Episode 47 Diann Wingert Coaching

Episode 47 Diann Wingert Coaching

December 18, 2017

Hello and welcome to the Online Counseling Podcast. I am Clay Cockerell and I very pleased that you’ve joined us to learn how the field of online psychotherapy and life coaching continues to grow and adapt to new technologies. Our mission is to explore how online therapists are using technology in their practices and how they are doing this effectively, responsibly, legally, and ethically. So on this podcast, there are a few different kinds of shows. There are the ones where we get to talk to people who provide services to online therapists, like the interviews we’ve done on HIPAA compliant platforms and there are the shows where we get to talk to people who are coaching and helping with information like attorneys or researchers on state licenses or practice building coaches and consultants and there are shows like today, which I think are my favorite where we get to talk to therapists and coaches who are doing the actual work, and explore their journey to the online world and their challenges and triumphs, and just pick their brain a little bit. Today we get to talk to Diann Wingert, who has embraced the online counseling world, and has now transitioned from online therapy into life coaching, so we get to talk with her about that journey and some of the differences between therapy and life coaching and what challenges she has seen from the transition.

 

CC: She’s such a thoughtful and excellent guest. You’ll notice I don’t interrupt much on this interview. I think when a person is doing a great job in explaining things, I just need to get out of the way and let her do it and that’s what I did today. I love getting to know Diann, and I hope you do too. And as many of you know this podcast is associated with the online counseling directory, you can find us at onlinecounseling.com, we are a listing service, very similar to Psychology Today. And goodtherapy.org, but for therapists and coaches who are working online, our goal is to help therapists build their online therapy practices and to help clients around the world, find the therapist they are looking for. We also provide a lot of education on how to do online therapy so if you’re interested, or just wanna find out more, head on over to onlinecounseling.com, click on List my practice, we can get you set up in about 10 minutes. Okay, on to Diann Wingert of diannwingertcoaching.com.

 

CC: Hello and welcome to the online counseling podcast. I am very pleased to have our guest today, all the way from California. Diann Wingert. Diann, welcome to the show, am I pronouncing your name correctly?

 

Diann Wingert: Your most definitely are and thank you for the warm welcome. I’m very happy to be here.

 

CC: What part of California are you in?

 

DW: I am in San Marino, it is a little suburb, very close to Pasadena which is the home of the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade for those who know it.

 

CC: And also the Pasadena Playhouse.

 

DW: Also the Pasadena Playhouse. Absolutely…

 

CC: As a theater fan, I know where all the great theaters are around the country. [chuckle]

 

DW: Do you happen to know a very small, intimate theater company that we have in Pasadena called the Boston court?

 

CC: No, but I maybe need to look them up.

 

DW: If you ever come out here, you must be my guest to come and see a production there. They are very unique and I think, fantastic.

 

CC: Okay great. I’ll put that on the list. A little plug to the Boston court.

 

DW: Deal.

 

CC: Alright, Diann we are here to talk about your journey with online counseling and coaching, tell us a little bit about how you got into this.

 

DW: I think, like so many of us, Clay, I sort of stumbled upon it or maybe wandered into it. I was in community mental health and hospital work for about 18 years before I started my private practice in 2010, and I sort of traversed over time between the adult system and the pediatric system in between mental health and medical. So I had a pretty broad background and I finally started my private practice in 2010 and really saw pretty much everybody. It was a general practice initially and then eventually I started eliminating different groups as I realized that you really can’t serve, everyone in a private practice as you know. So I first stopped seeing kids, then couples, then families, and I just continued to niche down until I finally ended up about three years ago with adults, women over 50, going through various transitions and for the last two years I’ve been venturing into coaching and specializing on female mid-life crisis. I first started doing online work when I was working with a number of clients in the entertainment business, and other people who traveled a lot as a result of work and didn’t want to stop seeing me whenever they were out of town.

