Coaches & Mentors for Teens and Young Adults

Parent Q&A

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  • A young man, age 30, is seeking someone to work with on an ongoing basis financial, employment, education and career issues to move forward in life after after a decade + of troubling bad choices.

    This isnt exactly therapy (though seeking that as well) but like a guidance counselor for an there such a person? Can anyone suggest or recommend? Thank you

    How hopeful that this young man is wanting to work with someone. I researched this quite a bit a couple of years ago; although my son is not open to working with anyone yet. The organization that seemed most promising is East Gate Mentoring. I recommended East Gate to a neighbor, and their 30+-year-old is having a positive experience with one of their mentors.

    Hi, I would like to recommend life coach Terek Humphreys in Berkeley. I found him on this site over a year ago and recommended him to my son. He’s been very helpful! 

  • My adult daughter has been depressed for years, and we haven't seen much improvement even after many years of therapy, most recently with an experienced DBT therapist. She is on anti-depressant meds. I am now researching the next steps for treatment.

    Until we come up with a longer-term plan, I'm looking for a coach who can help her structure her days and set up some process for accountability. This might be an ADD coach who can help with procrastination and decisions. Or a "productivity coach" who can do the same. I've also heard about "behavior-activation" coaches. Ideally this person would be female, experienced and warm.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    My daughter is also in that situation -- depression, anxiety, ADHD, mild ASD, some OCD. She's worked with two coaches she liked a lot.

    Eve Livingston has a therapeutic background but is now working as a coach. She definitely meets all your requirements of female, experienced, and warm. Even years later, she still checks in with me and my daughter about how she's doing. Love her so much!

    A guy, but my daughter liked working with him: Coach Kenji. He's specifically an ADHD coach. He has ADHD himself and takes a strong line on rephrasing ADHD brain as a creative strength, not a weakness. He was also warm, super enthusiastic, good about encouraging my daughter to take the lead in shaping what coaching looks like, emphasized that he was working for her not me, and there to support her, not tell her what to do. He is involved with mindfulness meditation, if that would be of interest. kenji [at]

  • Hello - my almost 18-year-old son may be returning to Berkeley after a year of wilderness then residential treatment. I have heard of people in other cities engaging life coaches to help their kids stay sober, keep in shape, and engage productively in their lives. We parents will do our part of course, but I would love to find a young man that my son could connect to in this way, someone who fills the slot between therapist and mentor. Does anyone have ideas, references, etc? Thanks

    My friend is using Coyote Coast in Orinda. They help the returning teens and their families have a smooth transition home and a successful life after. They have mentoring program too. My friend says it has been a great resource for them.


    This was a really scary and challenging time for us one year ago. I hope your RTC is heavily involved with the transition planning with a home treatment plan you have worked on together with agreements for expectations, responsibilities and privelidges. The best part of our home treatment plan was agreements we made about scenarios, behaviors and situations that we should be worried about and consider a warning sign for help.  I had been involved with Willows in the Wind, a support group for families contemplating or with children in wilderness/RTC while my son was in RTC and as we worked towards his transition home, they were able to assist me with a grant for  mentor Conor Powell through Eastgate Mentoring. Willows also recommends Coyote Coast. 

    Conor was a great match for my son and did a wonderful job, though there are some pitfalls with foisting a mentor on someone who doesn't want one, which was our situation. For us we needed to bridge the gap between a summer with no planned structure until school started and Conor did exactly what we needed to give some structure to some of his days.  If your son wants a life coach, that's wonderful he is asking for what he needs

    We are now a little more than 1 year post-RTC and things are "good enough".

    Good luck to you.


    Coyote Coast specializes in helping people in your exact situation, and they are very good at it. I highly recommend giving them a call ASAP. They are often all booked up, but it's worth calling. They have "mentors" who are actually licensed therapists and provide a variety of levels of support. Our family has benefited from their services.

    I also cannot say enough good things about AA. They do have "young persons" meetings, and your son could find a sponsor. They encourage not only sobriety, but "clean living" in general, which includes being honest, taking responsibility, and other traits that everyone could benefit from.My understanding is that recovering addicts of all kinds are welcome at AA meetings (even for recovery from non-alcohol substance abuse).

    We had a fantastic experience working with Coyote Coast after our kid came home from wilderness.  They have an intensive wraparound program with family therapy and a mentor plus groups if you want it. 

  • I'm looking for a peer mentor(female only) to provide regular social support for a young adult who struggles with ADHD, neuro diversity & social anxiety. Ideally someone who is studying to become a counselor or therapist & can model desired behaviors while out in the community. Any leads on how to find such a person highly appreciated. TY

    Try East Gate Mentoring.  Yoshi Hedges is wonderful!  mentor [at]

    They work all over the bay.

    Jan Rao


    You might consider:East Gate Mentoringwww.eastgatementoring.comI spoke with Connor there regarding mentoring for my son. There is also a female mentor who's name I forget. My son was not receptive to the idea, so we did not move forward. However, East Gate Mentoring was recommended to me by a trusted source.

  • I am looking for a ‘case manager’ type therapist for my young adult son who has significant mental health issues and needs professional help to become more independent and responsible for his own well-being. He sees a therapist who provides specific treatment for his illness however I believe he would benefit from seeing a therapist/social worker one-on-one (i.e. not in a group at this time) who can help him on his day to day living, set short and longer-term goals, review with him how he spends his time and money, work on life skills and decision making.  He has OPTUM (formerly UBH) insurance and it would be great to find someone in network, preferable in Oakland, Berkeley, or Albany.

    You sound like a very loving and compassionate parent. I have looked into the type of service you are describing for my young adult child with similar issues and added substance misuse. One resource that was recommended to me is East Gate Mentoring (  Unfortunately, my young adult has refused all support, so I cannot speak to an experience with them, other than I had a couple of phone calls with Conor. I found him to be compassionate and insightful; he sounded experienced.

    Although farther from you, you might also reach out to Cindy Savelli (ccbs91 [at] who runs a Parents Helping Parents Anxiety and Mood Disorders Support Group in San Jose. She is a wealth of information, and I imagine could point you to resources in the east bay.

    Another option you might consider now or in the future is transitional independent living ( I learned of this from an acquaintance who's young adult is there now. Her impressions are favorable.

    I'll follow this thread, as I look forward to hearing what others have to say so I'm ready with resources when my young adult is ready to accept support.

    Try contacting NAMI East Bay to network with other families who've dealt with this issue. NAMI stands for "National Alliance for the Mentally Ill" and it's a non-profit that helps the mentally ill and their family.

    Good luck!

  • Our current 7th grader seems to be struggling with staying focused in class, not being disruptive, etc. and we are concerned.  We'd like for him to take some time this summer to really focus on shoring up some skills and goals so he can stay on track.  

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a local coach who can work both on academics (I.e. how to craft an essay) and more of the motivation / executive function side of things?

    Fabulous mentor, tutor, teacher is Deborah Newlen.  She helped my same-aged daughter with all of the same needs. Smart, kind, focused and a great motivator of students. Best teacher/tutor my kid ever had. She is founder and head teacher at Bay Area Education Center (Pt. Richmond).  Reach her at 510-691-6624.