Motherhood is hard on the mom.
The gaps between expectations and reality, and between the to-do list and your energy/time capacity is staggering. Parenthood is hard enough without us adding judgement on top, no? Yet most of the time, one of the main sources of hardship is that the mom is hard on herself. We are our own worst critics, and we were never taught how to stop guilt from running the show.
When we struggle, we get stuck in our head and hear nothing but our negative self-talk. It is so easy to believe the darkness that mascarades as the truth, yet with the right skills, we can learn how to tell the difference.
I help disarm guilt and overwhelm, as well as postpartum depression and anxiety, by teaching Permission Based Healing: the Gentle Art of Self-Kindness, served with communication skills that help families thrive.
“With Yael’s guidance I was able to forgive myself for my challenges and focus on learning the skills that helped me become the capable mother, the loving partner, and the vibrant person I want to be.”
~Robin Farr, Calgary, CA.
Most of this work happens in groups, but not everybody wants group work. For some people, one-on-one coaching is the right fit, which is lovely, because I adore the closeness of one-on-one work. And as most of my group programs are for moms-only, one-on-one work also allows me to work with dads and other people.
My coaching covers two realms: self-kindness skills and parenting communication skills. As parents, we need both because having the right communication skills reduces the occasions of things blowing up in our face, which means less guilt, less suffering, and more kindness for everybody involved.
Coaching sessions are conversations in which I listen intently and catch you every time you do something right; then I hand it back to you, so you can revel in all the ways that you already rock, but don’t usually notice (I am willing to bet a whole night’s sleep that you rock so hard, you’re a diamond! But your inner critic, other people’s expectations, and old stories make it so hard to see that you already are a magnificent mother/woman or father/man, of course).
My job is to share skills that turn dark caves into tunnels, tunnels that can be crossed safely. I have walked this darkness before, and now I bring candles and matches, flashlights and maps. It is a deep honor to hold your hand on the journey to find light (and yes, even joy) at the end of the tunnel. Together we will reframe the stories and establish new support structures and healthy patterns. As I introduce new skills, we start with training wheels, and soon you’ll “get it”, and can go off on your own.
There were so many “aha” moments, and a huge shift in my thinking: away from being stuck in guilt and blame and should-ing on myself to a more healthy, balanced, inquisitive me. So much of my pain was other people’s “stuff” and expectations. When my husband lost his mother, when I went back to work (finally!), when I struggled to balance being a working mother/wife while starting a craft business, I found that Yael’s Permission-Based Healing concepts transformed me. Now it was ok to feel torn, it is absolutely ok to be wherever I am really at. Yael does work magic. But it’s the best kind of magic – because it is real, its sticks around, and it changes everything. Thank you Yael, your work is truly life transforming.
~ Susan Mann, Ithaca, NY.
My coaching, like my parenting, is designed to make me unnecessary. I want to teach my kids all the skills they need to thrive without me, so when they grow up they will come to visit because they enjoy my company, not because they need to use the laundry machine. Similarly, when you work with me, you get the skills you need, you learn how to always maintain access to your powers, and when you’re ready, let go of my hand.
The skills of the Gentle Art of Self-Kindness:
- Disarming your demons (PPDemons or other monsters): fighting demons only feeds them. I will teach you how to interact with them consciously, in ways that turn them from enemies to guardians.
- Disarming anxiety: with practical tools that help you see outside the scary stories in your head, quell the alarming physical sensations, and get you back into your senses (literally: the more senses you use, the less power your anxiety has).
- Disarming and harvesting guilt: guilt nearly killed me, so it’s no surprise I made it my mission in life to disarm it.
- Self-kindness through hard times: when you are between a rock and a hard place, the last thing you need is to beat yourself up. Yet we all do it. And we don’t have to. Self-kindness through good times: when things are finally going well, are you enjoying it or stressing about when the other shoe might drop? Self-kindness through setbacks: recovery is full of setbacks, darnit! And they hurt like a you know what. How you treat yourself during a setback makes the difference between a pothole and the abyss. The Rainy Days Letter series is all about this.
- Reconnecting with your body: You will learn how to use simple movements, breathing patterns, and gentle rubbing of pressure points to reconnect and ground you to your body for times when your demons have hijacked your mind.
- Finding and befriending your inner wise woman (or man). Yes, she (or he) is in there. More about this here.
