Parents, Teachers and Clinicians on our Learn Better Sessions

"Lisa has been working with our son for most of his 8th grade school year. I do not know what we would do with out her! His self confidence has sky-rocketed with the tools Lisa has taught him. He is now learning the proper ways to study and implementing the techniques Lisa has taught him to be successful. He actually looks forward to their weekly meetings and his smile speaks volumes. Lisa has become not only a coach but a dear friend. We will continue throughout high school to invest in Better Sessions - what a gift to give him!" - Charlotte Latin School parent

“Nothing brings me greater joy than hearing how well someone I recommend is doing. The parents are over the moon happy with Jessica, and that means the world to me. The child is also so pleased with her as well, it is a perfect fit! “ - Southeast Psych Clinician

"Jessica was referred to us by our counselor at school at a time when we were feeling very helpless regarding our son’s academics. We had tried many other forms of support for our son, which really didn’t help much. The difference with Jessica was that she was able to tie everything together and take over. She understood the curriculum where other tutors did not, enabling us to let her be in charge. She quickly became a part of our family and gave us a great deal of peace of mind. We are so grateful that we found her!" – Charlotte Latin School Parent

"Maryanne has been wonderful for our son. She has helped him determine what type of learner he is and give him the tools he needs to be successful. His productivity has increased as well as his motivation to do well. Her encouragement has raised his self-confidence and has gotten him on the right track to a successful high school career." - Providence Day Parent

“Maryanne has been extremely helpful to my son and my family. There was a tailored plan for my son's needs. He has become more organized and has a better routine when he gets home from school. Maryanne was also able to provide great study habits. All this led to our son making straight A's and having better self-esteem!” - Charlotte Secondary School Parent

"I am so thankful to have Stacy working with my high school son. He was having a hard time keeping track of his school work and struggling to stay organized. I have watched him make steady progress throughout their sessions. Stacy has taught him to keep a calendar, stick to his deadlines and even guided him through the decision making process of selecting a college. She developed a trusting relationship with my son and we plan to continue his work and growth, even when he's away at school." - Providence High School Parent

"Under Stacy’s guidance, our daughter has become motivated to strive towards academic success and has already started planning ahead for what she needs to do to get into college. Stacy has been a consistent reinforcement for our daughter to stay focused on both her short and long-term goals. Our daughter’s attitude toward school, homework and studying has vastly improved. Her self-confidence has also increased and her teachers have recognized that she is more prepared for and enthusiastically participating in class. Stacy is able to connect with students in an approachable way and motivate them to take the steps necessary to be successful in school and in life. I highly recommend Stacy." - Charlotte Catholic Parent

"Better Sessions with Jessica has been a Godsend! We had just recently had our son tested and found he had ADHD. So now we had a diagnosis but no real clue on how to address it..... enter Jessica. She has been able to relate to our son in a way that we couldn’t and was able to bridge the gap between us. She has empowered him and us in strategies for homework, practicing piano, exercising, test taking, planning his week with school, and even sleep. Our son both respects her and enjoys her company. He responds very well to her suggestions (which is saying something at 15!). I highly recommend her services. " - Cuthbertson High School Parent

"My son has had the pleasure of working with Jessica. She helped him with organization and time management strategies. I can see a marked difference in how he approaches his schedule. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up he now works through the schedule and completes his assignments. These are skills that he is going to be able to carry with him through life. Additionally, she is knowledgeable in many subjects and is easily able to pivot from Spanish, Algebra 2 and Honors Biology. Since he started working with Jessica, we have seen a big improvement in his grades." - Fort Mill High School Parent

"It's not an exaggeration to say that Maryanne saved our freshman year. Our son was struggling with organization, study habits, test-taking skills, and goal setting. He was becoming frustrated and was losing confidence when Maryanne stepped in. Under her guidance, his confidence has blossomed and he has become self-motivated, sets and monitors progress toward goals, and thoroughly and thoughtfully completes assignments and exams. He looks forward to meeting with her weekly, where she is encouraging, kind, and thoughtful about next steps and stages. We wish we had found her a year earlier and look forward to continuing the relationship!" - Myers Park High School Parent

"Working with Maryanne over the course of this year has been such a gift to our family. Our daughter (14) has been able to identify skills and habits that work well for her and implement these into her academic life. Not only has it helped tremendously with her grades and overall success but has helped her build confidence and self-efficacy. She feels that she has the tools to face the ongoing, and increasing, challenges and responsibilities of middle and high school." - Randolph Middle School Parent

