By Sarah Calatayud, Yellowbrick Staff Writer
You may have heard of professional life coaches who help people assess where they are on their career paths and develop strategies for achieving career goals.
Have you heard of teen life coaches? More specifically, did you know there are teen life coaches specifically for teen girls?
Denise Barats is a certified teen life coach for girls, and her practice, A Teen Edge, is located just west of Hartford, in Canton, CT.
Denise explains, “It’s no secret that teen girls face an enormous amount of pressure every day. Pressure from society, peers, parents, coaches, teachers, and sometimes most of all, themselves.”
For girls and women, it seems like we have a lot to celebrate these days. The lines of men’s and women’s previously well-defined societal roles are now blurring. There are limitless opportunities for girls to be successful at pretty much any endeavor they choose.
However, for girls, that new trend comes with a catch: unrelenting pressure to be good at everything, all the time, while making it look easy. Today’s girls feel pressure to excel at “girl skills,” achieve “boy goals,” and be models of female perfection, at all times.
This is what author Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D., describes in his book, “The Triple Bind.” Girls feel the need to excel at school, to excel at sports, have lots of friends, be kind, charming and beautiful. Hinshaw’s book is just one piece of required reading for the TeenWisdomTM certification program, from which Barats received her training prior to starting her teen girls’ life coaching practice.
How is coaching different from counseling?… Life coaching is different, and it can actually prevent the need for counseling. Whereas counseling may be appropriate for cases in which a child is in crisis and needs to heal dysfunction and pathology, coaching develops positive behaviors and skill strengths for future success and moving forward beyond the crisis stage. If a child is engaged in counseling already, life coaching can work well after counseling to help a child gain confidence and successfully move forward.
Barats explains that teen coaching, “focuses on discovering and developing strengths, modifying behavior, setting goals, and creating the future a teen girl dreams of.”
The core philosophy of Barats’ program is centered around helping girls to develop and appreciate a deeper understanding of who they are now, and who they want to become. With Barats as their mentor and “personal cheerleader,” her clients learn how to make self-respecting, self-honoring decisions that foster their increased self-confidence and personal empowerment.
During the process of coaching a teen girl, Barats provides expert tools and strategies to help her clients to overcome obstacles such as:
- Social media experiences
- Friendship issues/mean girls
- Family relationship issues
- Body image
- Self esteem and self confidence issues
- Time management problems
- Sex, dating & relationship issues
Benefits of Life Coaching include:
- Increased self-esteem and self-awareness
- Improved decision-making ability
- Enhanced relationships with parents
- Better communication skills
- New friendships and ability to better handle friendship challenges
- Improved grades and work ethic
- Better time management & organization
- Understanding choices & consequences
- Self-advocacy skills
- Realization of potential and goals
- Positive self-expression & self-acceptance
“Too often, teen girls feel isolated and afraid to discuss their struggles. They battle low self-esteem, anxiety, body image problems, academic pressures, and more… Ultimately this can result in them feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed by stress,” explains Barats. A teen life coach serves as a relatable mentor who will coach a teen through the challenges of adolescence – listening, advising and challenging a teen girl to know and honor the authentic person she is.
A Teen Edge offers one-on-one or small group coaching programs, and workshops on a variety of topics. To learn more, visit Denise Barats’ website at: http://ateenedge.com
– Sarah Calatayud, Yellowbrick Staff Writer
More about Denise Barats
Denise has a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from San Diego State University. She holds Secondary Teaching Credentials in Science, Math and Physical Education from Dominican College of San Rafael. She is a recent graduate of the Teen Wisdom, Inc Certification Program and is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF).