Our Mission and Goals

We’re a community of social change agents who experienced our share of struggles through “high-risk” circumstances as adolescents. We managed to overcome the odds, find a way to thrive, and establish lives we can be proud of. Now, we’re committed to reaching back and supporting the next generation of young people who’ve yet to see the light on the other side of their struggle.  

Our mission is two-fold. First, to help young people navigate the challenges unique to the adolescent to young adult transition through evidence-based coaching. Second, to train caring adults and youth serving professionals to do the same.

Our goal is to help fill a support gap for struggling young people, one coach at a time. The unique needs of our audience require developmentally appropriate and research-informed practice. To this end, our services integrate relevant psychology theories and evidence-based models adapted for application in a coaching context. Our content is continuously updated to ensure our services are informed by the most current research.

What is life coaching?

Coaching is a non-directive, person-centered, strength-based, collaborative support service to help functional clients achieve meaningful goals. Coaching provides the structural support clients need to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching emphasizes autonomy, choice, and trust. Clients come to coaching with an interest in self-improvement or measurable progress. Through coaching, clients find insight and direction to identify practical means to reach their goals. The coach guides and supports the client’s planned, intentional, and purposeful action toward achievement from a place of openness, acceptance, and non-judgment. Coaching clients are ready and willing to do the work inherent in the coaching process. They are committed to maximizing their internal and external resources to achieve the outcomes they seek.

Why coaching works well with teens

Adolescents are in a sensitive stage of development. Their social cognition is developing rapidly, which means they're much more sensitive to others' judgments about them. They're more self-conscious as they're developing their identity and trying to decide where they fit in. They're dealing with heightened emotions and sensitivity with hormone surges related to biological changes that are still very new for them. They're wired to be more impulsive and engage in more risk-taking as they're developing a willingness to separate from their family and create their own way. A non-judgmental approach is healthy for all humans, but needed so much more in this developmentally vulnerable stage. The non-judgmental ear can make the difference between if they reach out for help when they're struggling or get the support and guidance they really need as they navigate toward healthy independence. The non-directive approach is a way to respect their need to develop their own voice, choice, and self-confidence.

Our coaching interventions emphasize

self- and others-awareness; self-determination; meaning, purpose, and goal-orientation; proactive skill building; flexibility, tolerance, and collaborative problem-solving.

Our training programs emphasize

research-informed practice, trauma-informed practice, cultural awareness and sensitivity, and social responsibility.

Why research-based matters

Studies show adolescent interventions including personal and social skill-building practices developed from a strong research base significantly enhance self-perceptions, school engagement, positive social behaviors, grades, and reduced problem behaviors while those lacking a research base show minimal effects.

Life Coaching

• Life skills training and coaching for individuals and groups ages 14-24

• Behavioral science-based life, academic, and career discovery focused content

Life Coach Training and Certification

• Foundational coach specific training and certification including practice and supervision for novice coaches

• Mentor Coaching for International Coach Federation Associate Certified Coach applicants

• Coach relevant continuing education for certified coaches

Program Development Consulting

• Program research and development for youth-serving organizations offering youth coaching and mentoring 

International Coach Federation

Approved Coach Specific Training Hours Provider – 63 hours 

Center for Credentialing & Education

Approved Board Certified Coach Training Provider – 30 hours

"As a seasoned mental health professional who has dabbled in different models of practice, I came to YCI thinking that there was not much that I was going to learn that I did not already know about asking questions. However, I was proven incorrect. It was not necessarily new questioning techniques that I learned but when and where to place them coupled with the evidenced-based reason of why I was doing so. Being trained in mental health and other fields themselves, they also knew the fine line between coaching and other disciplines and helped students to be able to clearly differentiate where that line is. So many coaching programs and/or facilitators don't give the depth and breadth of background information that YCI does; which can lead to sticky situations at times. Overall, my clinical skills as a practitioner and critical thinking skills were stretched in new ways. I am excited to take clients on this new journey with these skills that I have learned."

Coaching vs. Therapy - What's the

Coaches and therapists share a common goal – to enhance well-being and outcomes for those they serve. Some therapists are also coaches. Some coaches are also therapists. Deciding which is the best fit for the client depends on their needs and goals. Keep in mind, the same client may work with a therapist and a coach to address different needs and goals. It doesn’t have to be a question of one or the other. Here’s an overview of the primary differences: 

Client's Needs


The patient is struggling with dysfunction related to psychological issues, concerns, or symptoms that interfere with daily tasks. 

The patient needs help coping, alleviating pain, or distress related to trauma, disorders, or illness. 

The patient wants to work through the problems and get back to normalcy.

The patient is looking for a mental health professional to help them overcome and live well again. 


The client is functional and does fine with daily tasks. The client is considered psychologically normal and copes well enough.

The client wants to be better, grow, or set and achieve higher goals. 

The client wants to improve performance, relationships, or life satisfaction.

The client is looking for a success partner to help facilitate the next level of growth, advancement, or change. 

Intervention Approach


Past, present, and future focused

Problem-or solution-focused, it varies

Can be strength-based, it varies

The therapist does offer advice, opinions, and solutions

The therapist is viewed as the expert to help resolve or process what’s wrong

Psychological testing, diagnosis, and treatment


Present and future focused

Solution-focused and action-oriented


The coach does not offer advice, opinions, or solutions

The coach facilitates the client’s progress, growth, and resourcefulness

The coach helps the client build competencies and develop their own solutions. No diagnosing or treating. 

Established 2013. All rights reserved. Contact:  1(855)809-YOUTH (6884) | Dallas, TX US | info@youthcoachinginstitute.com