Coaching with Thanh
Thanh Mai (pr: tah-n m-eye) Bercher + K’taaya [they/them] is a community health educator, organizer, plant tender, storyteller, and auntie on Tovaangar (Tongva land). As a mixed, queer Indigenous person, Thanh seeks to foster new relationship models, address intergenerational trauma, and steward land-based relationships with communities across disaporas. Thanh is a mental health counsellor for trans youth in substance recovery, and provides medicinal mutual aid (via native plants) with relatives in Sɏuxtun (Šmuwič land).
Within this sphere of work, my coaching focuses on picking apart and piecing together overlapping questions, identities, and challenges - in group settings and interpersonal relationships. My collaboration with Spring Up is informed by my time in frontline spaces, academia, nonprofits, autonomous groups, collectives, and tight-knit community groups (tribal communities, refugee households). I have realized that much of the conflict and disappointment that I/we experienced went beyond a ‘lack of tools’ - I/we needed time and space to discuss things fully, without fear of judgment.
‘Everything we want is on the other side of fear’ - is a guiding tenant to the sessions we will have. I hope to share guided questions that explore, open, and affirm specific questions and areas of confusion. This is a space for us to workshop how we bring the abstract/theories from this course into our lives and practices.
Spring Up coaches provide coaching, peer support, and resource sharing to help clients meet their personal goals. Our collaborative approach to coaching is based in a non-hierarchical relationship that is solution focused — coaches recognize that clients are experts in their own lived experience. Coaching is strengths-based and culturally specific in that coaches help the client enhance their inherent strengths, skills, and resources accessible to them. Spring Up coaching has an expectation that the client is ready to engage in further learning and implementation of that learning outside of the session. The coach will not be more invested in the clients’ development than the client themself.
Please note that while many of our coaches are trained in skills of community accountability, mediation, therapy, etc. and will draw on tools from these practices, the coaches do not explicitly facilitate those experiences. While coaches do not engage in crisis response, our commitment to abolition means that in the case of imminent threat of serious injury to oneself or someone else, the client’s safety and self-care plan will be prioritized over external reporting. This might look like the coach contacting the client’s bluelight academy “course buddy” for additional support. We will never call 911 or other reporting mechanisms unless a client explicitly requests that we do. Additionally, Spring Up will provide a referral to Project LETS — a peer support community organization that supports folks without depending on state-sanctioned systems that trap folks in the medical/prison-industrial complex.
This offering consists of 60-minute virtual sessions booked with one of our eight coaches who have a range of experience from organizing to somatics and improv to sex education. These sessions can be utilized for a variety of goals including, but not limited to:
- Support for a community accountability process you are facilitating/engaged with
- Practicing generative conflict skills
- Processing past or current harms
- Support in processing accountability for causing harm
- Practicing liberatory facilitation skills
- Learning more about transformative justice, consent, and centered accountability
- Somatically integrating new things you're learning
- Engaging in equitable design for your organization
Prior to 1:1 sessions, clients will be provided with our confidentiality statement as well as our safety and care plan for their use. 24-48 hours following a session, clients will be provided with an email offering them resources on the topics covered in the session.