Dr Genevieve von Lob

Journey from Clinical Psychologist to Empowering Entrepreneur: Dr Genevieve von Lob

Bridie Houlihan

Bridie Houlihan | Founder & CEO of Female Health Founders

Dr Genevieve von Lob is a clinical psychologist based in London. After 15 years working in Britain’s National Health Service, private practice in Harley Street and inside big corporations, she published her book “Happy Parent, Happy Child: A 10-step plan for a stress-free family life,” with Penguin. She also authored a parenting book “Five Deep Breaths: The Power of Mindful Parenting.”

Genevieve now works as an independent psychologist providing one-on-one sessions to adults and young people. Genevieve specialises in working with parents with Highly Sensitive Children (HSC). Genevieve has recently launched her new venture The Resonant Parenting Project to bring her knowledge to a wider audience and to empower mums and dads to connect more deeply with their sensitive, strong-willed kids and themselves. Genevieve regularly provides training and webinars to corporations and government departments. Genevieve has carried her empowering messages into appearances on BBC Woman’s Hour, Channel Four and many other media outlets. Genevieve lives in London with her daughter and husband, and has a passion for music, singing, and walks in nature.

Dr Genevieve von Lob,

Hello Dr Genevieve von Lob, welcome to Female Health Founders. How did your journey working as a conscious parenting coach begin?

For years, I worked as a clinical psychologist with families seeking support through Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). I always found it hugely rewarding when I was able to help parents transform their struggles with their children into a greater sense of confidence, ease and flow. But with so many parents facing challenges, or struggling with a lack of confidence, I always felt an impulse to share the essence of my one-on-one work with more people than I could reach in my various roles in the National Health Service. 

I took my first big step towards becoming a conscious parenting coach when I wrote my book Happy Parent, Happy Child: A 10-Step Plan For a Stress-Free Family Life. The writing process helped me to refine the core of my approach, which is all about helping parents to understand themselves more deeply so they can forge a deeper connection with their child. The book also gave me a platform to start giving interviews to media such as BBC Woman’s Hour, the Guardian and Channel Four. When I had my daughter Matilda, I realised that I wanted to delay returning to work full-time for as long as possible, so I started taking on a few coaching clients when she started nursery.

I loved the freedom and flexibility that came with coaching work, and I realised that a new career was calling: conscious parenting coach.

-Dr Genevieve von Lob

I have also created the Resonant Parenting Project newsletter, which shares weekly doses of practical tools and guidance to help mums and dads connect more deeply with their sensitive, strong-willed kids.  

Dr Genevieve von Lob

What inspired you to venture into this field?

I absolutely love working with mums and dads to help them connect to their kids more deeply, and I’m blown away by how sophisticated and self-aware the new generation of children and teenagers is. I learn so much from these young people: They are such great kids. 

At the same time, this is such a challenging time to be a parent. So many mums and dads I work with are struggling in some way. Perhaps their child is having meltdowns they can’t seem to control. Or kids are having difficulties with friendships or academic pressures at school. And so many of us are finding it hard to manage our kids’ screen time and social media use. I also know how quickly parents I work with can achieve breakthroughs with these kinds of problems – even after only a few coaching sessions.

For me, parents, and particularly mothers, are the space-holders for the whole family. When you support them, it has such a huge ripple effect on their children, the extended family system, and society itself. I don’t think we as a culture fully acknowledge how much more support and recognition we should be giving to parents, and what it takes to raise children consciously.

I have such a passion for helping parents and caregivers to understand their child’s unique temperament, and provide them with the tools they need to forge the kind of connection that can support a more harmonious and happy family life.

-Dr Genevieve von Lob

I’m committed to helping as many parents as possible through my coaching work, newsletter, retreats, social media content and online courses because there’s no more important task than raising a new generation of confident, self-aware, resilient and creative kids.

How can conscious parenting be a path for self-development?

As conscious parents, we approach the daily challenges we face with our kids as a path to develop greater self-awareness. Unlike past generations, who often took a disciplinarian approach based on fear, punishment and scolding, we make a conscious choice to see our children as our teachers. We recognise that our children are perfectly designed to push our buttons, and draw our attention to the hurt parts of us that we’ve never had a chance to tend to. By starting from the assumption that everything our kids are presenting to us will serve our evolution, we can start to view our struggles as opportunities to understand ourselves better, and heal the wounds we suffered in our own childhood.

