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Rosa: A Case Study

Updated: May 9


Abstract

This case study presents the transformative coaching journey of Rosa (pseudonym), a 45-year-old Latina woman living in a small conservative town in Middle America. At the outset of services, Rosa’s life was marked by a series of challenges, including a recent romantic breakup, struggles with substance use, and a sense of dependence on her parents for financial support. Seeking guidance and empowerment, Rosa embarked on a coaching journey grounded in evidence-based practices from cognitive behavioral (CBT), logotherapy, solution-focused approaches, trauma-informed care, and the hierarchy of needs.

           

The coaching process began with deeply exploring Rosa’s values, beliefs, and aspirations, laying the foundation for intentional goal-setting and transformative action. Through reflective practices and introspective exercises, Rosa has gained clarity on her values, strengths, and areas for growth, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-awareness. Drawing upon principles of self-authorship and sovereignty, Rosa has embraced her inherent power to craft her narrative and reclaim control over her life.

         

As the coaching journey unfolded, Rosa navigated obstacles, reframing challenges as opportunities for growth and self-discovery. Rosa has overcome limiting beliefs through compassionate self-inquiry and various strength-based interventions. In the process, she has cultivated resilience and aligned her actions with her most profound aspirations.

           

This case study highlights cycles of expansion and contraction inherent to the coaching process. The cyclical nature of the coaching model and life itself are vital ingredients in this transformative process.


Keywords: Case Study | SOJOURN | CBT Approaches | Logotherapy | Solution-focused Approaches | Trauma-informed Care | Coaching | Growth | Empowerment


Introduction

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery and transformation requires courage, commitment, and guidance. At the heart of this transformative process lies the essence of coaching—a collaborative partnership to unlock one's innate potential, overcome obstacles, and embrace new beginnings. Grounded in evidence-based principles drawn from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), logotherapy, solution-focused therapy, trauma-informed care, and hierarchy of needs, the SOJOURN coaching model offers a holistic framework for personal growth and empowerment.


Self-discovery is rooted in the understanding that self-awareness is the cornerstone of change. Therefore, the coaching journey begins with deeply exploring the client’s values, beliefs, and aspirations. Drawing from the principles of logotherapy, which emphasizes the search for meaning and purpose in life, the client embarks on a quest to uncover the unique tapestry of the soul. Through reflective practices and introspective exercises, the client clarifies her values, strengths, and growth areas, laying the groundwork for intentional goal-setting and transformative action.


Building upon the insights gained through self-discovery, the client and coach translate values into actionable objectives that resonate with the client's spiritual truth and aspirations. The alignment between the coaching process, the client's objectives, values, and life domains is facilitated by the principles of CBT, which emphasize the importance of setting specific, measurable goals that are achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Through collaborative dialogue and goal-setting exercises, the coach and the client establish sacred intentions that guide the client's journey to self-realization and fulfillment.


Utilizing solution-focused approaches, the client and coach engage in journey mapping—a transformative practice that visually documents life experiences, challenges, and personal growth. Like creating a roadmap for the soul, this process enables the client to identify patterns, pivotal moments, and expansion opportunities. By weaving together past experiences and future aspirations, the client gains a deeper understanding of her journey and cultivates resilience in the face of adversity.


The SOJOURN approach is partially rooted in trauma-informed care and recognizes that obstacles are not barriers but opportunities for growth and healing. Through compassionate inquiry and strength-based interventions, the coach supports the client in reframing challenges, overcoming limiting beliefs, and cultivating resilience. Drawing upon mindfulness techniques and cognitive restructuring strategies, the client develops coping skills to navigate the cyclical nature of transformation with grace and resilience.


Informed by the hierarchy of needs principles, the coaching process emphasizes the interconnectedness of physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. By tapping into inner wisdom, accessing intuition, and nurturing strengths, the client unlocks her boundless potential and aligns with the cosmic flow of life. Through transformational practices and sacred rituals, the client cultivates present-moment awareness and deepens her connection to her authentic self, paving the way for profound personal growth and self-actualization.


