Who I Am + Where I’ve Been

My name is Gaelyn Rae Emerson (*), and I am utterly, hopelessly, head-over-heels in love… with my job.

I work full-time as a betrayal trauma recovery coach, with advanced training in couples relationships, divorce recovery, problematic sexual behavior and sex addiction induced trauma. Within this field, I combine 16 years of personal and professional experience, “down in the trenches” with other women, reeling and healing together from the impact of sexual betrayal.

For the past twenty years, I’ve walked through various life and relationship experiences. I’ve been married and divorced. I’ve been independent and codependent. I’ve lived within in relationships fueled by passion and anchored by commitment—yet complicated by addiction, depression and religious conviction. I’ve struggled to hold onto myself within these relationships, often dismayed at the aftermath of my own self-abandonment. I’ve worked through years of therapy, coaching, mentorship and sponsorship. I’ve healed my own hurts. I’ve developed my own boundaries. I’ve even found my own grownup, indoor voice. It hasn’t been easy, but along the way I’ve encouraged myself with one simple fact: Every single one of these experiences, from the most joyful to the most painful, has proven to be fundamentally transformational. Each experience has contributed something of substance to my life—and by extension, to my work in this field—broadening my perspective, increasing my understanding and deepening my capacity for genuine empathy.

Come to think of it, “Who I Am” is mostly the result of challenges I didn’t intentionally choose for myself: jobs I didn’t seek, losses I didn’t expect, pain that I absolutely DID NOT want to experience. Realistically, my life hasn’t played out according to Plan A. Instead, somewhere along the way, I actually began to embrace Plan B. Today, I realize that I genuinely LOVE this life—THIS life, not the one I imagined once upon a time. I certainly haven’t “arrived,” and I don’t know what comes next. But no matter what tomorrow brings, I know that I can rally the resources I need to meet it with grace and to make it count.

Hmm… maybe I’ll call that Plan C.

Personal Roots, Professional Branches
16 years ago ago, I survived a traumatic divorce following my first husband’s online sexual activity, infidelity and abandonment. Since then, I’ve spent 11 years fighting passionately for the survival of my second marriage (and subsequent divorce), healing from the actions of my second husband, a guy who’s severely addicted to internet porn.

Through the abrupt loss of my first marriage, I’ve developed an intense sensitivity to women whose relationships don’t survive—women who heal alone in the aftermath of relationships mortally terminated by sexual betrayal. Through the long-term struggles of my second marriage, I’ve discovered an equally passionate empathy for women whose relationships continue into the realm of recovery—women who heal in close proximity to the broken men who’ve so brutally wounded us.

In my capacity as a specialist within this field, there’s no single question I hear more frequently than this one: “Should I stay, or should I go?” By combining my personal and professional experience (including input from the hundreds of women I’ve known, supported and coached during these past 15 years), here’s what I’ve concluded:

There’s self-love, self-sacrifice and post-traumatic growth involved in BOTH scenarios.

This conclusion is what fuels my conviction that healing requires us, as women, to exercise equal measures of guts and grace, regardless of our relationship status, on any given day. And that’s precisely why I chose to specialize in both couples relationships and divorce recovery; it empowers me to promise my clients, “I’m equipped to support YOU, no matter which direction you embrace for yourself and your future.” It’s a vision initially informed by my own two marriages, deepened by exposure to my clients’ collective experiences, and secured by my professional training, supervision and certifications.

Bottom line? I can’t promise you (or any woman) that your relationship will survive the trauma of sexual betrayal. That’s a disservice in which I refuse to participate. Instead, what I CAN promise is that YOU will survive—and that when your path becomes unbearably difficult (which at some point, it inevitably will), I will have your back. I’ll support you as you impress yourself with your own capacity to make tough decisions, and I’ll witness your growing ability to take meaningful actions on your own behalf.

So, Why Am I Coaching?

The basic answer is really quite simple: I coach because I’m DONE sitting on the sidelines, watching women struggle to get their own lives back. I’ve taken LOTS of formal coach training (see my list of credentials below)—and it’s that education that qualifies me to coach in a professional capacity. That training is what equips me, but it isn’t what drives me. From my deepest, most passionate place, I do this work because I’ve lived it AND because I believe in it. By seeking support from others, I have gotten MY own life back, and that’s the greatest testament I can possibly offer to you. As a betrayal trauma recovery coach, I’m committed to provide passionate AND qualified support to my clients—inviting you to focus on getting your own life back, providing an invitation of hope and help for your future.