We begin to discover that the issues that seem most challenging with our kids hold the key to our own growth and empowerment.

-Dr Genevieve von Lob

Kids love it when we approach parenting in this way, because what they really crave above all else is connection. When we learn to attune to our child more deeply, and see past their challenging behaviours to understand what’s really going on underneath, we can start to enjoy a more harmonious home life. We set ourselves up for a relationship that will last through the turbulent teenage years and beyond. 

Dr Genevieve von Lob

Your background is as a clinical psychologist. How has this impacted your approach to entrepreneurship?

Working as a clinical psychologist and conscious parenting coach is all about connecting with people at a deeper level. So my approach to entrepreneurship is founded on relationship above all else. I love cultivating authentic, trusting and inspiring collaborations with everyone I work with – from the parents I coach, to the co-facilitators I run retreats with, and the amazing branding consultants who helped me boost my website and online presence.  

As a woman in business, what obstacles have you faced in establishing your business? And how have you overcome them?

For me the biggest challenge was to find the courage to put myself out there by sharing my work on social media. Growing up, I loved playing piano, singing, dancing and acting in musical theatre: I had no problem performing on stage. But it took me a long time to build up the confidence to start sharing my parenting videos and practical tips on YouTube and Instagram. I think the difference was that when I performed on stage, I was always playing somebody else. But sharing my work on social media felt like I was opening up a very vulnerable and tender part of myself to the world. It took time, but little by little I was able to speak more and more from the heart. I stopped performing for the camera, and became more at ease improvising, and finding my flow. 

I think the key is to take it one step at a time. I know so many women who struggle to find their voice – it’s a collective challenge we face. So many of us fear that anything less than perfect isn’t worth sharing, or worry “what will they think?” But if we go easy on ourselves, and don’t expect to get it right the first time, we can gradually start to share more of our gifts with a world that badly needs them right now. 

How do you see the landscape of online women’s health and wellbeing evolving to fill the gender leadership gap?

I think this is an incredibly exciting time to be an entrepreneur in the women’s health and wellbeing field. I draw huge inspiration from pioneers including Dr Shefali Tsabary, Alane Freund, Dr Ramani Durvasula, and Danielle LaPorte who have built huge followings for their heart-centred teaching and online courses. I’m also inspired by how women entrepreneurs are moving beyond the old paradigm of competition to support each other to shine. 

Can you pinpoint a particular strategy that has been pivotal to the success of your business?

Early on, I took the plunge and invested in a three-month bootcamp-style course for female entrepreneurs – which has paid off many times over. The course opened my eyes to the importance of questions that I’d never had to answer while working for the National Health Service, such as “Who is my ideal client?” And “How much is my work really worth?” I also drew inspiration from the community of women on the course as we supported each other to overcome any wobbles we might be feeling as we founded our own start-ups.

I found the confidence to start charging a fairer price for my one-on-one work, and connected with branding consultants, photographers and designers who helped me develop a more professional online presence – which is crucial for any coaching practice. 

-Dr Genevieve von Lob

I would also say that developing the discipline to write a regular newsletter is also a great way to build a community of supporters who feel nourished and inspired by your work. Though building a newsletter audience takes time and effort, it’s a great way to stay in touch with past and potential coaching clients, and launch retreats and online courses.  

Dr Genevieve von Lob

Which key pieces of kit, technology and software could you not live without for running your business?

  • I don’t consider myself very arty, so Canva has been a huge blessing, allowing me to create high-quality Instagram posts or lead magnets for online courses despite my lack of graphic design skills.
  • Zoom is of course a must for my one-on-one sessions.
  • I also rely heavily on Shutterstock to illustrate my newsletters.
  • And I’ve invested in a Shure microphone and stand to ensure I have professional quality audio when appearing on podcasts and recording audio.  

Advise for fellow female health founders

  1. Start doing this: Risk failing. It’s better to try something that doesn’t work out and learn a key lesson, than stay safe. 
  2. Stop doing this: Worrying about what others think. As your work grows, you will inevitably encounter negativity from people who feel threatened. Ignore it. 
  3. Use this: Find a web designer, photographer and branding consultant who can do your online presence justice.

Connect with Dr Genevieve von Lob