When I tell people that I am a parent coach, I inevitably get the question "what does a parent coach do?" I explain that as a child and family therapist at Children's Memorial Hospital I worked with families in crisis who required immediate and often long term intervention for their difficulties, but as a parent coach I work with families seeking support and guidance for everyday parenting issues.
Parenting is the most difficult job in the world, and parents often feel isolated, unsure of what to do next or who to talk to about their daily challenges. Parents who seek coaching services are looking for more competence and confidence in their role as parent.
The coaching field is emerging and not yet regulated, so be cautious of untrained professionals calling themselves parent coaches. The Parent Coaching Institute (The PCI) at Seattle Pacific University is the only graduate-level program for parent coaching certification and it sets the highest standards for parent coaching professionals (www.parentcoachinginstitute.com).
"Parents are in competent hands with parent coaches certified through the Parent Coaching Institute," assures Gloria DeGaetano founder and CEO of the institute. "Our exclusive Parent Coach Certification® process includes the highest standards in the industry. Parent coaches achieving this gold standard are professionals in family support who have successfully completed a one-year, comprehensive distance learning program, consisting of four graduate-level courses overseen by Seattle Pacific University, a nationally accredited university."
Coaching is a new option for parents and even if they have heard of the profession, they don't know how to find a qualified coach in their area. Coaching individual clients is no longer the focus of my practice because I have gradually shifted into group coaching, classes, presentations, workshops, and writing (see www.cathycassaniadams.com for more information), but below is a list of qualified, compassionate coaches in the Chicagoland area who are also certified by the Parent Coaching Institute. I know each of them personally and as coaches they have definitely found their "calling".
Jennifer Mangan, PCI Certified Parent Coach®, Wheaton
Jennifer Mangan has been coaching since 2003 when she received her Masters-level certification from the Parent Coaching Institute. She is also a Certified Family Mediator through DePaul University and is currently in the process of getting her Masters in Counseling. She has been married for 25 years and has 4 children ages 24, 23, 20, and 19. She specializes in many different parenting issues - differing parenting styles, single parents, parents of adolescents, teens and young adults, divorcing parents, and parents who are dissatisfied with their parenting. Jennifer has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times and Fox News. She has been a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and Chicago Parent magazine and has been an editor for Christian Parenting Today. She has written for several local and national publications and is on staff with Legacy Clinical Consultants, a private practice of clinical psychologists and social workers in Naperville, Illinois. Jen is compassionate and empathetic, but she is not afraid to delve into the trouble spots to help parents understand and find solutions to the sometimes problematic dynamics of their unique family. Contact Jen at Legacy Clinical Consultants at 630.527.1664 ext. 406 or email at JenMangan@gmail.com
Emily McBean, PCI Certified Parent Coach®, Lake Bluff
As a mom of two young children with a background in K-8 education and curriculum development, parent coaching is a natural fit for Emily. She has been developing workshops about screen time management and mindful parenting and she is exploring new ways to further integrate these topics into her local community. She enjoys working with individual clients; covering issues that include setting limits (both for children and for parents), successfully navigating the educational system, and the refocus of energy into relationships. She is also in the process of writing a children's book. Contact Emily at www.theparentelement.com or 248-854-3237
Winnie Moen, PCI Certified Parent Coach®, Lisle
Winnie has lived in the western suburbs of Chicago most of her life and knows firsthand what issues parents and children face in today's world. Her very first lessons concerning parenting occurred while being raised in a family with 11 siblings. She gained her professional experiences with parent/child interactions during her career as an elementary school teacher, and then she experienced raising five children of her own. It was then that she knew she would somehow work to help other parents. Winnie found a way to fulfill this passion by completing her formal parent coach certification through the renowned Parent Coaching Institute (PCI) associated with Seattle Pacific University. Winnie is the founder of Successful Parents, Inc. and now shares her experiences and expertise by working directly with parents in both one on one and group situations to help them with the often difficult task of raising children. Contact Winnie at Successfulparents@gmail.com
Sheryl Stoller, MBA, PCI Certified Parent Coach®, Oak Park
Sheryl cares deeply about her clients and their children, and she does everything in her power to help them succeed at creating the life they desire. With warmth, sensitivity, insight and expertise, she tailors her parent coaching to meet the needs of the families she works with. She collaborates with parents of children of all ages about a wide range of issues. Her clients learn to trust what they already know and acquire new skills and optimism. They think clearly during the stressful moments and use the positives to dis-empower the negatives. She draws on her broad range of experience and knowledge about difficult parenting issues - acquired through PCI's graduate-level program, other continuing education, plus her own struggles raising her three wonderful children with her husband. She provides the depth of understanding that enables her clients and their children to thrive. She offers parent coaching for individuals and couples primarily by phone; groups in the near-western suburbs. Contact Sheryl at www.stollerparentcoaching.com, (708) 358-8289 or (877) 285-8289
Beth Miller, M.Ed, PCI Certified Parent Coach®, Wilmette
Beth is passionate about helping parents create positive changes in their family life. Beth helps parents to communicate effectively with their children and to acquire new strategies to manage difficult behaviors. Parents experience improvement in their family relationships and stress level once they begin to implement changes. They learn to effectively use a variety of "tools" and positive language when dealing with power struggles. After working with Beth, parents find renewed energy and optimism for the job of parenting. Beth has a Masters degree in Counseling and is a PCI Certified Parent Coach ®. She has provided guidance, education and support to hundreds of families for over 25 years. Beth offers individual coaching, in person or by phone, in addition to group workshops and community presentations. Beth and her husband live in Wilmette with their three active sons, ages 17, 14 and 12. Contact Beth at www.bethmillerparentcoach.com
If you live in a different state and want to find a coach in your area go to www.parentcoachinginstitute.com/findcoach/
Have you worked with a parent coach? Feel free to comment.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.