 

DW: So initially, I kinda got pulled into it that way, and I had pretty strict rules in the beginning because my comfort zone as I’m sure you would agree, as well as most of the listeners, our comfort zone is face to face work. Our comfort zone is in an office protected time protected space consistent schedule and all of those comforts that sort of designate the purpose of therapy time for both the client and the clinician. And I really appreciated that. And so, when clients would say “Well I’m gonna be traveling for the next few weeks. Could we work by phone?” My initial reaction Clay, was “Oh, I don’t know, it’s not the same. I don’t really feel great about that” but I wanted to be accommodating, and so I said yes. I had a bias and this is something I think I’ll talk a lot about in this interview is for me the journey not only from face-to-face work to online work as well as the journey from counseling to coaching has been reflected by the choices I’ve made in the way that I work with people but it all comes down to an inner journey, of how I gradually over time shifted my comfort zone and expanded my perception of how we can help people.

 

DW: So I had a bias, face-to-face is best and online therapy was just too new. I even had a lot of evidence for why that was best, based on interpersonal neurobiology, our mirror neurons, our… How our brains link and sink with someone, that we’re in close proximity with, our energy of our heart and so forth. So I thought… No, face-to-face is best, but I was willing to do it for established clients only. If I got a referral, or if someone contacted me and said, “I don’t live in your area, but I’d really like to work with you. You come highly recommended”. I initially thought I have to at least meet them once face-to-face, because I felt, I would say dependent on that face-to-face connection and all the information that I thought I could obtain from it, which was part of my assessment. Now I have since moved from that but that was my bias initially, and frankly, I think that sort of covered up what I now consider to be a blind spot. And this may be true of some of your listeners. My blind spot was that I had underlying fears of technology and the loss of control.

 

DW: Because when someone’s not in your presence, you have to have sort of an expanded definition of control and what you think the space is about and what the interaction is about when someone is on in another town, city, state, country, continent, you really have to think differently about the work that we do. And I think I became more aware of some of my control issues as clients started asking for phone sessions, and then eventually someone asked for Skype and it was like, Oh boy. I would do Skype, with some of my family members, but the idea of doing online counseling via Skype several years ago, I thought… No, no, no, no, no. I did eventually hop over that hurdle, but between my internal bias, my lack of awareness that what I was really afraid of is technology and the loss of control, I really had to be sort of pulled into it by clients who wanted to work with me specifically and made those requests. And because I’m a listener of your podcast, I’ve heard other clinicians say the same.

 

CC: Absolutely, over and over again I hear that this is a client-driven endeavor, that we would be happy to sit in our little offices with our little plant and know where everything is and have that energetic connection in person, breathing the same air. But it’s the clients who are saying “I need this over here”. So, that echoes what I’m hearing from a lot of clinicians who have jumped in. But I find it fascinating that you did that internal work to understand you’ve got a blind spot. It is the fear of the unknown, of technology. How did you get past that?

 

DW: Well again, I think probably to be honest with you Clay, it was kind of kicking and screaming every step of the way. Here’s the thing: I’m 61 years old, and I didn’t grow up with technology. I grew up with pen and paper, I did not grow up with a digital calendar. I didn’t grow up with all these devices. And I have seen just how much technology has changed, evolved and shaped our culture, and I also see there’s an abundance of evidence that technology is disrupting every industry including ours.

 

CC: Yes.

 

DW: So, while I had a successful psychotherapy practice, and I’m pleased to report that I, in a very competitive marketplace, which is really saturated, there are 400 therapists in the zip code in which I practice and it’s not that big a place, that I was able to establish a full fee and full-time practice as a solo provider. However, I think I was always keen to provide a level of service that I think people are looking for when they’re paying out of pocket. And that required of me the willingness and the ability to be flexible and to be accommodating and to… I’m a social worker. So one of the very first things I learned in graduate school was start where the client is at. Well, I don’t think we just need to start where the client is at, I think we need to stay where the client is at, and we are either leading them, following them or interfering with the process that they would like us to join with them in. So when I was confronted by this reality that a number of my clients wanted that flexibility, some people, especially… I am not currently working with many entertainment clients but their schedules can stop, drop and roll at a moment’s notice.

 

CC: Sure.

 

DW: So you might have an expectation that they’re going to see you two days from now in the office for a traditional session, and you might get a text and be told “Actually I just got an offer I can’t refuse. I’m leaving for Atlantic, can we continue via video chat or phone?” So I needed to get up to speed. Your podcast didn’t yet exist, as far as I knew, there weren’t other therapists who were doing this. So I hired my first private practice business coach.

 

CC: Okay.

 

DW: Now, I must tell you another bias I had was that coaches are wannabe therapists without the graduate school training and without the oversight of the state licensure board.