The model reflects on the cyclical nature of transformation; therefore, our coaching journey involves periodic reflection and adaptation. Informed by solution-focused therapy and trauma-informed care principles, the client observes the rhythms of her spiritual evolution and adapts intuitively to changing circumstances. Through emotional regulation and cognitive flexibility, clients cultivate resilience and adaptability, ensuring alignment with their evolving narrative and soul's purpose.


Finally, as the client stands at the threshold of a new beginning, the echoes of her work throughout time reverberate in the background. Guided by ritual and acknowledgments, the client emerges as the radiant being she is, ready to embrace a new phase of life with renewed purpose and self-awareness. The cyclical journey of self-discovery and transformation perpetuates the transformative dance of the soul, inviting ongoing growth and new beginnings.


The SOJOURN model helps clients reach a heightened self-awareness through self-discovery techniques and exercises designed to help them live fulfilling, productive, and intentional lives.


Coaching Philosophy

The central tenet of this coach’s work is the intimate understanding that clients are the experts in their lives. At the heart of this coach’s philosophy lies the fundamental belief that clients are sovereign authors of their lives. Drawing upon principles of the coaching model, which integrates evidence-based practices of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), logotherapy, solution-focused therapy, trauma-informed care, and the hierarchy of needs, this coach honors the client’s inherent wisdom, resilience, and agency.


It is recognized that each client possesses an innate sovereignty—a divine birthright that empowers them to navigate life’s journey with autonomy and self-determination. This coach’s role is not to prescribe solutions or impose agendas but to serve as a compassionate guide, supporting clients in accessing their inner wisdom, clarifying values, and aligning their actions with their deepest aspirations.


This coach firmly believes that clients are the foremost experts in their lived experiences. Clients gain insights into their unique strengths, challenges, and aspirations through deep reflection, self-inquiry, and exploration. This coach’s role is to create a safe and supportive environment for clients to explore and articulate their truths, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-awareness.


Central to this coaching philosophy is the concept of self-authorship—a belief in the inherent power of individuals to craft their narratives, define their paths, and create lives of purpose and fulfillment. By honoring the principle of self-authorship, this coach empowers clients to take ownership of their choices, embrace their inherent worthiness, and cultivate lives aligned with their deepest values and aspirations.


True fulfillment arises from a harmonious alignment of mind, body, and spirit—a balance that emerges when individuals honor their sovereignty, embrace their self-determination, and align with their authentic selves. Through the coaching process, clients are supported in cultivating this sense of harmony, guiding them toward greater self-awareness, resilience, and inner peace.

Let's explore the model, the coaching philosophy, and the application as we meet Rosa.


Client Background


Rosa K is a 45-year-old Latina single mother of three children, ages 25, 17, and 5, and grandmother to a four-year-old girl. Rosa is the youngest of four siblings. She lives in a small conservative town in Middle America in a house that belongs to her parents. Rosa was married for over ten years and reports divorcing due to her husband's infidelity. Since her divorce, she reports having been in on-again, off-again relationships with several men. 


Living Conditions


Rosa lives in a small house that belongs to her parents. She shares the house with two of her children. Her oldest child has been married and living independently for several years.


Employment


Rosa stopped working while pregnant with her youngest child, who is now five years old. She used to work in a meat processing plant, where she reports being respected and appreciated due to her initiative and hard work. During her pregnancy, the intensity of the job became overwhelming for Rosa, prompting her to resign when her parents offered support. She has not held a job since, and her parents cover her expenses and those of her children. 


History of Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions


While Rosa has never been diagnosed with a mental health condition, she meets the criteria for a post-traumatic stress diagnosis. She, however, has a history of substance use; her primary or preferred substance is cocaine, and her secondary is marijuana. Alcohol, while understood to be a gateway substance, was not listed as a problem by the client. Subsequent conversations pointed to moments of promiscuity following those in which the client engaged in binge drinking. In those instances, the client recognizes that alcohol was a factor in her decision-making process, leading her to engage in what she has termed "soul-depleting encounters" with men.


