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Coaching FAQ

Please take a moment to review the Frequently Asked Questions below to find out if your question has already been answered before contacting us with questions about coaching. Thank you.

What are some common things parents seek coaching for?

I coach young women and girls in the following areas:

  • School stress and time management
  • How to thrive during the transition to a new school and/or grade level (middle school, high school, college or graduate school)
  • Dealing with pressure from peers, family, teachers, and even yourself
  • Enhancing relationships with parents and siblings
  • Self-love, self-care, and self-empowerment
  • Healthy self-esteem and self-worth
  • Building resilience to unhealthy messages about women and girls
  • Respect for self and others
  • Healthy body image and self-acceptance
  • Healthy dating (break-ups, choices, sex, respect, etc.)
  • Media messages
  • Friendship challenges and “fitting in”
  • Dealing with bullies, “haters,” and drama at school
  • Healthy life skills and time management
  • Self-awareness and inner wisdom to help your daughter make choices that honor her beliefs and values and discover her true identity
  • Effective communication skills
  • Financial goals
  • Beating the blues
  • Leadership development
  • Identifying her dreams and passions
  • Goal-setting
  • Celebrating her accomplishments
  • …and more!

Who are Dr. Carla’s ideal clients?

My mission as a life and success coach is to help women and girls realize their true worth, fall madly in love with themselves from the inside out, and make empowered choices so they can reach their full potential.  I have worked with clients from diverse backgrounds and connect best with those who are motivated to improving their lives, committed to coaching with me, and willing to take consistent action to become the best version of themselves.  Clients who experience optimal results are serious about coaching, open to constructive feedback, have a positive attitude, and focus their energy on transforming their lives instead of complaining, blaming others, making excuses, and participating in negativity and drama.

Because I value my clients and want to ensure that I can meet their needs and help them reach their goals, I am selective in choosing who I will work with in my private practice.  If your concerns, needs, and objectives are out of alignment with my coaching practice, I will refer you to other resources that can better serve you.

Can my daughter work with Dr. Carla through HOTGIRLS?

My availability to personally provide direct coaching services through HOTGIRLS is limited.  The ideal way for young women and girls to work directly with me is through my coaching practice, workshops, speaking engagements, and events, which are sometimes offered in partnership with HOTGIRLS. Please sign up for my email newsletter for parents/guardians to receive updates about upcoming events and coaching opportunities.

What training and credentials does Dr. Carla have?

Although coaching is unregulated and many life coaches offer services without training or credentials, you can rest assured that I am well qualified.  My academic training, women’s and girls’ studies research, life coaching certifications, and extensive professional experience working directly with girls have given me a wealth of knowledge about women’s and girls’ development and human behavior to draw from in my work as a professional life and success coach, women’s and girls’ empowerment advocate, speaker, and health educator.

Professional Background:

For more than a decade, I have served as the Founder and CEO of Helping Our Teen Girls In Real Life Situations, Inc. (HOTGIRLS)®, an award-winning 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering young women and girls.  I have also gained two decades of professional experience through mentoring, youth development, and health education positions.  As a result, I have substantially greater experience working in the trenches with women and girls, studying their behavior, and developing programs to address their challenges than typical life coaches.  I also have a proven track record of successfully connecting with young women and girls who are considered “hard-to-engage” in traditional programs.

Academic Training:

Unlike most life coaches, I am trained as a women’s and girls’ health researcher and health education practitioner.  I graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and earned Doctor of Philosophy (with distinction) and Master of Public Health degrees in Health Behavior and Health Education (with a cognate in Social Work) from the University of Michigan, with a specialization in developing, implementing, and evaluating effective strategies to promote healthy behaviors among women, youth and girls.

My scholarly research on the intersections between adolescent girls’ sexuality, identity and body image with youth culture, hip hop, popular culture, and social media has appeared in scholarly publications including the international peer-reviewed journal, Culture, Health & Sexuality and the book, Girl Wide Web 2.0: Revisiting Girls, the Internet, and the Negotiation of Identity, edited by Sharon Mazzarella.  After completing my Ph.D., I completed a two-year post-doctoral research program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I investigated women’s and girls’ health issues.

My work as a life coach builds on my academic training, so my coaching methods and recommendations are based on scientific research and an extensive knowledge of the health and behavior of women and girls. I am skilled at translating relevant theories into practical and realistic strategies and programs that motivate women and girls to create positive change and improve the quality of their lives.


I am a certified member of the first graduating cohort of the Teen Wisdom™ Inc. Life Coach Training Program, the premier life coaching practice for teen girls and parents. I also earned a certificate in Personal Development Coaching from the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute (CAPP).  In addition, I am a Certified Facilitator of the Owning Up™ Curriculum developed by Rosalind Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence.

Click here to read more about my background and training.

Is Coaching Right For You?

Coaching is a different approach than therapy and coaching is not appropriate for everyone. If your daughter has a current or past history of counseling/therapy OR if any of the items listed below apply, coaching may not be the best option for your daughter (coaching is for people who are well-adjusted, emotionally healthy, and effectively functioning). If you have concerns, please provide more information by submitting an application.