 

CC: Yes.

 

DW: So when I first heard about coaching 10 years ago, I thought, “Wannabes. I don’t need… There’s nothing they can teach me, I don’t need to be concerned about them”, but just like I couldn’t help but notice how technology is disrupting every industry, and literally shaping our culture by the moment. I also couldn’t help but notice that coaches were becoming very popular, and I think in many cases started serving some of the clients that would have traditionally been served by online therapists.

 

CC: Yeah.

 

DW: So I think I just became aware of all of these various changes around me and started working with a private practice business coach and began to learn a lot more about technology, began to appreciate all the different ways that people consume content, all the different ways that people seek information, seek services, seek assistance. And I think I reached a point where I recognized, I’m not a person who ever plans to retire. I want to continue to work, I wanna continue to make a contribution, I wanna continue to build the legacy and have an impact in the world, but at this point in my life, I want to start doing so in a more flexible way that offers me more personal freedom and gives me the opportunity to serve a specific group of people who might not happen to live anywhere near Pasadena, California.

 

CC: Absolutely.

 

DW: So without embracing technology and online therapy work, that simply wouldn’t have happened for me.

 

CC: So the coaching experience, it sounds like it was positive. Do you mind sharing who you worked with?

 

DW: No, not at all. I’ve worked with several different coaches. The first coach that I hired was upon the recommendation of a colleague of mine, and it is a business called “Uncommon practices”.

 

[overlapping conversation]

 

CC: Yeah, absolutely.

 

DW: I’m sorry… Yeah uncommon practice…

 

CC: Yeah. I worked with him at the very, very beginning of my… And I thought they were great, they were just… And at that time I think they focused on beginners, but it’s this idea of doing things differently, thus the name, uncommon practice. No, I thought they were really, really good people.

 

DW: Well, that’s where I started and I realized I’m one of those headstrong people that just thinks I should be able to do this on my own. So I just sort of went out into private practice without any business background and no entrepreneurial background and just thought kind of foolishly, “How hard can it be”, right? So, I just plunged forward, I worked really hard for about three years, and then I thought, “Well, I’m doing well, but I have a feeling there’s probably a more efficient way to do things, and there are probably things that I’m missing, because I simply don’t know”. So I went through the uncommon practices program, it was 12 months, and you’re assigned a mentor. My mentor happened to be in northern California, which was convenient. We were in the same time zone, but we had some difficulty scheduling the monthly phone call so I opted for the written feedback. And for those listeners who are not familiar with their program, at least this is how it was three years ago, at that time, they would mail you several articles to read every couple of weeks, and then I would have a written assignment based on reading all the articles and doing some personal inquiry, and I wrote out all my responses, I submitted them to Jordan, who was my mentor coach, and I got written feedback.

 

DW: Now that worked out really great for me because I could do the assignments when it was convenient for me, submit them and then read the response, but it was really kind of a, I’d say something between DIY and assisted thing. So I did that up for a year, and it was very helpful, but after that year, I wanted more. So then I went to Casey Truffo’s three-day or two-and-a-half day conference.

 

CC: Yeah.

 

DW: Called “More income for you”. The acronym is MIFY, M-I-F-Y, and that’s also in Southern California, and you can go for free for the two and half days. But throughout that conference, you are learning about the opportunity to work with her team, and she had at that time, two different levels of coaching. If you were more in the beginner you were offered one program, if you were more advanced, you were offered a different program, and I was kind of in between, I wasn’t… My practice wasn’t yet at the point where I was looking for passive income, multiple streams, taking on other clinicians. I just wanted to have a really killer private practice on my own.

 

CC: Yes.

 

DW: So I needed to go with the more beginner program, and I did that for a year and it was probably twice the cost of the uncommon practice program, but what it did, I’d say, Clay, was orient me towards being coached over the phone and then taking action on my own which I didn’t realize at the time was really kind of a crucial piece in my own personal and professional development, because without really realizing it, I was learning that you can work with someone over the phone and have it make it different.

 

CC: Yes.

 

DW: So there’s my bias, like… Well, it has to be face-to-face to work with, Well, I’m getting coached over the phone and her team consists of several different people. So there was a weekly call, one of those calls each month, was a technology call. One of them was adopt mindset. One of them was, I don’t remember all the different pieces right now but anyway I… By being a participant, by being a learner, I was able to experience services delivered quickly over the phone.