Relationships


Rosa's life revolves around her three children and her granddaughter. She has seldom mentioned her siblings in coaching sessions and has chosen not to engage in conversations about them. Rosa's relationship with her mother is contentious, as reported by the client. She has what she calls a gentler relationship with her father. Her father and mother are seniors, retired, and reportedly financially stable. They cover all of Rosa's expenses and often care for her youngest child and grandchild.

           

Rosa's relationship with her oldest child seems to be a source of joy. She confides in her child often and spends time with her. Per the client's report, her relationship with her middle child, age 17, is amicable and supportive.

           

According to the client's report, Rosa's most recent romantic partnership is an on-again, off-again affair. At this writing, the client reports that they are in their cycle's "on-again" phase. Rosa has had "one-night stands" in the off-again phases of their relationship, which she reports is due to her inability to be alone.


Assets and Strengths


Rosa is a vibrant, funny, well-spoken, and caring woman. She presents younger than her chronological age, both physically and emotionally. Her love for her children is evident in everything she says and does. When talking about her children and her relationship with them, Rosa comes to life.

           

Rosa is also talented and inventive. She has described herself as a hard worker who only stops once the job is done. Rosa is humble in her presentation but has a surprising capacity for introspection. Her desire for self-actualization prompts her to seek informal education, learning through books, podcasts, and interactions with people she admires, albeit online.

           

Rosa is self-aware and possesses an insatiable thirst for learning. Even when she resists an idea in the first place, she is willing to give it its deserved opportunity. While she has described herself as having poor boundaries, she can verbalize her disagreement with the direction of the coaching sessions when they stray from her desired outcome. Her commitment to her success and the well-being of her children has prompted her to seek help in whatever way is available to her. Rosa is also highly punctual, communicative, and committed to coaching.


Imminent Danger


Rosa reported feeling despondent during our first session. However, a safety check revealed low to no risk of harm to self or others. At the time, she reported that her recent relationship had ended abruptly and that while there was ample evidence that the relationship would end, this development took her by surprise.


Reasons for Seeking Coaching


Rosa came to coaching seeking support after her most recent romantic relationship ended. At the time of the first call, Rosa had spent a week in bed, reportedly crying and drinking. In the nights before the call, Rosa reports bringing a stranger to her house whom she met on a dating application. Rosa reported feeling remorseful about having a stranger in her house while her two youngest children were home. This situation was, according to the client, "not new" but rather something she did every time she got drunk.


After establishing the limitations and focus of coaching, Rosa concentrated on the following goals: 1) establishing her business, 2) improving her physical health, and 3) improving her relationships.


Referrals


Due to the complexity of the case, this coach immediately referred the client to mental health services and made it a requirement of the coaching alliance's continuity that the client attend an in-person or virtual Narcotics Anonymous meeting while she secured mental health services. The client obliged.


Coaching Process

In alignment with the SOJOURN model's framework, the client and coach met informally for about thirty minutes in a discovery call to determine the client's needs and the potential benefits of coaching. The coach and client agreed on weekly one-hour sessions once the client determined her desire to focus on her journey of self-discovery and her stated goals.


Welcome Packet and Agreements


Following the discovery call and the delivery of the coaching Welcome Packet, the first phase of the coaching alliance revolved around completing the Intake Packet, which includes:

·         Coaching Intake Form

·         Coaching Client Agreement

·         Coaching Client Schedule A

·         Statement of Intent

·         Confidentiality Agreement

·         Coaching Call Prep Form


Applying the SOJOURN Model

The SOJOURN model centers around the concept of self-discovery. The model has six constructs: objective setting, journey mapping, overcoming obstacles, unleashing potential, reflecting and adapting, and new beginnings. Each construct can stand on its own, supporting the client in her exploration of each phase; however, the model was created to be adaptable, flexible, and to allow movement in every direction: forward towards the following construct, backward towards any previous one, and to move back to its axis. At every juncture, there is a possibility for self-discovery and realignment.

