Genevieve Douglass

Positive Psychology Coach

What Is Coaching?

With a focus around motivation, I help clients gain new insights about who they are and how they approach their goals. My clients set the main agenda for the session, and I mostly ask questions, with the occasional offer of research or theory from psychology. I will also challenge you to stretch yourself in between sesssions. We'll work together to uncover deeply held values and create ways of living more authentically. This is my primary goal -- to get to this authenticity with my clients.

Life transitions, burnout, unemployment, entrepreneurial strife, tough conversations, and low confidence are some of the issues I've been privileged to help with.

It's not magic. Mindfulness and empathy are the primary ways through which change grows, and knitting them into my clients' days is the fundamental way my clients change their lives.

About Moi

I am a well-being coach, with a background in positive psychology, focusing on motivation and vitality.

Originally a pianist, I switched to composition during undergrad, learning how to write and develop my own ideas. I earned another degree in Film Scoring from NYU, all the while wondering why music has such emotional impact and how it communicates so much. After starting two companies with a lot of struggle and anxiety, I decided to follow my interest in psychology, which led to a degree in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

After a few years of organizational consulting, I stumbled into coaching and found working with individuals to be a profoundly fulfilling experience. It's an amazing thing to be present with people as they make realizations, face their fears, and gain strength.

Occasionally Asked Questions

What does a session look like?

You tell me what’s on your mind that you want to change, improve, or work towards and we spend some time clarifying where you want to go, what’s in the way, and how you’re going to get there. It’s usually a somewhat messy process, because most topics are complex. They often involve other people, balancing competing values, and organizing your limited time and attention. That’s pretty vague, I know. Let me give you a quick example of a few minutes of a session:

Client: I’ve created this amazing business, and for some reason, no one is seeing it. These other jerks are getting funding, and I they don’t even know what they’re doing.

Me: So, you’re feeling pretty frustrated, almost jaded, like the world isn’t recognizing this awesome thing that you’ve created.

Client: Yeah, exactly. And that it isn’t fair.

Me: What would it give you if everyone were using your service and it were busting at the seams with customers?

Client: (Pauses for a few minutes.) Validation.

Me: Ah, it sounds like what you might be saying is that you, as a person, would get validation. Not just your business.

Client: (nods)

Me: So, your sense of value is all bound up in your business? Like if your business isn’t succeeding, maybe you are a failure? Do you think that’s true?

Client: Well, yeah, I do think that’s true. (Eyes watering.) If I don’t succeed, I am a failure. (Tears)

Me: (With concern and warmth) Huh. Well, I’m a little stumped — my initial reaction is that I don’t believe it’s true, but what matters here is what you believe. Putting your self-worth outside yourself is pretty treacherous, particularly in this scenario, because there’s so much of a business’s success which is out of your control. Let’s look at some of the things you do value about yourself, which are in your control, so that we can get a little perspective…

It’s kind of a messy process. Sometimes I can cut to the chase and give you suggestions that I think will be most helpful, but a lot of the time, the situation is unique, and I ask questions. Most of my clients get some weekly tools to try out, so coaching doesn’t end inside that one hour. With every client, we’re doing agile experimentation, tweaking as we go.

Logistics?

We can meet in person (if you're in the Bay Area), over the phone, or on Skype/Google Hangouts. (I’m considering trying coaching via email, but I haven’t tested that, yet. Please let me know if you’re game to help me test this.) I don’t currently have an office, so I’ll usually meet you at your office, a cafe, or a park. Sometimes we go on field trips, like to a museum, on a subway, or to a gym.

Sessions last about an hour.

I often follow up with emails and will also do reminder emails for taking people through new habit creation.

What can you help me with?

I tend to help people more with their work life and social life, but I have done some communication coaching between couples. If you bring me something and I can’t help you in the moment, I’ll tell you that and either offer to get back to you with something after letting it mentally simmer, or I might be able to recommend someone. Only a tiny percent of my clients had a very clear idea of what they wanted help with. Almost everyone just feels that something is off or could be better.

Here are some examples of issues I’ve helped with:

  • general stress and burnout
  • communicating with others in general
  • communicating with co-founders
  • dealing with regrets
  • figuring out career trajectory
  • finding purpose
  • wanting to be more patient
  • wanting to be less frustrated
  • being more productive
  • being more socially comfortable

The way I look at it is that I’m helping you be more you — to be more authentic.

How much do you charge?

I’ll do a first session for free. After that, it’s $200 per session, billing you on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. However, I never want money to be a problem, so let me know and we can most likely make it work.

Scheduling?

I meet with clients twice a month or more. The first month is usually weekly sessions. From there, every-other-week is usually enough, but it depends on you.

How long do we work together?

We work in 3-month increments, planning a certain direction for that time and creating a plan (which gets modified as we experiment and move forward). After 3 months, we assess our progress. The 3 months are intended to give us a timeframe by which to check in on progress — it's not to lock you in. If you don't want to continue at any point, you don't have to, of course.

How do I know we're making progress?

Along the way, it's very likely that you'll have had tangible goals that you achieved. Every three months, we'll take stock of where we are in relation to those goals and assess your intentions. For example, you may have arrived with the goal of switching jobs, but realized during our work together that you can make changes in your current job that will lead to fulfillment.

Will I like you?

A lot of whether or not you like me will come from how much you tell me what you’re really thinking. Most of the time, I’m pretty good at reading people, and I’m pretty good at knowing when you’re just being polite. But, I can help you much more quickly if you let me into your mind. I do my very best to understand your perspective and to let go of any of my preconceptions (this is a lot of what I’m going to help you with, too), but if there’s something that bothers you about me, please tell me. Feedback is incredibly valuable to me.

Can I get a sense of how you think?

You can check out my blog to get a sense of how I think. (Or at least, how I was thinking when I was writing. I’m constantly learning new techniques, and reading books and research, so my thinking is always evolving.)

Who have you worked with?

I currently work with entrepreneurs, software engineers, and people in career transition. I have previously consulted for Pivotal Labs, The Smithsonian Institute Gardens Department, Lagniappe Academy of New Orleans, InfluxDB, and The Brooklyn Music School (among others) on topics such as motivation, company culture, process efficiency, and clarifying purpose.

What are your credentials?

Master of Applied Psychology from UPenn, MA in film composition from NYU, BA in Music composition from Rollins College. Registered Yoga Teacher - 200hrs. CTI Coach Training (Ongoing). Palo Alto University Clinical Psychology PhD candidate.

Contact Me

Want to talk more about coaching or schedule a session? Send me an email!