I’m a perfectionist and an A student, and the first year of motherhood knocked me on my butt. Finding Yael’s philosophy of Permission-Based Healing was a turning point. I kept coming back to her words over and over again, and it never failed to provide me with comfort. I found strength in implementing Yael’s ideas in my life, and coaching took it to the next level. With her amazing combination of compassionate listening and expert teaching, Yael both helps me to accept myself where I am right now and gives me the skills in self-kindness and interpersonal communication that allow me to move forward towards the me I want to be. Our sessions are truly the highlight of my week.”
~ Story, Pittsburgh, PA
Skills for effective parenting:
- Parent Talk: based on the book and program by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haler, this set of parenting communication skills made all the difference in our family: from toddler wars to clear and loving communications. This method was so transformative that I traveled to study with Chick and Thomas and became a certified Parent Talk facilitator.
- Parenting to meet needs rather than expectations: if much of your parenting is influenced by what other people might think, I bet you find yourself in painful and rather impossible situations. Relationships with extended family members get strained, and you might experience feeling a lack of integrity and direction in your parenting. This skill is about identifying what’s most important to you and your beloveds, finding your own clarity of how to respond in sticky/scary/exacerbating situations, and maintaining healthy boundaries with those you feel judged by.
- Adding the mama’s needs to the family equation: in many families the perceived needs of the kids are what drives the allocation of time and resources, and the parents’ needs (especially the mother’s need for things like rest, privacy, self care, or self expression, not to mention access to food while it’s still hot) are utterly ignored. The trouble with this model is that it is not only unsustainable, it actually does the whole family a disservice. Aiming to meet the needs of all family members is not just a revolutionary idea, it’s also the way to establish a healthy family culture in which everybody thrives.
- Helping older children adjust to the birth of a new sibling: parents can do much to help an older child feel emotionally safe during this transition in ways that prevent violence towards the baby, and sooth the mama’s guilt. These skills will also help prevent sibling rivalry from becoming a growing problem when the children are older.
- Disarming sibling rivalry: nothing is more painful than watching your children hurt each other emotionally or physically. Helping your children feel secure in your love enough so they can access their love for each other is one of the most rewarding investments you can make in your family.
- Other parenting challenges I love to help with: disarming volatile situations like toddler tantrums, power-struggles, easing the morning rush craziness (see Jenny’s testimonial below), and getting kids to contribute around the house.
- Parenting skills I’m NOT teaching: getting your baby to sleep through the night (I was excruciating ineffective at that one). Toilet training in three days. How to get your child to eat vegetables. I am, however, fully equipped to support you in enduring and coping with such challenges.
The Parent Talk principles I learned from Yael made a huge difference in my relationship with my younger child. He used to have very violent tantrums, and I was powerless to protect his older brother. I was resentful of him, felt guilty for my anger and shame for my inability to control a three year old boy. Yael taught me how to give him choices that avoid head-on power struggles and set loving boundaries that give me my power back. The best part is that I learned how to parent effectively without disempowering him at all. On the contrary, he is so much happier these days. Also, I no longer see taking time for myself to rest or to make art as selfish things. Without this guilt, I’ve been carving time and space for my creativity: painting and even making jewelry again.”
~Edna, Mother of 2 boys: 3 and 5, Ithaca, NY.
When we started working with Yael, our focus was learning the Parent Talk communication skills, aiming to reduce frustrations for our two year old girl. We were very impressed with the results. Then we experienced a traumatic late-term pregnancy loss, and the focus of our work shifted to Permission-Based Healing and self-kindness. Yael helped us find comfort in a time of grief, and showed my wife and I ways to be kind and supportive of each other during one of the hardest times of our lives.”
~ Mika’s dad, Brooklyn, NY.
My Influences: My parenting support work draws from my Parent Talk training, and is also heavily (and happily) influenced by the ideas of many authors and thinkers, especially Kim John Payn (Simplicity Parenting), and Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk) and Alfie Kohn (Unconditional Parenting).
My Self Kindness work draws from the wisdom of Marshal Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication), The Work of Byron Katie, Abraham Low (Recovery International), Havi Brooks, Hiro Boga, Jaya the Trust Coach, and many others.
Yael’s Permission-Based healing work is really important whether you have kids or not. Yael is kind, curious, committed and wonderfully creative. I know she really and truly cares about safe spaces and internal process. Plus she does UnGuilt Trips. Yay!”
~ Havi Brooks
How coaching works:
Who: Most of my clients are mother, some are dads. Others are not parents, just people who feel called to develop more Self-Kindness. Some of my clients are intimately familiar with anxiety and depression, others wish to prevent these conditions, and some just resonate with my writings enough to want to work with me individually.
