From Crisis Support to Neurodivergent Life Coaching

One of the first questions I get from clients is: "What's your story with neurodiversity?"

I get it - you want to make sure you're speaking with someone who does not judge you, hopefully even get syou and someone who is at least be able to keep up with you.

So I want to tell you a bit more about what led me to specialize in neurodivergent, queer life coaching.

Intersectionality and Social Justice at the Heart

My journey began in crisis counseling, working and volunteering in non-profit organizations for supporting queer people who experienced violence by partners, strangers or who faced structural discrimination.

It was beautiful and profound work - holding space as people regained safety and stability after trauma. 

Yet I found myself also wanting to support people take the next steps once stabilized - to embrace their complex lives, explore their self-determination and reimagine what thriving could look like. 


Finding my calling as a coach.

When my first child was born I trained to become a life coach with a focus on law of attraction. In 2012 I started my own practice online and in Berlin - specializing in working with people in biracial / multicultural relationships, migrants and people from various LGBTQIAP+ communities.

Somatic, Trauma Informed Coaching

Given my background in mental health, trauma informed support is a core element in my coaching. I deepened my skillset by learning about Somatics and how we can use our body and nervous system to bridge the gap of merely understanding to being able to fully feel and act from our new insights. I trained in “Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy” certificate from the EmbodyLab, where I learned from leading experts such as Deb Dana (Polivagal Theory) and Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing).

My Journey with Neurodivergence

It was around this time that I began understanding neurodivergence more intimately through my own children. When they were little they were creative and strong willed kids with big emotions - and regular parenting advice just didn’t seem to apply. 

When my youngest child refused school, a therapist raised exploring giftedness and ADHD. And everything clicked - this new neurodivergent lens made so much sense for both of my kids' needs and behaviors.


When I learned about giftedness, understanding the complexity beyond IQ, my kids emotions, needs, behavior and my parenting struggles made so much sense.  The pandemic paused formal assessments, but my wife started learning about ADHD. One evening Jasha hands me the book ADHD 2.0 exclaiming “Joy this does not just describe our child, this is me!”. 

While learning about ADHD it struck me how many correlations there were between ADHD PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder). I wanted to learn more about the interplay of ADHD and trauma and how it impacts queer and migrant communities. 

My clients started asking about specific support with executive functioning skills.  And several clients wanted to understand more about their own neurodiversities, such as Autism, Giftedness and ADHD. 

So I decided the best way to support my clients would be to become a certified adhd life coach (the only official neurodivergent specialty in life coaching) at the International ADHD Coach Training Center.

Through self-reflection and education, I gained a better understanding of my own differently wired brain, and its own presentation of giftedness and dyslexia. Our family has embraced our giftedness, ADHD, dyslexia, and neurodivergent range, each with our own presentations and needs. I am passionate about offering non-normative, trans* affirming, antiracist, body positive, neurodiverse and trauma informed support.

Free Consultation - 30min.

 Get to know me as a coach, ask your questions and get a feel if my coaching approach is the right support for you.

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Joy Zalzala-Soyka - Portrait Photo

Hi, I am Joy, my mission is to empower individuals with complex experiences to find clarity within themselves and act courageously in their life. I coach people to overcome fears of failure, reconnect with inner guidance, and craft practical steps to achieve their goals.

From navigating your relationships and career to embracing neurodiversity and personal growth, my holistic approach is tailored to your needs. Let's start an empowering conversation about the change you seek.

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non-normative, trans* affirming, antiracist, body positive, neurodiverse and trauma informed support.

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