are there other barriers for why you’re not doing it? Or maybe that’s not actually what they want. 

So instead of setting artificial goals and suggesting tricks and techniques and accountability to meet those goal—that’s just more conformity training—I help people figure out what they really want and what’s getting in the way of that happening, whether it’s thoughts or beliefs, or very practical circumstances, or not knowing how to do the thing. 

And especially because I work with Autistics and AuDHDers and other neurodivergents, we often work together on how to tweak the things we do so that the methods work for your particular brain and nervous system, so that you actually can do the thing. 

Once those barriers are out of the way, if it’s something that you still want to do, you’re likely to naturally start doing it, you won’t need to have someone hold you accountable for it. I repeatedly find that when there’s something that you want to do, and you can do it, you don’t need an external, artificially imposed accountability partner getting on your case about it.

By the way, I’m not saying that goals are never useful. It’s not all or nothing. I’m specifically talking about areas of personal development.

But my style is more of working with the thoughts and beliefs that we’ve collected over a lifetime that no longer serve us. One more example, when you tried things that didn’t work, but that was billed as the only way, or the right way, was it was presented as your fault for it not working? Did you end up with shame on top of the original problem? That’s the kind of stuff I love deconstructing.

One more thing. Sometimes there’s a gap between the things that we want to do and the things that we have the capacity to do, and sometimes there’s no way to bridge that gap, but instead it needs to be grieved.

So, for all these reasons, I’m not interested in being an accountability partner. If that’s what you’re looking for, there are other people who do a really good job at that. 

But I would love to help you break free of the perceived need for accountability in your life as a motivating factor. To rekindle your internal motivation for the things that you want to do, and your belief that you can.

What kind of coaching do you do?

What I’m really great at, where I shine, is in helping you to deconstruct the effects of being told your whole life things that have been limiting and holding you back and making you feel small, unworthy, or trapped. Getting to a place where you feel free and strong and capable. That’s my wheelhouse. 

And as you start to leave behind those painful narratives that used to feel so real, but you begin to see that they aren’t, you’ll naturally start to make practical changes in your life for the better, and I can help you to help your nervous system to feel safe enough through the process that it becomes a partner with you instead of just getting freaked out and overwhelmed and shutting down.

 

How to get started:

Step 1

Is this what you’re looking for?

If you’ve read the page above, and watched the videos above about coaching with me, then congrats, you’ve already done step 1!

So, are my philosophy, goals, and coaching style what you’ve been looking for? 

If this resonates with you, and you’re interested in 1:1 coaching with me, here’s the next steps:

Step 2

Are you ready?

We want this to go well, right? To reinforce positive experiences that will lead to an upward spiral of things getting better?

Here are the three things that my other clients have found set them up for success.

Three questions to ask yourself:

1.

Are you willing to invest your time, energy, and finances into deeply questioning a lifetime of thoughts about yourself, your family, and the world, in ways that may feel unfamiliar and new?

2.

Is this the right time to start?

Don’t worry, you don’t need to wait for that magical moment when all the stars align,
but it does need to be right enough. (Whatever that means for you.)

3.

Is individual coaching the best option at this point in your Journey?

(A couple group and self-guided options are available, and others are in the works. Sign up for my newsletter if you want info when more come out.)

If you can answer yes to these three questions,
I invite you to schedule a free clarity session!

Step 3

Your free clarity session

Before you spend money, do you want to meet first? 

This is a final check to see if you feel comfortable with me, and an opportunity ask any lingering questions you have about working together.

One free session is my gift to you.

No sales pitch. No commitment.

After you sign up, you’ll get an email confirmation with a Zoom link for our meeting and info about what to expect in our time together.

You’ll also get my email newsletter (about twice a month), 
and you’re welcome to unsubscribe whenever you don’t want it anymore.

For a (somewhat more) screen reader-accessible scheduling page, click here.

(BTW, I only offer two of these free clarity calls per weeks, and they often book out a month or more in advance. If you don’t want to wait that long, and are willing to pay for not having to wait, you can book a regular coaching session here: www.autismchrysalis.com/schedule.)

If our clarity session resonates, and you’d like to try coaching with me…

Step 4

If you want to give this a try

If we’re a good fit and you would like to start coaching with me, the next step is to pick your payment/scheduling preference:

  • Either pay for one session at a time.
  • Or choose between two package options, upfront or monthly.

One Session At A Time

$ 120
*USD
  • 1 session, to work through a specific issue or an aspect of an issue
  • Get to know you questionnaire to jumpstart our first session

6 Session Package

$ 650
USD
  • 6 coaching sessions
  • Pay once, get 10% off,
    and schedule when you choose
  • Sessions are available to you for 1 year
  • Get to know you questionnaire to jumpstart our first session

6 Month Package

$ 110
/mo/session USD
  • Choose 1, 2, or 3 sessions per month
  • • $110/month for 1 coaching session (6 total)
    • $220/month for 2 coaching sessions (12 total)
    • $330/month for 3 coaching sessions (18 total)
  • Commit to 6 months auto pay, get 8% off, and schedule when you choose
  • Auto pay ends after 6 months so you can't forget to cancel
  • Sessions are available to you for 1 year
  • Get to know you questionnaire to jumpstart our first session

Step 5

We start working together

That’s it. There’s no contracts, commitments, or signatures.