Sometimes, it’s the little things…
I’m a woman of passion, and I’m a woman of faith. I’m nearly 40 (though I feel much older!) and my life is somewhat unconventional. But honestly, that suits me perfectly. I’m creative and expressive, an artist by skill and a writer at heart. Because of issues related to my physical health, I don’t have children of my own, and I’m genuinely okay with that—though I can’t imagine life without the children I’m privileged to know and love. I’ve lived in the Midwest, the Middle East and Southern California. I currently divide my time between Minnesota (where I coach clients online through my private practice, Women Ever After) and Florida (where I’m on staff at CORE Relationship Recovery Center). In these various capacities, I travel quite frequently, working “from the road” more often than not. I’m a highly-sensitive introvert by nature (my happy place is curled up in bed, either knitting, coloring or watching a movie), though I’ve come to discover the irreplaceable value of interacting with other smart and soulful women. My favorite color in the world is green (any shade will do), and I’ve never met a pizza that I didn’t like. My lifelong goal is to “be still and know”—it’s such a huge vision for my life, in fact, that those four words were once written in ginormous letters (no joke) across the wall of my coaching office.

(*) I’ve recently completed a legal name change! You may know me by one of my previous names, Crystal or Rae—but rest assured, you’re in the right place and you’ve got the right girl. Meanwhile, please excuse some temporary inconsistencies throughout my site and marketing materials.

Your needs + your goals + your schedule = your kind of coaching!

Individual Coaching—Long Distance
On-screen or Off-screen (Zoom or Phone) | $100 per each 50–55 minute session, or $150 for each 90 minute session

Individual Coaching—In Person
Face-to-face for local clients | $125 per each 50–55 minute session, or $175 for each 90-minute session

Email Coaching | $75 per each email exchange
For any client who (like me) “must write what [s]he has to say, not speak it.”

Group Coaching | Cost Varies

Coaching or Journaling Workshops | Cost Varies
Small, supportive and intimate group dynamic, focused on narrow points of interest. For recent, current and future coaching groups, click here.

Ready to schedule a session? Let’s get going! Email me at gaelynrae@womeneverafter.com

(New session fees effective June 1, 2018.)

I honestly have minimal ego involved in my professional credentials! That said, I have invested years (and a small financial fortune), to acquire them. While most of my clients hire me based upon my personal story, experience or perspectives, many also appreciate the increased sense of safety they draw from my professional qualifications. In that spirit of increased safety (a priceless gift within this world of betrayal trauma), here are my credentials and professional affiliations:

• APSATS Certified Partners Coach (CPC)
• ICA Certified Professional Life Coach (CPLC)
• ICA Certified Divorce Recovery Coach (CDRC)
• ICA Certified Couples Relationship Coach (CCRC)
• ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
• Member, International Coach Federation
• Member, National Association of Divorce Professionals

So what do all those letters mean, anyway?

Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS-CPC)
As an APSATS Certified Partner Coach (CPC), I’m deeply grateful to have been trained, supervised and certified by Dr. Barbara Steffens, president of The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists, and co-author of Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal. Equipped with this certification, I coach using APSATS’ signature Multidimensional Partners Trauma Model (or MPT-M), a highly effective process that supports my clients’ journey through three unique phases of trauma resolution. Through APSATS, I maintain a very active referral network of practicing coaches, clinicians, researchers, clergy members and other advocates; this allows me to collaborate with a brilliant team of experts who specialize (and sub-specialize) within this evolving field of sex addiction and betrayal trauma. I consider myself profoundly blessed to practice within this community of professional colleagues—and my clients benefit from the meaningful ways that APSATS rallies on their collective behalf.

Impact Coaching Academy (ICA-CPLC, CCRC and CDRC)

Impact Coaching Academy (ICA) offers a unique modular program, one that’s fully accredited by the International Coach Federation. Through ICA’s Life Coach Foundations program, I secured my basic training as a Certified Professional Life Coach (CPLC). Later, through ICA’s curricular add-on programs, I deepened my coaching proficiency, securing two more credentials as an ICA Certified Couples Relationship Coach (CCRC) and Certified Divorce Recovery Coach (CDRC). Within my field of practice, I’ve successfully integrated all three of these complimentary programs, creating one cohesive, solid and broad-spectrum foundation for the work I do with women in every stage of relationships.

International Coach Federation (ICF-ACC)
The International Coach Federation (ICF) is a widely recognized non-profit organization, seeking “to advance the art, science and practice of professional coaching.” ICF is the largest governing body for professional coaches around the world, granting credentials based upon verification of accredited training, mentor coaching and client coaching hours. An ICF credential isn’t easy to get, so I’m grateful to have added my Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation to my professional repertoire!

National Association of Divorce Professionals
The National Association of Divorce Professionals is the first entity of its kind, unifying professionals who serve clients going through all stages of divorce, across multiple fields of professional expertise, coming together in a powerful and productive way: through strategic networking, divorce-centered education and comprehensive professional development. The NADP’s mission is to make a positive impact on the divorce process, through our community of high-achieving professionals. Though most of its members practice in the eastern half of the US, I’ve had the honor of being NADP’s first ever OnlineConnect member—and I remain the only NADP professional here on the West Coast.