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COACHING is recommended by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University


As cited in the 3 Principals to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families, by The Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University, coaching is the recommended method used to “Support responsive relationships for children and adults, strengthen core skills, and reduce sources of stress in the lives of children and families.

Not only have children in early childhood centers, adults in recovery centers, prisons and poverty suffered adversity, their families have as well.  So have their teachers, and care providers, and others who work to protect and support them.  Have you or your family members suffered from adversity?

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The multigenerational nature of adversity in our country has led to “stress” on children and families, and on many of the systems that are intended to support learning and wellbeing, namely education and healthcare.  Our nurses, doctors and teachers are working long and hard to keep up with the demands of their employers and government regulations, without consideration of the other life experiences that they may be having as a result of long term adversity. (Divorce, mental and physical health issues, and financial challenges to name a few)

Life events such as divorce, or early death of a loved one, as well as the frequent mental health challenges in homes result from multi-generational adverse childhood experiences and create new layers of adversity unless addressed.  The ACES Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences) outlines the impact of specific adverse childhood experiences on the health and wellbeing of a small subset of individuals in California.  We know that these adverse experiences are prevalent across the country and the world.  It is time to attend to them!

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Having studied the impact of ACES on the students and families I have worked with as a Speech and Language Pathologist, as well as engaging in self-reflection about my own life and experiences as a child (Know Your Story), I can confidently say, we can address these issues and build a more resilient community and society at large.  We all need to take the time to reflect on our own lives and how we are doing with the stress that is present in our lives, NOW.  Self-awareness - is the key to change. 

As mentioned in the 3 Principals:

We all need a set of essential skills to manage life, work and relationships successfully.  These core capabilities support our ability to focus plan for and achieve goals, adapt to changing situations and resist impulsive behaviors.  No one is born with these skills; they are developed over time through coaching [emphasis added] and practice.”  In addition, “Science shows that the brain continues to adapt to experiences throughout life and that adults, too, can strengthen these skills through coaching and practice.”


Let’s get clear on Coaching!

 The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

They go on to say, “For many, coaching is a life-changing experience that dramatically improves their outlook on work and life while improving leadership skills. Coaching helps people tap into their potential, unlocking sources of creativity and productivity.” Positive results in the areas of “improved communication, increased self-esteem/self-confidence, increased productivity, optimized individual and team performance ”[emphasis added]” are seen across the board. In addition, each certified coach is coached for at least 30 – 60 hours in their practical training.  No, not everyone is a coach.  Becoming a coach is a commitment to continue to look within, to ongoing professional development as well as participation in a coaching relationship, as a recipient of coaching. In order to be present for clients we must be present for ourselves. 

When working as a coach you focus on and demonstrate ongoing proficiency in the following Core Competencies :

A. Setting the Foundation
1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards
2 Establishing the Coaching Agreement

B. Co-creating the Relationship
3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
4. Coaching Presence

C. Communicating Effectively
5. Active Listening
6. Powerful Questioning
7. Direct Communication

D. Facilitating Learning and Results
8. Creating Awareness
9. Designing Actions
10. Planning and Goal Setting
11. Managing Progress and Accountability

These Core Competencies are the basis for supporting responsive relationships, strengthening core life-skills, and reducing sources of stress as outlined in the 3 Principals’ recommendations for Policy and Practice.

It is time to co-create change as efficiently and effectively as possible, so we can reduce the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences, as well as improve the quality of health and well-being in society.  As a certified coach I am honored to partner with you, your school, agency or organization to provide coaching services as well as build coaching practices into the everyday work you are doing to further improve the outcomes for children and families!

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You can view my website to learn more…

Jessie Graham, M.S., CCC- SLP, CMC is a Certified Speech Language Pathologist and Certified Master Coach who is committed to co-creating change by being the change she wants to see in the world!

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