Many coaches also offer a complementary consultation via phone or video call to prospective clients, who should ask for these sessions if they are not advertised. Settling on the right coach, Ms. Ashley added, often comes down to “fit, chemistry, trust and an understanding of experience.”
Corinne Reynolds, 41, the director of advancement at Metropolitan Family Services in Chicago, where she lives with her daughter, hired Ms. Ashley in January 2020 when she was divorcing her now ex-husband. Though she was in therapy, Ms. Reynolds still felt overwhelmed. The pandemic made things worse, she said, by increasing her feelings of isolation.
“Therapy felt open-ended. I needed someone to give me advice, help me create a plan and have action steps,” said Ms. Reynolds, who worked with Ms. Ashley for six months.
“Jessica helped me set weekly goals and created a better morning routine for myself and my daughter,” she added. “She helped me find a lawyer and navigate the legal system. She reviewed my documents. I also joined her Facebook group of other moms going through this experience which made me feel less alone.”
Tirzah Stein, a licensed social worker in Denver, recently left her job in that field to start NearlyWed Coaching, which specializes in wedding and premarital coaching. Since opening her business in September, she has taken on 24 clients, with 18 signing up in February, she said.
Because coaches do not have the same approach as therapists, Ms. Stein said they can develop an intimacy with clients that can be helpful to achieving goals. “Being a coach, you don’t have the same boundaries as a therapist,” said Ms. Stein, who charges $550 for four hourlong sessions and $800 for eight. “You show your emotions and are a human being. I’m a best friend who is still connecting as a professional.”