Coaching


Educational consultation is similar to "personal coaching." It helps provide a new framework for understanding yourself or your child, tools for managing roadblocks, and guidelines for future directions. Whatever your concern, briefly meeting with a psychologist for coaching can help ease your mind, provide support, and offer a fresh perspective. Meetings are available in person, or via phone or skype. The following are some frequently asked questions:


Why do people seek coaching or educational consultation?


If you are the parent of a gifted child...



you have probably tried a variety of options: meetings with teachers, discussions with family and friends, books, internet searches, testing, and perhaps even counseling. Now you may be looking for some straightforward advice to help with decisions related to your gifted child's academic choices and emotional well-being. Or you just might need to sort out and prioritize goals for your child.

Families seeking coaching often have questions about their child's social, emotional and academic development. Common questions include:


  • child development - what is "normal" for gifted children
  • understanding asynchronous development and overexcitabilities
  • managing family dynamics when children are gifted
  • setting educational goals
  • decision-making about testing, acceleration or types of schooling
  • managing roadblocks within the schools
  • developing an advocacy plan
  • college planning goals for gifted students


If you are a gifted adult seeking coaching/consultation for yourself...


you may have just realized that you are gifted and want to explore what this means. Or you might need some coaching and guidance related to how giftedness is affecting your relationships or career.


Gifted adults have different questions or concerns, such as:

  • gaining perspective on how giftedness has enhanced or sometimes hampered your pursuits 
  • setting career goals related to your interests and abilities
  • learning how to navigate social and work relationships
  • finding your niche
  • understanding how to manage common gifted traits such as perfectionism, procrastination, underachievement, or overachievement 

Musical Giftedness


I also work with families of musically talented children, where questions may arise related to ambivalence, procrastination, burn-out, multipotentiality, and perfectionism. Many musically gifted children struggle, in particular, with decisions related to career goals, choosing college vs. conservatory, or whether to major in music at all. 

What happens during a consultation session?

During our initial meeting, I will try to quickly gather information about your most pressing concerns, along with relevant history related to you or your child. Although some people feel nervous at first, once the conversation starts, it gets easier to share information. I will ask about your goals for the consultation, and see if we can develop a plan for achieving them. We will focus on your specific concerns and I will try to help you come up with the best solution to the problem.

Coaching/consultation is not psychotherapy, which focuses on alleviating symptoms, understanding the underlying dynamics that create these symptoms, and changing problem behaviors. Instead, coaching/consultation uses strategic planning, values clarification, brainstorming, and goal-setting to reach identified goals. The relationship between the consultant and client is more direct, relaxed and challenging than between therapist and client, and not intended to offer therapeutic support.


Here is what I won't do:

I won't criticize your parenting or what you have already tried.
I won't focus on myself - this is YOUR time and not a place for me to go into detail about my personal experiences.
I won't tell you what to do - I will offer ideas an strategies, and suggest reasons for any roadblocks in your way. It is up to you to decide what works best for you and your family.
I won't offer guidance solely based on my personal experiences. Unlike some other gifted coaching and consultation services, I do not claim having expertise due to being gifted or because I raised a gifted child. Rather, my qualifications are based on over 30 years as a Clinical Psychologist, along with experience as a parent advocate in the schools.


Why see a psychologist for coaching?



Personal and executive coaching have been around for a while, and people from a range of backgrounds have worked in this field. But it is surprising to note that there are no state governing boards granting licensure or credentialing for coaching, or that oversee the quality of training programs, enforce rules and laws, or ensure that coaches adhere to a code of ethics. (See Gebhardt for more.) 

On the other hand, Psychologists (like most licensed mental health professionals) go through extensive training in the study of behavior, motivation and personality dynamics. Psychologists participate in five or more years of post-graduate education and several years of post-doctoral supervision. Their training emphasizes interpersonal listening skills, methods for providing support and guidance, and the importance of healthy boundaries in the therapeutic relationship that encourage the client's ultimate independence. They adhere to a code of ethics enforced by state and national licensing and professional boards, maintain confidentiality, and respect clients' differences and values.

In short, psychologists' expertise informs their work when in the role of a coach or consultant. 


What will it cost?


When coaching is conducted by phone or skype, I charge a reduced rate- less than my in-person psychotherapy fee. My fee for the initial consultation is $120.00 per hour, and any follow-up visits are $100.00 per hour or $50.00 per 1/2 hour. 


How do I get started?  


Just give me a call at 215 884-9260 or e-mail me at gailpostphd@gailpost.com. 


I will need to speak with you to see if my services are the right approach for you. Once we have spoken briefly by phone (typically about five minutes) and have agreed to meet, I will ask that you:
  • complete a consent form (which can be accessed on my website here), and
  • submit payment by credit card at least one day in advance. Information about paying by credit card or Pay Pal online can be found here


For more information, please contact me at gailpostphd@gailpost.com or 215 884-9260. Or visit my website at www.gailpost.com.


(Note: Educational consultation or coaching is not the best option when a psychoeducational evaluation or psychotherapy is needed. If you contact me and it seems clear that a consultation would not serve your needs, I will refer you to the appropriate services.)

Thank you. I look forward to working with you.