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Interview with relationship coach Jessica Lynn Taylor

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Jessica Lynn Taylor PhD. is a relationship coach who owns Just Living Today Coaching Ms. Taylor is the author of the self-help book Between a Rock and a Scarred Place.

Eliza: What made you interested in becoming a relationship coach?

Jessica Lynn: I have always been fascinated with people and the relationships that connect us. I have a passion for helping people and I firmly believe when relationships are healthy and whole so are people.

Our relationships with our loved ones shape so many facets of life. These relationships don't have to define us but they play a critical role in our view of the world and our circumstances.

Eliza: What kind of educational and professional background do you have that qualifies you for the job?

Jessica Lynn: I attended Warner Pacific College in Portland Oregon and graduated with a Bachelors in Human Development.

I attended Liberty University and graduated with a Masters in Human Service.

I attended Northwestern Theological Seminary and graduated with a Ph. D. in Christian Counseling.

I attended The Center for Coach Training in Portland Oregon and graduated as a Certified Professional Coach.

I have worked in ministry with youth and families for the last eight years. In this capacity I have mentored, counselled, and taught spiritual development, life skills and relationship dynamics.

I am currently completing a program for Urban Youth Leadership that focuses on equipping leaders to find balance and leverage core values into their personal and ministry pursuits.

My formal education while helpful is really a supplement to my life experience, not the other way around. I am a lover of learning and growth and I see each experience as a new opportunity to challenge what I think I know and how I view the world.

Eliza: What can life coaches offer that other mental health care professionals offer that other kinds of mental health care professionals cannot not?

Jessica Lynn: While obtaining my Bachelor’s degree I completed my Coaching certification. I loved the counseling aspect of helping people but I felt I connected more with a results and action centered approach to personal development. I needed to have a format and solutions to offer people, not just a listening ear and open heart.

Life coaching focuses on the client as the catalyst for their own change. Though I agree the past plays a role in choices and development, the focus in coaching is the "now" and the solutions that can be created though small, actionable changes in thought and behavior.

The solutions focused approach of coaching drew me in as it allowed me to focus on the strengths of the client and leverage the skills they already possessed to create the changes they desired.

Instead of looking at a client as broken I see each client as having everything they fundamentally need to move forward. They may require more information, encouragement or skills but the basics of their humanity alone qualifies them to be in a process of growth and change.

As a professional I love working within the context of coaching mainly because of the focus on the solutions and the hope that lives in each of us. Even when dealing with challenges and very real pain, looking at a burden objectivity then making choices about perspective is a positive and freeing experience- it allows people to rise above their circumstance and find hope.

Eliza: What is the central philosophy behind Between a Rock and a Scarred Place?

Jessica Lynn:,Relationship struggles, emotional scars and issue of the past cloud our perspective in the present. The book challenges readers to elevate their conversations. This includes: asking better questions, listening fully and getting to the emotional root of each issue.

The book is meant to help people connect deeper with practical and easily applicable ways to change destructive thinking and behavior. The focus is on a heart level change that can carry over into all areas where we need greater connection.

Eliza: What experiences do you draw from in the book?

Jessica Lynn: I deal with lots of my own family of origin issues in the book to give a firsthand account of how not to do things. There are lots of stories that paint me in an unflattering light but reveal a lesson in a light hearted manner. I loved the experience of "telling on myself" and being real.

I love learning but I know life doesn't happen in a textbook. I draw from my life and experience. I draw from the conversations I have had over my lifetime that have shaped and changed me. I look to my mentors and people who have spoken hope into my life. It's a big, crazy mess but one that I am excited to share with the world.

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