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Coach with Debra or Charise to Take Charge of Change When You Move

"This [A Portable Identity] is an exceptional tool that should be given to every expat woman (first time OR long time) by corporate HR departments or government agencies as soon as an expat assignment is anticipated."

Margaret Sondey,
Corporate Expatriate Accompanying Spouse, Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico

Coaching Services

Frequently Asked Questions

What is coaching?

Coaching is a professional relationship where you partner with a coach for the purpose of accomplishing specific goals in your life. Building on your strengths and aligning with your values, coaching is designed to open new possibilities and choices to optimize your future.

How is coaching different from therapy?

Coaching focuses on the present and the future and is goal-directed. Coaching does not focus on the impact of past history and does not hold a pathology based view or medical model of mental health and well-being. A coach is a mentor and facilitator of change whose objective is to help you maximize your potential, find inspiration, develop your capabilities, help you overcome obstacles that prevent you from achieving your goals, and assist you to find strategies for success.

Why should I consider A Portable Identity Coaching when I relocate internationally?

The research shows that loss of identity is the biggest issue for accompanying spouses. When you engage in coaching with one of us, a powerful partnership is created -- we offer our expertise about identity and relocation, and you are the expert about yourself. Together we create an individualized coaching plan for you that provides a structure to move you forward to achieve the goals you set for yourself and your life. You learn how to reconstruct your identity and effectively manage change so that you can thrive in the mobile lifestyle.

A testament to the power of A Portable Identity Coaching is that you will achieve your goals within a targeted amount of time. We have the advantage of knowing what it's like to be the accompanying spouse; and we have the skills and experience of working with other expatriate accompanying spouses of various nationalities to facilitate positive change in their lives. As your coach, we are with you each step of the way to help you explore and clarify your vision for your life, offer support, encourage you to take risks, to try specific tasks, to overcome obstacles to success, and hold you accountable to yourself so that you create the life you envision where ever you are located in the world.

Why is coaching a valuable service for the accompanying or trailing spouse?

Relocating is challenging and stressful, especially for the accompanying spouse. Your support system almost instantly dissolves or changes significantly when you move. Having a support system when you move has been identified as one of the most critical factors needed for adjustment and a successful transition - the women we have talked to and worked with over the years have echoed this, and the research now backs this statement up as well. Coaching with one of us, Debra or Charise, provides vital support when you move to help ensure a successful transition.

Coaching is a service that will directly benefit you and also have a positive impact on those around you, which ultimately contributes to the best possible expatriate or repatriate experience for you as well as your husband or partner and your family.

We offer our services as relocation and life transitions coaches because we know that coaching provides the support, focus, direction, encouragement and accountability you can benefit from when you move.

How do I know if I'm a good candidate for coaching?

Are you ready or motivated for change? Are you willing to follow through on steps or take risks to accomplish your goals? Do you appreciate direct and honest feedback? Do you value the importance of your experience in the overall success of the overseas assignment? If you answer yes to these questions, you are a good candidate for coaching.

When is the most optimal time for me to begin coaching as an accompanying spouse?

Ideally, the best time to begin coaching is during the pre-departure stage of the move, continuing until you are settled and thriving in your new environment. However, accompanying spouses benefit from starting coaching during any stage of the move, including pre-departure, after arrival, while living overseas and during repatriation.

Will my husband's or partner's employer pay for coaching services for me as an accompanying or trailing spouse?

This is a great question to ask and request of your husband's or partner's employer. However, very few sending organizations actually provide coaching services for the accompanying spouse as part of a relocation package and it is virtually unheard of during repatriation.

As much as we and others have advocated for sending organizations to provide resources (like A Portable Identity) and services to accompanying spouses (like coaching), overall progress in this area is very slow. While we continue to advocate on behalf of accompanying spouses for change in this area, it is up to you to take action and pave the way for your own success in the internationally mobile lifestyle.

Why should I pay for coaching?

When you consider the things you typically choose to pay for, you may find that you skimp on yourself. Paying for coaching is about valuing your own happiness. Coaching is an investment in you and your success when you relocate internationally. Your satisfaction as an accompanying spouse is crucial for the overall success of an international relocation.

When you invest in coaching with Debra or Charise, you are getting the chance to work directly with the women behind A Portable Identity, relocation and life transition coaches who each have over eighteen years experience in the area of identity and the mobile lifestyle of accompanying spouses.

How do I get started?

Contact either Debra or Charise to set up a complimentary session where we can determine whether coaching is a good fit for you and your situation, and to discuss your options for sessions. Our bios have information about our background, education, interests and our individual coaching styles for you to review to help you decide who to contact.

Prior to your first coaching session, you will be sent a Welcome Packet from your coach that includes a coaching services agreement, a client information form, a questionnaire, a coaching call preparation form, as well as information and policies about making payment, scheduling appointments, and confidentiality.

How are sessions conducted?

The venue for coaching is either by phone, Skype, or in person at an appointed time. The Coaching Sessions and Packages page has more detailed information about length and duration of sessions. It is the responsibility of the client to call the coach at the designated time and pay for any long distance phone charges that are incurred.

In the United States: Coaching sessions are primarily conducted utilizing the telephone or Skype.

Outside of the United States: Coaching sessions are typically conducted utilizing Skype.

For clients living in Austin, Texas (Debra Bryson) or the Washington, DC area (Charise Hoge): It may be possible to meet in person for one or more of your coaching sessions. If you are interested in this option, discuss this with your coach (there may be an additional fee for this service).

We offer targeted e-mail support between sessions. You will also receive a Coaching Call Preparation Form that you will complete and send to your coach 24 hours prior to each session so you receive maximum benefit from each session.

Do Debra and Charise offer other types of coaching besides relocation coaching?

Yes. In addition to providing services to accompanying spouses, we also offer coaching on a variety of other topics to expatriates and other individuals. These topics include: other life transitions, such as: marriage or divorce, motherhood, empty-nest, retirement, death of a loved one; and on topics such as: life fulfillment or balance, career issues and planning, stress reduction, developing a life mission or vision, creativity, and obtaining greater joy and peace of mind in your life. See our bio pages for more information about what we each offer, or schedule a complimentary session to discuss your situation with either Debra or Charise .

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