Meet My Coach
My coach is Gem Kennedy, a transformational coach and Emotional Freedom Technique (otherwise known as ‘tapping’) practitioner. She’s also an activist, ex-dieter, queer person, mum to free-range children, podcaster, and zinester.
If all of that makes her sound really cool, that’s because she is.
Image description: Gem, who has plum-coloured wavy hair and who is wearing a long-sleeved orange dress, stands with her arms wide as she smiles towards the sky. She is standing in front of a colourful mural.
What Is Coaching?
Like a lot of the therapeutic practices I’m used to as a person-centred psychotherapist and long-time therapy client, coaching involves an equal partnership between a practitioner and a client, with the coach helping their client get where they want to be.
The overarching goal of coaching is to motivate, inspire, and empower clients to make choices and changes that benefit them. Gem’s specialty in coaching is to encourage and support clients as they reclaim their power and live authentically.
How I Got Started
I found Gem through a leaflet in The Body Love Box, which offered a complementary session focusing on empowering LGBTQ+ people of size to take up space.
Obviously, as an LGBTQ+ person of size (a mid-fat queer non-binary lesbian, to be exact), I was all about that. After about a thousand hours of psychotherapy over about eight years, plus working hard to change my life circumstances for the better, I was feeling pretty on top of my mental health. Even so, I was still struggling with some anxiety, chronic fatigue, unyieldingly low self-esteem, and the general pressure of living in a world that isn’t always built for me. I was not particularly good at taking up literal or metaphorical space. Life was pretty good, but I recognised that it could be much better with a little more work.
I went ahead and booked a self-empowerment breakthrough session, where I spoke to Gem on Zoom about my goals for the year ahead and my hopes and dreams for the future. I had not been great at goal-setting – I tended to make my chosen goals either too high to reach because of my perfectionism or too low to bother with because of my low self-esteem. With encouragement and guidance from Gem, though, my goal-setting for the future became much easier.
I remember telling her about my dream therapy practice; my anxieties and excitement about wanting to travel; my safe and encouraging relationship with my fiancée; and my nervousness about my newly-signed book deal. We explored why it’s so tough to take up space as an oppressed person and what it even means to be ‘productive’ within a capitalist society. I left with a renewed energy and clarity for the future.
I booked a block of further sessions shortly after that and the rest, as they say, is history.
Image description: Gem smiles at the camera while wearing colourful clothing and standing near a colourful wall.
What’s Coaching Like?
In the half a year that Gem has been my coach, I feel like we’ve covered a lot of ground. From helping me let go of my critical inner voice and helping me find my inner cheerleader, to working with my new routine as I juggled huge changes at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, to helping me figure out what the next few years might look like in a balanced and compassionate way, Gem has helped me work out what I needed to let go of, fortify, and introduce to my life to increase my energy and expand my life.
My sessions with Gem have also included EFT (Tapping), Matrix Reimprinting, visualisation, body and breath work, and probably more that I’m forgetting, all of which has been helpful in keeping me connected with my body and my core values.
Coaching sessions with Gem routinely make me feel powerful, energised, heard, and clearer about what I want to do to move forward.
Image description: Gem is standing outside near a tree and some greenery, wearing a scarf and an orange fleece. She is in conversation with another person, looking at them with warm interest.
Hopefully, more coaching! My plan is to continue having transformational coaching with Gem until at least the trans and non-binary guide to good mental health is written and submitted at the end of October. Book writing is a difficult process (who knew, right?) that I’m confident Gem can continue to coach me through. I can definitely see coaching becoming a part of my life as I move forward with my career goals and general adventures, including the continued adventure of taking up space.
Image description: Gem is stood outside with a city street behind her. She is smiling and taking a step toward the camera. She’s wearing a dark-coloured floral dress and a comfy-looking yellow cardigan.
Where You Can Find Gem
You can find Gem’s coaching website right here, and her Twitter account here. There’s plenty of information about her style of coaching, how she’s arrived where she is in life, and what she’s up to right now.
She also runs Queers & Co., an excellent zine-and-podcast combo that covers the lives of queer people as they discuss topics across a huge range of intersections. I particularly related to this podcast episode with Chiron Stamp!
Image description: The Queers & Co. logo, which features bold black type, a wavy Philadelphia Pride rainbow (the one with brown and black stripes), and cute sparkles on a lavender background.
Image description: Gem, who is wearing a dark-coloured floral dress, smiles at the camera near a dark green wall.