Gina’s youth coaching began over twenty years ago supporting teens competing at the national and olympic levels, helping them over come self doubt, disappointment and pressure. In her thirties she started up a professional coaching practice at her Retreat Centre in Burlington. Soon girls camps and retreats became part of the regular programming, and eventually evolved into weekly classes, school talks, and regular private coaching.
On top of the hundreds of girls she supports every year in these programs, Gina has a daughter of her own that helps to make her a better coach and parent every day!
Gina is well known in the industry for her ability to create rapport with kids and to inspire them to make changes in their behaviours through emotions, thought patterns and health. She is a teacher of teachers, providing support and strategies to other coaches wanting to effect change in children. She coaches kids in person in Southern Ontario, and internationally online.
“Working with kids is one of my most rewarding and exciting things I do. It breaks my heart to hear about young girls who are filled with anxiety, overwhelm, or just don’t like who they are. I love seeing the “ah ha” moments when girls let go of what they think they should be and fully embrace who they are. It’s such an amazing thing to see a girl feel free to be herself in a loving, positive, confident way.”
How Can Coaching Help?
Most girls who see Gina are struggling with one of the following:
-low self esteem
-poor self confidence
-lack of focus
-struggles with family and friends
-self destructive behaviour
Sessions Unique and Effective
Gina’s coaching sessions are untraditional. Most sessions take on the form of an activity or walk with a mentor. This approach helps girls avoid thinking they need to be “fixed”. In these formative years, we’ve found the therapy model often creates an impact on their identity, and can impede the intention to empower them. This untraditional approach also allows for more honest, and open communication, and a chance to see behaviour patterns that she may not be conscious of or able to express.
Possible Coaching Session scenarios:
-theraputic art session
-equine assisted learning i.e. horse therapy
These initial session is typically 1 hour. Follow up sessions are 45 minutes.
The time unfolds in the form of a conversation with a mentor. I begin with creating rapport, asking key questions, and offering up tricks and tools that provide self reflection, insight, and strategies to solve their problems.
What is really going on in a Coaching Session?
The mental-emotional state is of course the most important part of any coaching session (even though it may look like a yoga class, or a conversation). Once rapport and trust have been established, Gina digs deeper to discover what the root cause, identifying what the reason for the destructive thoughts and behaviours. Often there are limiting beliefs, or conflicting values, that manifest into negative actions, and harmful patterns. When these are uncovered, Gina uses tools and strategies to guide them to change these thoughts/patterns into new empowering ideas.
Because I am focused on building solid rapport, we often get into the real issues quite quickly, and kids realize that the things they are struggling with can easily be changed with just a shift in what they believe and the way they view the world.
Coaching Sessions regardless of the form they take often include Gina’s Life Coaching Techniques, NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming, MER - Mental Emotional Release, Meditation, and sometimes Strategic Intervention Techniques. (more on this below…)
Girls are reassured that their sessions are confidential, and this helps them open up and trust Gina. And even though the details of the session are not specifically disclosed with parents, there is discussions about the focus, techniques, and progress provided every step of the way.
Parents are typically involved in a few sessions of their own during the coaching process. These sessions help parents to understand what’s at the root of their child’s behaviour and provide them with the skills to enhance their parenting approach, and support the progress synergistically.
The influence of parents, friends and teachers is very impactful on young adults. Often times it takes a village to raise a child. Gina can facilitate group coaching/sessions to teach the most effective strategies for harmony in these relationships, and support of the child’s personal growth.
The Basis of Coaching Sessions
Mental Emotional Release (MER), Also known as Timeline Therapy
Imagine if you could be free from your fear and anxiety, and better yet, imagine if you could go for a goal with a congruency like a laser.
The Power of MER & NLP Coaching
I have been studying personal growth and psychology for over 2 decades, a certified Life Coach for 14 Years, and working with Tony Robbins for 7 years. I completed my Master NLP Practitioner training 4 years ago and trained in MER, and Hypnosis. I’m also trained in Strategic Intervention Coaching founded by Tony Robbins & Cloe Madanes. I completed trainers training, qualifying me to teach NLP, MER and Hypnosis to other coaches and therapists. With all of the training I’ve done, I’ve found NLP and MER to be the most powerful coaching tools I’ve ever come across.
What is NLP
NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is a collection of tools and techniques that are used to create significant and lasting changes in people in a short period of time. NLP is typically used within coaching sessions as questions, exercises, and visualizations that can completely change the way someone thinks, and behaves.
Fascinated with Transformation
I became obsessed with NLP after attending a Tony Robbins event and watching him transform a boy who had stuttered for the past 10 years, and had little success with therapy. In 30 minutes the boy had overcome his debilitating limitation, and appeared to have a new outlook on life. During this intervention, I noticed the language Tony used was a bit “strange”. But I couldn’t put my figure on why. I began researching NLP and discovered his secret.