 

CC: On the other side, right?

 

DW: Because I have ADHD. Being coached over the phone was a little bit of a challenge because it’s easier to be distracted when you don’t have someone right in front of your face. So that eventually led me and so what I would do is just walk in circles while the other person was talking. I just kinda not necessarily pace, but I do my best thinking when I’m moving as many people do.

 

CC: I can relate.

 

DW: So when I’m trying to learn something or I’m sharing something, I’m processing my thoughts while I’m sharing them and I’m processing the other person’s thoughts while they’re sharing them. So it facilitated that process for me to be kind of walking around my office during those phone calls, but when I eventually moved on to my next coach and decided to go through a certification program that consisted that was the life coach school in Northern California. I went for six days live training, then a 90-day practicum, and then I got certified so I recognized that I still do enjoy face-to-face learning, but it is absolutely possible to do online counseling, to do coaching, and to learn new information over the phone. But when I discovered Zoom which is like Skype, only better, that really sort of took things to a whole another level because I actually really like to see the person I’m talking to.

 

CC: Yeah.

 

DW: And I like for them to see me.

 

CC: Absolutely. There’s so much information and I’ve done some audio phone just because it’s necessary, but the visual component is so important to have that connection and you’re getting so much more data I think, and information from your client. But what inspires me about you, Diann, is that you invest in yourself, you invest in your business. And you’ve gone to some of the top training programs out there, the uncommon practice. Certainly Casey Truffo has been around forever, she’s done wonderful work and… And to be open to that, to the experience of receiving coaching and knowing that, “Hey, this works. And it should be able to work for my clients,” so did that…

 

DW: I appreciate that feedback, right. I will say though that it has not been without some struggle.

 

CC: Okay. Yeah.

 

DW: Because to be a well-established professional in any field, and then to voluntarily choose, not to be forced. I didn’t get laid off from a job, I didn’t have some sort of medical problem, that I now can’t drive or something like that, I chose this, but as you can tell from my story, I sort of within the process of choosing it over time, and I think that’s how most human beings change. You oftentimes don’t really realize that anything’s missing or that there could be a better way or even a different way until someone or something introduces that concept. And I also happen to be a very curious person, so I will follow something and then learn more about it and if it’s not for me, I’ll let it go. But I think for me, ultimately, it was the awareness that technology is changing our culture rapidly and dramatically, and I’m not afraid that there won’t be a place for face-to-face therapy in the future. I believe there always will be and there will always be people who will need that, want that and prefer it. However, I think that being flexible enough and being willing to get the training and the skills to be agile, to be creative, to be accommodating and say, if you wanna have an office…

 

DW: I recently reduced my office days from five days a week to two. So if a client really wants to work with me as a coach, face-to-face, and they can come on Tuesday or Thursday and I have an opening, then we do that and if they are willing to work by Zoom, I can do that from home, and if they wanna work by phone, I can do that from either place. I kind of like at this point in my journey being that flexible but I imagine over time in the future, it may be determined more by what my preference is, rather than I think I’m still really embracing this notion that I’m like Gumby. Bend me, shape me any way you want me, I can do… I can see you in the office, I can see you on the phone, I can see you on the video screen, how cool is this?

 

DW: But I think part of my own self-care is just really being aware of what truly works best for me, from my brain, from my attention span, from my lifestyle, and going more with that in the future.

 

CC: That brings up a good point, and something that I’ve experienced and maybe not really talked about much, is that it’s hard to say, “Oh, this is my online therapy day, this is my face-to-face day,” it’s hour to hour appointment to appointment, so I’ll have two face-to-face and then an online session. And what was that like for you? And I’m assuming the same is for you, is sometimes I’ll just have to take a breath of… Okay, the online session is over… Now I’m going to have an in-person session. What was that? I like it because it just mixes things up for me…

 

DW: Yes.

 

CC: And I get to take my shoes off, which is kinda fun. But what’s that like for you in mixing up your day from face-to-face and then online, moment-to-moment?

