Counseling, therapy and life coaching
Wi Awaken
A non-profit charitable organization
700 North Pine Street
PO Box 189
Burlington, Wi. 53105-0755
Our counseling staff consists of master’s and doctorate level therapists
trained in areas including, but not limited to, depression, mood
disorders, personality disorders, adjustment disorders, trauma, anger
management, substance abuse, addictions, Collaborative Divorce, divorce/separation and
parenting support. 

Make an Appointment or ask a Question: [email protected]

Coaching Services
Life Coaching?

“Coaching” is a term frequently used to describe a series of various activities in order to help you change your life and relationships with others to increase satisfaction. Coaching works on creating new healthy behaviors around wellness, health, relationships, life style transitions, communication, employment and family related issues. Coaching is different than formal counseling in a various ways including:
  • Coaching does not involve a mental health diagnosis, which is required for counseling activities.
  • Coaching can be done either face to face or over the phone/internet where counseling is face to face.
  • Coaching cannot be billed through insurance whereas counseling can.

While both can be short or long term, coaching is usually completed in 10-12 sessions. Some more specific issues that Coaching focuses on include (but are not limited to):
  • Increasing your health by focusing on issues such as stop smoking, weight loss, changing eating habits, decreasing self-defeating behavior, exercise.
  • Coaching is often used after a major surgery (such as cardiovascular related issues), before a surgery (weight loss) in conjunction with your physician.
  • Changing self-defeating behaviors which could include smoking, not exercising, video game/computer usage, shopping, pornography, and gambling and such.
  • Handling life transitions such as due to aging, an injury, a change in employment, relocation, death in the family, separation.
Parent and Family Coaching
In every relationship, good or bad, conflict is present. Without conflict, we are not encouraged to grow through the practice of healthy problem-solving and mood-management skills. Therefore, parental conflict is present in both in tact and separated/divorced families. Because conflict is unavoidable, as parents we are responsible to model to our children healthy conflict-resolution skills and set appropriate boundaries between our adult relationships and parent-child relationships. However, when children are involved in parental conflict they run the risk of developing unhealthy relationships with parents, other relatives, teachers, peers, and possibly within their own partnerships/marriages someday. Emotionally, children may develop depressive and anxiety symptoms prompting risky lifestyle choices later such as alcohol and drug use, aggression, or promiscuity.  Thus, during parental conflict, separation, or divorce, parenting coaching can help provide families the professional support they may need to learn healthy boundaries and mood/stress-management skills to encourage healthy co-parenting and parent-child relationships.
What is co-parenting coaching
Co-parenting coaching began in the late 1970’s as a result of increases in children being raised in dual homes as a result of separation, divorce or pregnancy out of commitment/wedlock. Research identified that children raised in different homes were just as functional and mentally healthy as children raised in dual parent homes as long as certain conditions were met to enhance their development.
By utilizing research on child development, parental approaches, and mental health and resiliency factors, co-parent coaches began working with parents/caretakers/guardians (hereafter referred to as parents) to help ensure the success of their children. Co-parenting coaching is traditionally done with biological parents, but it is not uncommon to involve step parents and grandparents. Any adult that is involved in the parenting process can benefit from this coaching service.

Co-parenting coaching is not counseling. No diagnosis is given to either parent and insurance is not billed. This is a self-pay or grant base service. Co-parenting coaching involves education on child needs and healthy child development, research on creating resiliency factors, parenting and conflict resolution skills.
Counter-product behavior
For co-parenting coaching to be successful it is required that the parents enter the process with the best intention of helping the child or children to be successful and must be willing to put their own emotional needs secondary. Clients cannot be in litigation over custody or placement at the time of, or at any point in the co-parenting coaching. It has been shown consistently that co-parenting coaching cannot be successful while the parents are positioning themselves in court cases.
Parents that make accusations of abuse/neglect against another parent in co-parenting requires that co-parenting sessions being terminated. Founded cases of abuse/neglect traditionally required the adults and children to engage in mental health counseling. Unfounded cases may indicate the possibility of a parental alienation scenario requiring extensive testing and placement recommendations which are beyond the scope of a co-parent coaching. 
The coach role is educational and involves information and approaches to conflict resolution. As the coach is a mandated reporter, if situations of abuse/neglect is suspected, the co-parent coach will make necessary reports to authorities and discontinue services.

Co-parent coaches do not make placement recommendations or testify in court on placement or visitation schedules. Co-parenting coaches do not act in the role of therapist or child custody evaluator.

Co-parent coaches do not take calls or interact with parents outside of schedule appointments. Parents are trained and educated on how to handle situations between themselves.
The Process
Referrals for co-parent coaching often come from the legal system which can include attorneys, guardian ad litems and judges. But referrals coming from schools, family members, and others interested in the best interest of the child is not uncommon.

The co-parent coach meets with the adults either individual or together for the intake assessment to collect basic information on the child and sources of conflict and concern, as well as the sources of agreement and mutual support.

It is recommended that sessions be done in a group format with multiple parents as this service is highly education and members learn from each other with the assistance of the coach. Role plays occur and discussion of common issues are covered.

Parents/guardians that feel they cannot be in the “same room” as the other parent/guardian are not eligible for co-parent coaching and should be referred into individual mental health therapy in order to focus on their own issues in parenting prior to co-parent coaching.

Sessions traditionally are 1 or 1.5 hours (if a group) and occur every other week for 6 months (12 – 14 sessions). Sessions are terminated if the parent/guardians return to court or appear to not be benefiting from the coaching as determined by the co-parenting coach.

For more information or resourses about conflicted parenting please visit