I’ll send you an optional questionnaire that will help me learn a bit about you so we can skip a lot of the small talk phase and jump in deep.

Then simply show up for the first session you scheduled, and we start!

Continue as long as you find this useful in creating your autism-positive life.

FAQs
About the work

You probably won’t completely unmask, be all done with burnout, or cheerfully chit-chat with strangers. It’s too soon for that. Waaay too soon.

You’ll probably will feel more openness inside, making it easier to get through the day and face the ordinary things you have to do. And you’ll probably begin to imagine that things could get even better.

When you’re trying to make a decision, I can help you process your thoughts, feelings, and reactions, and stimulate self-reflection. I have tools and techniques that can help you deal with the anxiety of uncertainty, or of what might happen, and try other ways to make decisions. I’ll ask questions that help you consider options in a new way, or generate new options. 

But I won’t decide for you. And I won’t push you into a decision.

Because what I think would be best may not be what would work best for you. My perspective is not your perspective. And you’re the one who is going to have to live with the decision. So I won’t tell you what to do or decide for you.

I fundamentally believe that you know what is best for you, even if you don’t have access to that information right now. What I help you do is access and use that information well.

Ummm…I don’t like goals. (Well, sort of.)

I don’t engage in the kind of goal setting and accountability that further the coercive systems and mentality of our society that I want to break away from.

If you have goals that you would like to work on, I can help support you do to do that, but I’m not going to create them for you and I’m not going to get on your case about why you didn’t do it or why you chose to do something else.

But a lot of what I do is exploring with you, as an equal partner, the things in your life that you’re trying to make better. To look really deeply at what’s getting in the way of what you want—what about the current situation is not working for you—without comparison or judgment.

Again, I can’t, and won’t try to, “make” you do anything. You are in charge of yourself. 

And to answer your question, it depends on what you want. 

For many of my clients, “homework,” or “assignments” tend to create more stress than positive outcomes. 

If you’re reflective between sessions, and feel inspired to something personal-growth-ish, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great, too. Sometimes not doing is exactly what you need.

Part of our work together is in dismantling the oppressive “shoulds” that we’ve been conditioned to believe are the only way to get anywhere in life (but have they been working for you so far?).

You know deep down what works for you and what doesn’t, and it’s my job to help you get in touch with your own inner wisdom and trust yourself.

To put that another way, I’m not in charge of you; I’m here to support you as you direct your own progress.

For some of my clients, they thrive on having some structure or goals in between sessions so it doesn’t turn into an hour of growth that falls into a memory void.

If we get to the the end of a session and you want something practical that will naturally continue the progress we have made together, I can offer a suggestion and we can tweak it together so it is what you want to do and feels do-able on your terms.

The one-size-fits-all-model doesn’t even work for t-shirts, never mind the complexities of human—especially neurodivergent—experience. And many of us have other intersecting, marginalized identities that inform what we need.

Even if we started by planning out everything in advance, tailored for you, you would discover new things about yourself each time, so the original plan would quickly become irrelevant and create stress. 

So everything is customized to you. There is enough predictability in how sessions work to reduce stress, and you get to choose the topics (I can help if you want), but our sessions will evolve naturally from one to the next.

I care deeply about consent, partnership, and empowering your personal sovereignty. 

I won’t always know that a topic will be tender, so when I do misstep, I hope you will be able to say something like, “I don’t want to go there,” and I will say “Okay, thank you for telling me that,” and move on, no questions asked

For some people, speaking up for yourself is hard. Really hard. (I’ve been there.) This can be a chance to try it without shame or pushback or any negative repercussions. 

Fortunately, this isn’t therapy, and I am not a trained therapist. We may gently, briefly, recognize that there is a history that caused some old wounds, because pretending that anxieties exist without a cause won’t give you the results you’re looking for.

But we won’t linger there or unpack all of the parts of it the way a good therapist would. (By the way, depending on your situation, it can be very helpful during this process to work with a therapist who is a good fit for you.)

What we will do together is something closer to recognizing that, for example, a girl made fun of you when you were five and that was painful, and you told yourself that she made fun of you because you weren’t OK the way you were, and that painful thought became deeply rooted. We’ll look at that thought and how it affected you, not so much the original experience.

I have a great deal of cognitive empathy, but I don’t absorb other people’s emotions the way some people do, and I don’t generally get overwhelmed by hearing about abuse or trauma, especially when it is in the past.

When I hear about injustices in the present, I want to do something about them, but that’s a different thing.

Therapy or counseling is best suited to working through issues from your past, including traumas and the psychological results of years of autistic gaslighting, etc.