 

DW: That is such a good question, I’m really, really glad you asked it because I like you appreciate the flexibility, appreciate, I kind of liked thinking of myself as nimble. I can see a person face-to-face, and then a few minutes later, I can be working with someone over the phone, and then later that day, I’ll be working on Zoom. And last fall, I launched a beta coaching group with six women on Zoom, and I had never done anything like that before, and there was a lot to pay attention to, and so I realized I need to have little check sheets and stuff because one time I got 30 minutes into the meeting, and I realized “Oh I haven’t pushed record.” [chuckle] What was so lovely about that is the next meeting the following week, one of the women said, “Don’t forget to push record at the beginning of the session.” I thought that’s fantastic when people just…

 

CC: Yeah, they’re participating.

 

DW: Are participating and taking care of it.

 

CC: But you are doing… Not to interrupt… But you are doing a group… You’re doing a group on Zoom, with six women?

 

DW: Yes. Let me come back ’cause I realized I didn’t fully answer your question.

 

CC: Yeah, yeah. Okay.

 

DW: So when I was at the point where I was really just accommodating everyone according to their preference and throughout a day, I might have two face-to-face, two phone, and two Zoom, or any combination, it really didn’t matter to me. I used… I’ve been using simple practice, so I would sort of code them differently. So the different type of session would show up in a different color and on my schedule and so forth, and I’ve done that for the last couple of years and I’ve enjoyed doing it. However, I’ve been working… I only got diagnosed with ADHD a year ago, believe it or not.

 

CC: Oh wow.

 

DW: Yes after suspecting it for more than 20 years.

 

CC: Yeah.

 

DW: And as a result of that, and going on medication, I eventually realized that meds aren’t enough, and they usually aren’t for most things, so I started working with an ADHD coach, and I learned something from him. His name is Eric Tivers by the way, he has a podcast called ADHD reWired and I learned a concept from him called time blocking. It comes from a wonderful book called “The ONE Thing” and it’s not a book for people with ADHD, it’s a productivity book, but it really talks about this philosophy of being productive, it doesn’t mean being busy, it means getting things done, and not just anythings, the right things, the most important things. And I think because of my hyperactivity, I’ve always been very busy, and I’ve always been doing a lot of things, but I have to be honest, I haven’t always been doing the right things so that I can be truly satisfied with the outcome that I’m generating. So under Eric’s coaching, I learned about time-blocking and time blocking is essentially working with theme days. And this was while I had to be ready for this, Clay, because… And it had to be a progression for me, if someone would have suggested this to me two years ago, I would have said “No, that’s not possible.”

 

CC: Right?

 

DW: But I’ve decided that I stop seeing therapy clients altogether in January, which was a scary move but as a result of moving my business from… At first it was just therapy, and then it was therapy, and coaching, and now I’m going to just coaching. I don’t wanna say just coaching, only coaching, the coaching only.

 

CC: Right.

 

DW: So I used this concept of theme days, and time blocking to say Monday is an admin day, Tuesday is an in-office client day, Wednesday is content creation in the morning and the video conferencing sessions in the afternoon, Thursday is in-office sessions and Friday is marketing and so forth, so I’m still testing it. And…

 

CC: Brilliant…

 

DW: I’ll let you know in the future, but the reason why I’m doing this, Clay, is because not just for people whose brains are configuring the way mine is, but really for all of us, this concept of multitasking is a mess.

 

CC: Yes.

 

DW: We have all convinced ourselves in this culture that we can multitask, and that this is the true key to productivity. I promise you it’s not. Not just for people with ADHD but really, for all of us, the number of times that we shift our focus from one thing to another, there is a cost to that…

 

CC: Absolutely.

 

DW: And diminished focus, diminished attention and kind of a lag time. I think of it almost like a residue. So, the lag time and for you it may be very small, for me it started to feel like it was adding up where I would literally shift from an online therapy session to a live session to a Zoom session. At first, it was fun because it was new and novel and exciting, but I had to admit over time, I was actually becoming more fatigued, then if I just did face-to-face sessions on a particular day and then… Because you get in a certain rhythm and you get in a certain sort of… You get in a role and it’s easier, it’s inertia basically.

 

CC: Absolutely.

 

DW: The body at remains at rest. The body in motion remains in motion but you’re staying in motion in the same way and I think that’s going to work out really well for me. I’m committed to testing it for six months, so I’ll let you know.