"With COVID, we were really struggling to help our son with online school. He has learning disabilities and being able to keep up from home was having a severe impact on his self esteem and his grades. As a mom, I found myself enabling him to have bad habits and felt responsible for staying on him, which was too much with a full time job. Since working with Maryanne, he has put in place tools to support him and help him stay on top of his work. As a result, his grades have improved, he misses less assignments and his confidence and independence have tremendously improved. I don’t know what we would have done without her assistance!" -Langtree Charter School Parent

"We are so grateful for Sydney. She took the time to get to know our daughter and family well so that she could support us in developing a plan to help our daughter achieve her academic and social goals. Our daughter's independence grew tremendously and she finished the year with her highest GPA ever. By achieving both social and academic goals our daughter's self-confidence has greatly improved and our relationship with her has improved as well. We give our highest recommendation to Sydney with Better Sessions." - Covenant Day School Parent

“Sydney is a great listener and motivator. My daughter’s goals were to be more organized and to study better. Sydney helped Grace find ways to move forward when she became stuck on homework instead of staring at a blank page for an hour. They worked together to find techniques for studying for different types of tests including math, essays, and short answer. Organizing and finding her notes was a challenge for Grace. Sydney and Grace tried out several methods until Grace found the one that worked for her. At the end of the year conference, her teachers commented that Grace had made great strides in organization.” - Fletcher School Parent

"I cannot express how thankful I am for Emily Bell. She started working with me at a time when I was drowning in work and constantly felt anxiety ridden and stressed. Through our sessions she taught me extremely valuable mindfulness tools to control my stress and anxiety, and how to prioritize my work. Without her I don't think would've been accepted by my dream college, so thank you so much for all the planning, mindfulness, and understanding. I couldn't have asked for a better executive functioning tutor!" - Packer Collegiate Institute Student

"Emily Bell has been amazing with my son. She has established a great rapport that allows her to motivate him to adopt new strategies for organization, homework and test prep. She has also provided key advice to help us implement structure and strategies at home and at school, and manage challenges. Organization and study habits that I was struggling to instill in my son, are now automatic - thanks to Emily. I could not ask for a better coach for my son and partner for our family." - The Cathedral School Parent

"From the minute I met with Lisa I knew she was a perfect fit for my daughter. Lisa said the goal was for Lily to feel better after every session. Lily's confidence grew and her study skills strengthened. Lisa met with Lily at school and at our house to help create the best organized study environment for her. From the beginning Lily said her goal was to "finish strong". Well, I could not be prouder during these last days of her 10th Grade year. Finishing strong she is and Lisa has "cheered her on" every step of the way. Lisa is a blessing and I am thankful she was recommended to me!" - The Fletcher School Parent

"My favorite things about our middle schooler’s Better Sessions with Lisa are, in order: 1) that he looks forward to seeing her and 2) that she empowers him to determine the best strategies for his needs based on the coursework, his individual challenges, and the teacher. By doing so, he is gaining comfort with self-advocacy and growing as a young man. Lisa is a dear and we are truly thankful for the friend who recommended Better Sessions to our family" - Randolph Middle School Parent

"Lisa was able to earn my son's trust quickly. Because of that, he met her with less resistance and was more open to her ideas. He willingly employed many new techniques, which yielded immediate positive results. Over the course of the school year, our son improved his organizational skills, learned to manage his time better and reduced his stress level (and ours!). Lisa has also become a positive influence in his personal and social decision-making process. She definitely helps brings peace to the household!" - Providence High School Parent

"Lisa, we feel that our daughter is off to a great and productive start with you. You know exactly how to proceed with the issues she is having in each subject area. You are helping her to learn great study habits and to feel more confident as a learner and as a person. We are so pleased!" – Village Community School parent

“I cannot say enough good things about Lisa Podell! She worked with my daughter for her entire 8th grade year and the changes we saw were remarkable. In addition to our daughter’s growth academically, she blossomed personally and became so much more confident. It was wonderful to see her take ownership and show pride in her work. We were so impressed with Lisa’s results with our daughter that we asked her to work with our son who is in 5th grade. She was equally as adept at relating to him as she was with our daughter. I know they feel more empowered and confident as they enter Middle and High School." – Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School parent

"Lisa Podell is fabulous!! She will come to the home and is terrific at understanding kids, working with realistic goals, and getting students to implement these goals on terms they feel good about. She also works with parents to help understand when to push and when to back off."  – Trevor Day School parent

"Lisa Podell should be called the teen whisperer! My son has been performing much better in class. He is handing in assignments, asking questions and engaged during class. He even asked to meet with his teacher last week." –Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School parent 