Life coaching, at least the way I do it, takes those into account and treats them with compassion and care, but doesn’t get deeply into them. It focuses rather on making a better present and future for yourself.

To put it another way, therapy is like medicine for your mental health. Coaching is like vitamins and yoga, for when your mental health is reasonably stable and you want to make improvements to your life.

Some of my clients find it helpful to engage with both.

If you’re seriously considering doing this, that tells me you’re seriously interested, but it still might be scary. Here’s the thing. There are two kinds of scary: panic-scary and exciting-scary. 

If you think about doing this and your gut clenches or your chest tightens and your shoulders, jaw, hands, or toes clench up and it gets hard to breathe, that’s panic-scary, and that’s your body telling you that this is not the right choice for you, or not the right time.

But if you think about doing this and your gut gets fluttery and your heart starts racing and you’re starting to think about things that you could do if this were to work, you’re probably experiencing exciting-scary. That’s the kind where taking the leap will probably work out well.

If you’ve tried everything (else), that tells me you really, really want a better life. It also tells me that those other things didn’t really get to the root of what’s been holding you back, which is the focus of my work.

Trying to work toward goals without removing the barriers that get in their way is like trying to push a car up a hill with the brakes on. It’s so much easier to take off the brakes, turn on the car, and drive up.

I’ll be up front with you. This work can be uncomfortable sometimes, because it means bringing up some things you don’t like to think about (for very good reasons). But I’ll be with you every step of the way, and will never push too hard. We’ll keep it gentle, and safe, and I will listen to you the whole way through.

If you’re ready to do this work (with support) it can be powerfully transformative.

FAQs
About the practical stuff

All sessions are remote, via Zoom or over the phone, so it doesn’t matter where in the world you are.

Sessions are scheduled for 60 mins, but we’ll finish when it feels complete, which may be a few minutes more or less.

Most people get the best, most lasting results when we meet regularly, especially at the beginning to get some momentum going.

Twice a month is most common, or sometimes weekly or monthly. 

Some people prefer an occasional session when something comes up they want to work through.

That works especially well after they’ve been doing this with me for a while and are getting better at continuing it themselves.

It’s really up to you and what you find works best. I don’t require any commitment, so you can modify the pace at any time, as often as needed.

 

Don’t worry, this won’t be another big thing for you to do.

And since I don’t give homework (unless you specifically ask for it), you don’t have to fret about that for days. 😉

It’s useful to have some idea of what you want to talk about, or get out of the session, but if you’re not sure, I can help and we always come up with something worth getting into (usually pretty easily). 

If you want to prepare more for sessions, try asking yourself what you want to be different at the end of our time together. It may be understanding something, a new perspective, figuring out what’s really going on underneath a particular situation, why you’re reacting a certain way, or what’s holding you back from something.

If money is tight, or stuff on your calendar produces anxiety, or you don’t want to agree to too much, it might be easier to manage one at a time.

If executive functioning is a scarcer resource, the package might be easier, as you only have to checkout once. You can even schedule all six right then (but you don’t have to).

Nope.

You can try just one session, or a few, and stop anytime. If this is not a good fit for you, or you got great results in a few sessions (great!) and are happy to move on, that’s fine.

I don’t make contracts, or require commitments, or hold anyone to promises.

I do require payment upfront for any sessions you schedule (invoicing is a nightmare), but you never have to schedule more than you want, and can reschedule if needed.

Kindness.

Life comes up and sometimes you can’t make it.

You can reschedule or cancel up to two hours before a session and use that appointment later.

No-shows or cancellations with less than 2 hours notice are not refunded or rescheduled, as I don’t have the opportunity to re-plan my time.

If this happens once in a great while, no worries, that’s life.

If this happens more often, we’ll talk (non-judgmentally) about why. Maybe something is getting in the way, stressing you out, or executive function is interfering. If you want to continue, we might do some coaching if you’re not sure what’s going on, or talk about strategies to help.

Absolutely. Some of my clients identify as:

  • neurodivergent in other ways,
  • Highly Sensitive People,
  • introverts or ambiverts,
  • sensory divergent,
  • wanting to make their life better, and appreciate my approach.

You’re not the only one. I offer professional consultations for therapists, counselors, educators, and other professionals who want to get better at creating positive working relationships with their Autistic clients.

Click here for more info.

This can be great,
but it's not for everyone

This may be for you if...

This may not be a great fit if...

If you’re thinking…

“Sounds great,
I want this!”

Schedule a free Clarity Session to meet and make sure we’re a great fit.

“Intriguing, but it would mean talking to a stranger.”

I get it. It’s OK to take a while getting comfortable with me. Or not. 

In the meantime, take a look around.

“Ehhh, no thanks.”

No worries. I’m not a good fit for everyone, and that’s OK. 

And if now’s not the right time, that’s OK too.

You’re still welcome to lurk, and to all my freebies.

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