  • violent behavior and/or aggression towards others
  • anger management challenges
  • history of arrests, probation, placement in a juvenile detention center, crimes against minor children, unruly child petition, etc.
  • depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts
  • difficulty opening up to adults
  • difficulty getting along with peers in a group setting
  • Asperger’s syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, or social skills challenges
  • serious thoughts of self-harm or harming others
  • diagnosed personality disorders
  • self-injurious behaviors (cutting, etc.)
  • eating disorders (i.e., anorexia, bulimia, etc.)
  • setting fires
  • harming animals
  • hospitalization in a mental health facility
  • substance abuse or participation in a rehabilitation program

If you or your daughter is experiencing an emergency or self-injurious thoughts or behaviors (cutting, overdosing, suicide, etc.), consult a licensed mental health provider and/or call 911 immediately!

What is the difference between life coaching and therapy or counseling?

Although coaching and therapy share a person-centered approach and other similarities, there are distinctions. Generally speaking, in counseling and therapy, the therapist is regarded as the expert and the focus is on “fixing” problems by exploring the client’s feelings and past experiences. In contrast, in the life coaching relationship, the coach partners with his/her client(s) to focus on their present circumstances, actions, skills, attitudes, and strengths to help them move forward in their lives. Coaching is most appropriate for people who are otherwise currently mentally healthy.

Life coaching is not psychotherapy. If your past is keeping you stuck or complicating your life, counseling is a better option than coaching. If I suspect any potential mental health concerns in my clients (eating disorders, cutting/self-mutilation, serious personality disorders or depression/anxiety, etc.), I will provide appropriate referrals and/or resources.

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

There are similarities between coaching and mentoring. In general, mentors guide their mentees towards a defined path, whereas coaches guide their clients on their own path, which is unique and different from their own. As a coach, I help clients tap into their own inner wisdom to discover their own answers and solutions. In my work as a coach, I am often viewed as a mentor or role model.

What is the difference between coaching and consulting?

In general, consultants are responsible for providing deliverables and specialized knowledge related to specific projects. In contrast, in the coaching relationship, the client is ultimately responsible for achieving their own results, with the guidance of his/her coach. When coaching girl allies, I share my knowledge and professional experience when it is beneficial to my clients.

How and when do we meet for individual coaching sessions?

I have limited availability for private coaching and offer this service to a select group of clients by phone/Skype/Internet.  Ongoing 45-minute private phone/Skype/Internet coaching sessions are held weekly or biweekly, and each client is given a reserved and consistent time slot.  Group coaching and workshops are typically provided in person in my Atlanta, Georgia office or other local venues.

How do I begin private coaching sessions with Dr. Carla?

I begin private coaching with an application and complimentary 15-20 minute “Dr. Carla, Help My Daughter!” phone consultation with adult clients and parents of girls to determine whether coaching is the best solution for you.  After the consultation, there is no obligation to purchase any products or enroll in my coaching programs. If you are under 18, please ask a parent to visit my web site and contact me directly.  During the consultation, we can discuss your questions or concerns so you can begin to experience the life-changing benefits of coaching!

Click to Apply

After reading the FAQs, here’s what you need to do to enroll your daughter in private or group coaching:

  • Private coaching: I have a limited number of openings available for new private clients. Submit an application today!
  • Group coaching for teen girls: Before registering for a group coaching program for pre-teen and teen girls, please sign up for the waiting list below (I reserve the right to deny enrollment in my coaching programs at my discretion if I do not believe that group coaching is the best option). Note: I do not require an intake session for girls participating in group coaching programs.

How do I schedule ongoing private coaching sessions with Dr. Carla?

After the complimentary phone consultation, if we have agreed that ongoing coaching would be beneficial, you can begin the scheduling process by purchasing a package of sessions.  After your payment is confirmed, you will receive a welcome packet via email with instructions regarding scheduling your ongoing sessions.

I strongly recommend committing to at least a 3-month introductory coaching program for optimal results (I typically coach on Tuesdays – Thursdays). Sessions must be scheduled at least one week prior to the start of each coaching package.

What is the investment to coach with Dr. Carla?

The investment for coaching varies depending on the frequency, length, and number of sessions purchased. My private clients receive customized coaching and have priority/one-on-one direct access to me on a regular basis, so the cost is considerably higher than group or online coaching. My fees are consistent with norms for similar services provided by helping professionals in private practice trained at the doctoral level. I am happy to discuss the investment in my programs with you during your initial consultation if we decide that coaching is a good fit for you.

What payment options does Dr. Carla accept?

Clients pay for sessions based on the program and/or package they have chosen. Payment is expected in full via debit or credit card (health insurance, cash, checks, and other forms of payment are not accepted) using the online payment system on this web site at least 72 hours prior to the first session of the group coaching program or private coaching package.

What options are available for clients on a limited budget?

I offer coaching and empowerment programs with varying levels of frequency and direct access to me so that your budget will not stand in the way of your daughter reaching her full potential. I provide coaching through speaking events, workshops, seminars, webinars, teleseminars, and presentations at local and national events at a wide variety of venues.  In addition, I am preparing to launch an affordable online coaching program for teen girls to help more girls reach their full potential.

Please sign up for my email newsletter for parents/guardians to receive updates, special offers, and the latest information.

Click to Apply

To your unlimited growth and success,


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