 

CC: Okay. Well… And I always wanna be cognizant of people who may just be, just who found this podcast, and that they haven’t been regular listeners, I wanna back up and just define some terms that we’ve talked about. A simple practice, for example, is a practice management tool. A lot of people are huge fans of them. Zoom, you keep using the word Zoom. Zoom is a video platform. I just did a podcast on them a couple of weeks ago, spoke with their head of telehealth, Derek Pando and they are a HIPPA compliant, encrypted, secure Skype-type video platform and they’re free. If you want to get the HIPPA compliance, then you have a charge for the business associate agreement, but they are a great service and they are designed for telehealth and they’ve got 600,000 companies around the world, so a lot of therapists are using Zoom to be HIPPA compliant and connect online with their clients. Just knowing that, here’s the thing, if you’ve been a listener of the podcast, and you know that many times, I’m asking a lot of questions and pulling a lot of information out. With you, I can just kinda sit back and listen because I’m fascinated by you.

 

[laughter]

 

CC: I think you’re incredibly interesting, but just being aware of time, I want you to kind of briefly talk about what it’s been like for you to change from a therapy focus to coaching, and yeah, just what’s that been like for you, as a therapist, financially, spiritual, the whole, what’s going on?

 

DW: I get a lot of questions about this, and I think it is fascinating. I think at some point I’m probably gonna start a blog, I grabbed the URL couch coach.

 

CC: Oh, I like that.

 

DW: Isn’t that good? Because I just think there’s so many therapists who are looking for, frankly, other ways to work with people and coaching has caught a lot of people’s eye. What I will say, Clay, is that, like I said, earlier, I had a bias against coaching without even knowing what it was.

 

CC: Yeah.

 

DW: And I think many therapists do. Now, while it’s true that most coaches do not have a mental health background, it’s also true the most therapists don’t know how to coach.

 

CC: Absolutely.

 

DW: So I think we can learn from each other and I will say at this point in my life, and it’s partly my personality, it’s partly where I am developmentally, but I sort of evolved into the coaching role, because I see it as being more focused on the future, a more solution-focused, more… I think the primary benefit to coaching is accountability and so it has different goals. When I was a therapist even though I was a cognitive behavioral therapist, I was a strength-based solution-focused cognitive therapist. I think there is a perception with therapy, that it can only take a person so far. And this was actually fascinating to me, Clay, because when I sort of did the conversion on my therapy practice, all the clients that I had been seeing who were appropriate for coaching were made an offer, “continue working with me, we will terminate your agreement as a therapy client and start an agreement as a coaching client.” The majority of them said no… Now it wasn’t because they didn’t wanna work with me anymore, it was because they had different expectations of the work, and of themselves as coaching clients. And I think that this is something that therapists who are considering coaching need to know. Coaching is focused on outcomes, goals and results.

 

CC: Right.

 

DW: And frankly, with therapy, often times we can’t even measure our outcomes. That’s one of the complaints some people have about the field and what I will tell people in a nutshell, is that insight is incredibly valuable and I would not be the person I am without having spent lots and lots and lots of time in therapy. However, I personally reached a point where I was not reaching my personal goals with a therapist and I started working with a coach, and now, I think after a couple of years of having done both, I really can appreciate the difference. And I now do a coach-ability assessment when someone hires me. Because frankly, there are people who need a therapist but they want to coach because there’s a relatively less stigma, but I ethically will not work with someone as a coach, when I have assessed them to really be much more appropriate for therapy, all risk offending them, and turning away the possibility to have them as a client, because I really see them as two very separate modalities appropriate to two different groups of people.

 

CC: Alright.

 

DW: And that’s just me, not everyone agrees.

 

CC: Well, I agree and I think that there are… Obviously, you’ve gotten some training on this, you just didn’t hang out a shingle, which you could say “I’m going to be a coach, I’ll read a book or take a weekend course…

 

DW: Not even… You could just print up some business coach…

 

CC: Absolutely.

 

DW: Cards declare yourself a coach and proof you’re a coach.

 

CC: Yeah.

 

DW: It’s an unregulated industry, no one can stop you.

 

CC: Right. But if you’re going to be ethical, and you want to provide value, it’s incumbent upon you to get some kind of training and… And there’s a lot out there and we’ll mention your training in the show notes… But quickly, what was it again?