           

At the beginning of the coaching engagement, the work focuses on establishing a baseline for the work ahead and the client’s current state across all life domains. Assessments define the client’s history, life satisfaction in various life domains, and value alignment with objectives. The following list of instruments serves as a sample of potential tools to aid the coach and the client throughout the process:


  • Life Map

  • Wheel of Life

  • Core Value Alignment Worksheet

  • Daily Values Practice Log

  • Spiritual Self-Assessment

  • Spiritual Integration Quadrants Worksheet

  • Gratitude Journal

    • Daily Practice Gratitude Worksheet

  • Habits Tracker

  • SMART Goals Worksheet

  • My Goal Brainstorming Worksheet

  • Understanding Goals Worksheet

  • Self-Awareness Assessment

  • Decision-Making Worksheet

  • Your Go-To Resources Worksheet


Rosa’s Journey

Rosa’s journey started with a text message detailing her pain resulting from her partner’s decision to terminate their relationship. While Rosa had been complaining for months about her partner and had shared her desire to end their relationship, she felt betrayed by his decision and how he executed his exit.

           

Rosa quickly sought support, which is one of her most salient strengths. Once Rosa and this coach established her coaching needs, frequency of meetings, the scope of the service this coach could provide, the importance of seeking support for mental health and substance use conditions, and the pro bono nature of their relationship, Rosa completed all required documentation.

           

In the discovery phase, which lasted about eight weeks, the coach and client worked on establishing trust, understanding the nature and limits of the coaching relationship, and slowly completing the basic assessments. Uncovering and reframing the client’s goals was a crucial part of the process as it fostered the client’s more profound connection with her own goals, her limitations (real and perceived), and the magnitude of her dreams. Perhaps the most important outcome of this first phase was the client’s realization that her values and goals were misaligned, which prompted a revision of her goals and timelines.

           

The client’s love for her family was evident at every juncture in the work's beginning phases, as every goal was attached to a deeply seated desire to see her children blossom throughout the years.

           

Setting objectives and mapping out the journey to their achievement took a life of its own in the coaching process, as creating alignment and unearthing some of the client’s deep-seated beliefs about herself and her circumstances was a crucial component of the coaching alliance. Through this exploration, the client rediscovered her sense of pride for the work she had done in the past, was able to validate her place in the workplace, and identified character traits and skills that are transferrable to her role as an entrepreneur, should she choose to follow through with her goal of owning her business.

           

By week twelve of the work together, the client surprised this coach by sending her a photo of her DBA documentation, opening a page for her company on Facebook, and creating her first set of flyers and business cards.

           

Shortly after, obstacles appeared in the client’s inability to create a menu for her business and respond to potential clients’ inquiries about her products and pricing. After reassessing the situation and engaging in exercises centered on solution-focused approaches and cognitive restructuring, the client could recall other moments when she had seemingly failed, how she had recovered, and what she had learned.


After a few sessions, the newly acquired language of reframing challenges to opportunities took root in the client. Necessary to this process, short-term goals, such as promoting her services and creating a website, had to be reassessed and remapped to reflect her changing goals and values.

           

Rosa’s potential seemed to be unleashed by late October of 2023 when she followed through with the session goal of signing up for her first farmer’s market. During the following sessions, the client and coach revisited the goal, adapted the plans to meet the demands imposed on Rosa by the moment, and created a strategic plan for her participation. Once the market had passed, Rosa and this coach met to assess the venture's successes and areas of opportunity, thus reaching the “reflect and adapt” phase of the coaching model.

           

During the post-market assessment, Rosa reflected on the lessons learned, shared some of the errors in product placement she had made, made notes about what products had successfully sold versus those that no one seemed to be interested in, and adjusted her menu.

           

In January 2024, after a two-week hiatus due to the holidays, the coach and client met again, and the client reflected on the previous five months of coaching. During this first meeting of the year, the client related the following:


  • Coaching had allowed her to see herself in a different light and had allowed her a glimpse into her potential for success.

  • She was still struggling with issues related to self-esteem but agreed that venturing into the world of entrepreneurship had provided a renewed sense of possibility.

  • She was still struggling with her on-again, off-again relationship and had kept the information hidden from this coach for fear of being judged.

  • Related how much she felt she had grown to appreciate herself.

  • She shared how she had ventured outside her comfort zone repeatedly during the first five months of coaching and how reluctantly she had done so.