"Lisa is a highly gifted educator. She was quickly able to assess the type of support my son needed and customize an approach that worked particularly well with his learning style. She also did an exceptional job managing "mom" and making sure that I was clear about the objectives, her approach and our collective desired outcomes. She models what she teaches and runs a buttoned-up tight-ship with the child's well being as her ultimate purpose." -Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) parent

"Our daughter looks forward to seeing Lisa every week. My husband and I both notice subtle, yet real positive changes in our daughter's follow through, willingness to try and overall attitude. Thank you, Lisa!" – Grace Church School parent

"I would highly recommend Lisa Podell! She has worked for the past year and a half with my son, starting when he was in 7th grade. He started with her when he was diagnosed with ADHD, as well as prominent executive functioning issues. I cannot say enough positive things about her! She developed a fabulous rapport with him, has helped keep him organized, taught him strategies for staying on track both with homework and in school, and has helped with test-taking and writing strategies.  We were having constant battles at home and she has really helped enable him to be in charge of his own work. In addition, she has encouraged him to reach out to and develop relationships with his teachers as well as to advocate for himself. His grades have gone up and we rarely have to be on top of him. She has even helped him plan his time so he can get out of the house and to school on time in the morning (something we were also constantly fighting about)." – Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School parent

“Lisa, we already see evidence of your work in the way he approaches explaining his thinking for both math exercises and reading activities. He is responding to prompts much sooner and with a clearer sense of purpose. You are spot-on with your observations, and breaking tasks down into manageable increments with action words is super helpful.” –Village Community School teacher

We were looking for a workshop to help unite parents in supporting the growth and success of their children.  Lisa provided the perfect way for us to do this.  She brought simple, common sense ideas to the discussion that we could bring home and apply immediately.  One thing Lisa got me thinking about was how my actions may shut down conversations with my teens.  It wasn’t easy but I have altered my approach to asking “how was your day” and it  has made a huge difference at home.  We actually get more than one word answers now! – Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School Parent participant

Professionals benefit from our Work Better Sessions

“Tracy provided grounded, practical and incredibly nurturing support during a very difficult crossroads in my life. She helped me not only reach a decision, but muster the courage to act upon my desire for change instead of just talking it. Tracy is exactly the type of coach you want in your corner - someone who takes the fear and anxiety out of attaining real happiness and fulfillment in your life. Thank you Tracy!” – VP, Development

"Tracy is an amazing coach! She helped me figure out my professional trajectory, and together, we created a clear set of actions with resulting outcomes. If you are looking to not just talk about your problem, but create a plan and take action, then Tracy is the coach for you!" – Nonprofit Director

"Tracy is kind and supportive while still being a straight shooter. Her insights really helps focus you on both the blocks that are in your way as well as the action steps that you need to take to get results." – News Producer

"Lisa Podell is the kind of person everyone should have on their team. Whether that team is you and your laptop running a business solo, or a larger group of people striving to be better at life in general, Lisa is prepared to empower, educate, and uplift. A single conversation with her can lead to life-changing revelations or simple adjustments that alter the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. From time management to personal growth, I'm honored to say Lisa has influenced all of the above for me in the time that I've known her. She is an incredible resource, a reliable confidant, and a beautiful spirit." – Public Relations Manager

"Lisa's unique ability lies in her special approach to coaching. She listens to where you are and asks you important questions that will lead you to find possible solutions, rather than telling you what to do. As a client, you are left feeling empowered and reminded that your own strength lies within. Her coaching changed the trajectory of my career which shifted my whole experience of life." – Professional Actor

People see success with our Live Better Sessions

"The past year has been incredibly successful in so many ways and I owe that first and foremost to my coaching sessions with Lisa. She is a gifted listener and she helps me take a look at all areas of my life. She guides me in creating powerful plans of action and then she holds me accountable for following through on those plans. Coaching sessions with her are engaging, fun, and incredibly insightful and the results have been miraculous. I can’t imagine where I’d be without her and I honestly don’t care to find out." – Owner/Founder of AfterWork Theater 

"Lisa has been a great support system for me in these last few months. Her great advice, her help with keeping me organized and her encouraging words have been priceless to me as I embark on a new career path. Whenever I'm feeling unsure, Lisa gives me just the right words I need, to keep me focused and enthusiastic about my journey!" – Professional Singer/Songwriter

The Better Approach

Every Better Session is personalized to meet your needs.
We assess how you process information so that you can capitalize on your strengths, and integrate them into your life.

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Adaptable & Flexible

We travel to your home, workplace, or even your favorite park.

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Collaborative Conversations

We won't tell you what to do. We will meet you where you are.

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Healthy Patterns

We help you identify your strengths.

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We help you take new insights and skills into your day-to-day.