Where: Coaching can be done by phone or via skype audio, and if you are in my neck of the woods (Ithaca, NY), we can arrange to meet face to face. If we meet via phone/skype, coaching calls can be recorded so you can listen to them again later or share with a loved one. It’s your call, (literally!), and of course we don’t have to record anything if you don’t want to.
How many: Most of my coaching sessions are one on one, but when appropriate, another family member may participate.
I pour much of my heart into each coaching session, therefore I work with a maximum of 4 coaching clients per week.
You can buy individual 50 minute coaching sessions, or invest in coaching packages.
Individual sessions: are $80 each
3 sessions: $225 ($75 each)
6 sessions: $420 ($70 each)
Timeframe: 3 session packages are good for 7 weeks.
6 session packages are good for 14 weeks.
These prices are for audio (phone or skype) sessions. In person sessions locally, or video sessions (via skype or g+) are available for additional $10 per session.
Form of payment: I prefer PayPal. You don’t need to have a PayPal account, any major credit card can be securely processed through PayPal.
I am open to barter. I might not go for it, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
Coaching with me is not therapy or medical advice.
My work is all about social support and teaching emotional and social skills. I share everything I learned in my journey of recovery from my PPD driven suicide attempt 7 years ago, the skills and tools that took me from being utterly miserable to becoming the (mostly) happy mama that I am today. But I am no doctor or therapist. I have no medical or mental health qualifications. You should have an ongoing relationship with a trusted medical professional if you are suffering from depression and/or anxiety.
Also, just to be clear: yes, I can teach these skills, but this doesn’t mean that I always get them perfectly right in my own life. I wish I could tell you I never yell at my kids nor fight with my husband, but having these skills means that I never feel so cornered that I have to scream. In the depth of my depression, I used to feel like a trapped and wounded animal. Now, even on bad days, even during setbacks and life’s challenges like illnesses and accidents (tfu! tfu! tfu!), I operate from the deep trust that even in situations I have no power over, I am far from powerless: Permission-Based Healing and Self-Kindness are all about maintaining access to my power exactly in the situations which I have no power over, and this is precicely what I want to teach every parent (make that every person) who is willing to do the emotional work that is required to learn this.
Ready to start?
Good, I’m excited to work together to find your comfort.
Now just email yael@mamascomfortcamp with the number of sessions you are interested in buying, and I’ll send you a paypal invoice you can pay with any credit card or your paypal account if you have one.
Coaching with Yael is such a sweet experience. She is so gentle yet very effective. I felt very comfortable on the phone with her, I was able to discuss things I’m sometimes intimidated to talk about face to face with my therapist. I love that coaching is not about talking about the past, that we focus on solving specific and current problems. Yael’s suggestions for improving the mad mornings rush in my home are effective and comforting. I no longer feel like a drill-sergeant barking orders at my older daughter, and the best part is that this more loving attitude diffuses power struggles and actually gets us out the door faster.”
Every time I talk to Yael, I walk away from our conversation feeling so much more comfortable in my own skin. She creates an utterly safe emotional environment, and with her guidance I experience my own ability and power to replace my fears and worries with patterns of self-kindness and trust. Yes, I may be flawed, vulnerable and fully human, but I am learning how to be compassionate and forgiving toward myself in intelligent ways. I wish every mother in the world had access to Yael’s teachings. It is such a blessing to interact with my worries about motherhood and learn these self-kindness skills before becoming a mother myself.”
~Simone, Seoul, Korea.
I greatly appreciated Yael’s gentle and nurturing approach. She is skilled at creating a safe space for expression of all kinds. Yael’s insight and perceptions helped me find my own clarity and inner wisdom, and the simple Parent-Talk suggestions have deepened my connection with my 5 year old girl and reduced our conflicts, which helps reduce my guilt after separating from her father. I recommend Yael’s coaching to any mama struggling with the challenges of motherhood.”
~ Sarah, Ithaca, NY.
Before talking to Yael, I was focusing more on what I was doing wrong than what I was doing right. It is much easier to learn new skills when I come from a place of trust, and giving myself credit where it’s due is huge. Yael made me feel so safe and supported. I love that her suggestions were a combination of things I already have access to, as well as new skills that I can acquire at my own pace.”
~Laura E., New Hampshire
And as always, whether you choose to work with me or not, thank you for reading.
If you feel called to work with me but can’t afford individual coaching, know that I’m developing some more affordable group programs, so join our facebook group and sign up to get blog posts via email to make sure you don’t miss any announcements.
Hugs and lotsalove your way,