  • Surprised this coach by relating that she had signed up for four more markets in the upcoming months and surprised herself by planning seasonal menus for the remainder of 2024.


At this time, Rosa completed all initial assessments again in January to establish a comparison between her present state of being and that of the beginning of the coaching alliance. To her surprise, her values had shifted considerably and seemed to be in alignment with her newfound drive.


Because of Rosa’s profound desire for change and incredible commitment to the coaching process, this coach has decided to continue working with her pro bono until December 2024.


New Beginnings


When this case study was originally written, the client was experiencing a relapse in her relationship with her partner, which had a detrimental impact on her focus on self-sufficiency and self-authority as it relates to her business and her future. She had been invited to a monthly farmer’s market due to the quality of her products but had decided not to participate.


However, by the time of this revision, this coach is happy to report that the client participated in the farmer’s market of reference and signed up for several other markets throughout the year. She has started to do market research, has scouted several different venues, and has created a menu containing her “greatest hits.” Completely out of character, she has also started talking to people about her business at the bank, when waiting in line at the supermarket, and even when doing her taxes.


Now, her domestic kitchen and appliances seem to be giving up on her due to the intensity with which she has been using them in the past few months. The coaching conversation has now turned to creating the conditions to purchase commercial equipment for her kitchen and, eventually, expand her business. Therefore, future sessions will explore the possibility of reconfiguring her priorities and restructuring her goals.


Modifications to the Model and Process

Attending to the client's needs and gaps in knowledge has been an integral part of the coaching alliance. Sometimes, the coaching session centers on mentoring the client in business-related areas. An example of this is the strategic planning of her first market. The client and coach worked backward from the market date, identifying milestones, assigning dates and times when tasks would be completed, identifying the resources available and still necessary, and creating a step-by-step map for the client to follow.


At other times, sessions have required that this coach serve as an advisor, providing guidance and support in areas of need. At other times, this coach has served as a spiritual counselor for the client, responding to the client’s plea for help in understanding her chosen path. Finally, there are times when this coach has shown up as a friend and accountability partner.


The model was created to be flexible and accommodating to the client’s needs. Everything in the model allows for forward and backward movement. Everything in the model exists in service of the client and self-discovery.

Conclusion

Working with Rosa for nearly nine months has been a privilege. She has demonstrated the capacity for introspection and willingness to show up to do the work, which are my minimum requirements for engaging in services. Rosa’s coaching journey is a testament to the transformative power of self-discovery, empowerment, and resilience. Through a collaborative partnership grounded in evidence-based practices from cognitive-behavioral therapy, logotherapy, solution-focused approaches, trauma-informed care, and the hierarchy of needs, Rosa has embarked on a profound journey of personal growth and transformation.


From the outset, Rosa faced a myriad of challenges, including a recent romantic breakup, a relapse to alcohol, and a dependence on her parents for financial support. However, with guidance and support, Rosa has navigated these obstacles with grace and courage, emerging radiant and ready to embrace a new phase of life with renewed purpose.


Rosa has cultivated a deep self-awareness throughout her coaching journey, clarifying her values, strengths, and aspirations. Today, Rosa stands at the threshold of a new beginning, momentarily reverting to old behavioral patterns, catching herself early in the behavior, and reestablishing her trust in her chosen path and the journey—all clear indications that she is on the verge of profound and sustained transformation, should she follow through with her stated goals and pursue her dreams.

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3 Comments

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

How beautifully written with care and compassion, showing such growth and transformation along your client's journey. Along with sharing your model way of working, excellent coaching skills, and depth of knowledge this case study brings through your valuable expertise. Thank you for shining your light in this world ❤️

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Carol
Carol
May 09
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Rosa seems like a very lucky woman to have you as her coach. To help her through such hard, trying times & give her the help she needed to figure out what she wanted out of life. You seem to be a really amazing life coach!


This had me laughing & then crying the whole time I was reading it. 💜

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Guest
May 09
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This is written so beautifully and seeing Rosa’s growth in real life has brought me so much joy. Thank you for all you’ve done!

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