Where Did It Come From?
Most of the language, tools and techniques Tony Robbins uses could be considered NLP. It’s roots go back to the 70’s when two inquisitive minds (John Grinder and Richard Bandler) started studying therapists who where getting quick and remarkable results. Grinder & Bandler studied videos, transcripts and live sessions to determine what was making the difference. These techniques where put together in a collection of tools called NLP. Each year they are expanded on, modified and improved by today’s NLP practitioners.
What Does it Do?
NLP is essentially a study of the connection between the neurological processes ("neuro"), language ("linguistic") and behavioural patterns learned through experience ("programming") and as such these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life. NLP can treat problems such as anxiety, depression, breaking bad habits, losing weight, dealing with chronic pain, emotional eating, addictions, learning disorders, and more.
How Can It Help Me or My Child?
I primarily use NLP in my sessions to initially create rapport and trust, so clients can open up and tell me what’s really going on. I use NLP to help clients gain clarity for what they truly want, and develop clear and concise goals that support their outcomes. NLP can be used to establish empowering states of mind. Emotions like: self confidence, courage, passion, play/joy, gratitude, and peace. These states will override self sabotage, overwhelment, and a lack of motivation. NLP can also be used to overcome limiting beliefs, conflicts, and bad habits. NLP can even be used to break free of cravings, or dislike your favourite junk foods. I use NLP often to help people manage stress and anxiety, and stick to there goals.
What is MER
MER stands for Mental Emotional Release Therapy. It’s also known as Timeline Therapy. It was developed out of an NLP technique and put into a specific process by Tad James (one of Tony Robbins close NLP friends in the early days). Dr. Matt James (Tad’s son), has refined it further and included more coaching as part of the process, and re-named it MER. If your a Tony Robbins fan, if you’ve been to Unleash the Power Within, or experienced Tony’s Dickens Process, you’ve experienced this technique already.
What Can it Do?
I find using this therapy extremely effective in my breakthrough sessions because it clears negative emotions and allows us to get to the root of issues quickly and easily. MER creates an incredible shift in a person in just one session. Client often leave a Breakthrough Session in a bit of a cloud - feeling like life is perfect. Over the following few days, family and friends will wonder whats different about you. As situations emerge that where once stressful, your reaction will solidify the profound effect that has taken place.
The Beauty of MER
What’s also really great about MER is I don’t need to know what your issues, conflicts or traumas are. I have you think about them briefly, but we almost never have to talk about them. At the end of an MER session, clients will often see key moments in their past as important milestones for learning and growth, rather than blockages or emotionally draining events.
How Do I Try it?
MER is typically used in Coaching sessions and Breakthrough sessions that are 2-4 hours long. Most breakthrough sessions focus on one specific area of life ie. health, relationship, school/career, etc. In some cases, a follow up session a few days later is required to make sure all the negative emotions are cleared and any limitations or bad habits are gone. Some people continue on with NLP & Coaching and never need MER again, some choose to do a breakthrough in each category on a monthly basis based on the success of their first session.
How to Get Started
Book a session to connect, share your concerns, and get some insight into my approach. Next, decide on a package of sessions that fits with your personal situation, Finally schedule your first session(s).
Depending on what your needs and goals are, sessions range from two to eight sessions - some 2 hours long, some 3-4 hours long. When I’m coaching kids, I usually begin with a consult with a parent over the phone to determine if what I do is a fit, and to outline the concerns. If I feel I can help, we set up a session with the child that consists of a 2 hour session/activity. In almost all cases, I start with a 2 hour session for our first visit. I combine this with some homework to implement your new vision of your future, and to solidify your intentions with action steps and implementing rituals for success. It’s usually at this point where I have a better understudying of the number and frequency that is best for your progress.
I have helped people in just one session with a very specific problem, but most often the next session is either another 2 hour session or a breakthrough session with the child, and then a 2 hour session with the a parent. Each and every session and family is different.
Sometime the problems are easily resolved, sometimes there is resistance or motivation to stay stuck. So a specific number of sessions is difficult to predict. I work with clients either on a monthly basis for a 2 hour session with homework in between, or in a 45 min. session on a weekly basis, often combined with a workout, yoga or meditation session.
Unlike traditional therapy, this type of coaching can last only a few sessions, and not likely any longer than 6-8 visits (in total)- especially on the same issue. Sometimes weekly calls are suggested for accountability and maintaining progress for the first month or two. Often as problems are resolved, clients will pop in every few months for a refresher on new issues to improve their performance, attitude, or emotional state.