 

DW: The TheLifeCoachSchool.com.

 

CC: The Life Coach School…

 

DW: The Life Coach School is not for therapists, it is not a program that trains therapists. So, I’m now at sort of an interesting place, Clay, where I realize I no longer fit with most of the therapy community, but I also don’t fit with most of the coaching community. I’m kind of in this weird no man or no woman’s land, but I have a vision, I hope that there will be more therapists in the future who want to become coaches, who want to become ethical coaches with a high level of credibility, confidentiality, but with the focus on outcomes and accountability that coaching is really intended for, and I could see a time where therapists and coaches could work collaboratively and refer to each other, but I think we’re a ways away from that now.

 

CC: Yeah. So financially, it’s been a good switch for you since January?

 

DW: I’m still working on building the coaching practice, but I would say, what I’ve been able to do is raise my fees to the point where I can see fewer clients and maintain my income, ultimately in order to leverage and scale and grow my business, I will need to be working with people in groups rather than individually. I’m currently working strictly with individuals, but my plan is to do group work online. I did my beta group, as I had mentioned earlier, which was really exciting but I’ve since changed my niche… So I need to adapt and create that content for a new group.

 

CC: Absolutely, and your niche is the women over 50, correct?

 

DW: Actually, as a result of my own ADHD diagnosis [chuckle] and finding out that there are a number of women who are being diagnosed after the age of 40, in fact it’s the fastest growing group of people within the ADHD diagnosis, there’s a lot of reasons for this, we don’t have time to go into, but women are more likely to be overlooked than men…

 

CC: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

 

DW: And they get diagnosed with anxiety and depression, misdiagnosed but actually the underlying cause is their ADHD and that was the case for me. So, I’m pivoting yet again and niching down even further to working specifically with women diagnosed in mid-life with ADHD.

 

CC: Wow, what a niche. Those people out there that are concerned about their niche being too specific [chuckle], this is a wonderful example of… Look at the numbers but also follow your heart and what you’re passionate about. One other… Just quick question as we wrap up, and I didn’t prep you for this, so sorry about that, but I just wonder if…

 

DW: Oh oh.

 

CC: Ah oh.

 

[laughter]

 

CC: What… Because I think that you’ve been quite successful in one area, now you’re challenging yourself to grow in a different area. Do you have a tip or does a tip come to mind for marketing, or growing your practice that maybe some people can walk away with going, “Oh, I never thought about that, this is a great way,” something that you’ve seen has been successful for you?

 

DW: Absolutely, I would say I’m someone who’s come late to the party in this regard, I’ve heard you have to niche down, you have to serve a very specific group of people. And I actually thought women at mid-life was a niche because over a bit my career, I’ve been trained to work with and I’ve worked successfully with all kinds of different people. So to me, this was narrow but the absolute truth is finding a specific group of people that you become an absolute expert in, you come to understand them even better than they understand themselves, you come to anticipate their needs over time. And a group that resonates with your personal story, whether it’s something that’s happened to you, such as overcoming childhood abuse, or family alcoholism or something like that or it’s as a result of someone close to you, it’s probably one of the biggest changes I’ve experienced since becoming a coach. Our professional credentials as therapists will carry the day, even if our clients know nothing about us, but in the coaching world, people want to know that you have overcome the specific challenge that you are going to help them overcome. So your personal story has tremendous relevance, and I now believe that that is true for both online therapists and coaches because we need to market ourselves in the online space.

 

CC: Yeah.

 

DW: People have to have a reason to connect with us and people connect with us because we share who we really are and our personal stories. So that would be the best advice I could give.

 

CC: Great advice. Diann, again, I love talking to you, I’m so glad that we were able to connect and find each other. What… Remind me of your website. It’s Diann Wingert coaching?

 

DW: DiannWingertCoaching.com.

 

CC: Okay, we will put that in the show notes.

 

DW: I’m going to be developing my new branding under the URL Stigma Free ADHD.

 

CC: Ah… I like that, I wanna make sure I’ll look at them.

 

DW: Not well developed yet, but depending on when someone listens to this episode, it may very well be there.

 

CC: Absolutely. Diann, again, thank you for coming on the show and we wish you the absolute best.

 

DW: Thanks so much, Clay, it’s been my pleasure.

 

www.diannwingertcoaching.com