Elizabeth Robbins, Ph.D.

             Licensed Psychologist

                                                                                                         Birmingham, Michigan

Sport Psychology, Parent Coaching, Life Coaching


In addition to psychotherapy and testing, I also offer coaching services.  Coaching is different than therapy.  In life coaching, the professional relationship focuses on helping the client achieve personal and/or professional goals.  People who would benefit from coaching are not suffering from any mental illness, such as clinical depression or anxiety, but worry that their growth in their professional or personal life is not being maximized.  People who seek coaching often feel stuck in their job, their marriage, or other relationships.  They may feel that they are not parenting the way they want to.

Being coached by a psychologist has its advantages.  Psychologists are trained in child and human development so we have great insight into how people think, feel, and behave.  In addition, we can diagnose mental disorders such as anxiety and depression which need to be treated with psychotherapy and/or medication before coaching will be effective.

 Sport Psychology

Sport Psychology is designed to help athletes reach their maximum potential.  Athletic performance depends on both physical and mental skills.ysical skills but mental skills as well. When athletes have the physical skills to perform but end up not achieving their best performances in competition, working harder is usually their first response.  But working harder will not help them overcome their obstacles, because the problem is generally not with the physical skills, but with the mental side of performance.  Coaches, of course, can help with the mental aspect.  But when the athlete has listened and tried all the suggestions of his or her coaches and he or she is still struggling, a sport psychologist generally will help.

Psychologists are educated and trained in human behavior.  They are behavior experts.  So although coaches may be the experts in particular sports and parents know their children better than anyone, a psychologist can fill gaps in knowledge and experience.  Sport psychologists apply this experience to the unique needs of athletes to help them improve their performance. Sport psychologists are able to diagnose and treat problems like anxiety and depression, which interfere with athletic performance.  In addition, they understand how people think and can help athletes identify and correct self-defeating thoughts that undermine confidence and performance. Sport psychologists can also help athletes change the way they perceive and react to failure. They can also help athletes deal with the pressure they feel from teammates, coaches, and even parents.

Because I am a licensed clinical psychologist, I can identify and treat other issues that may also interfere with athletic performance. In addition to doubts, worries, and negative self-talk that can undermine an athlete, stress, depression, anxiety, and personal issues can also have a negative effect on an athlete’s ability to perform. My goal is to help individual athletes and teams develop the mental skills they need to reach their potential and enjoy their sport!

Individual Sport Psychology

I work with many athletes across different individual and team sports.  While the underlying tenets are similar, each sport has distinctive characteristics. I have or am currently working with athletes competing in the following sports at the middle school, high school, travel, college, and national levels: Swimming, Diving, Figure Skating, Gymnastics, Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, Football, and Golf.

Problems such as underperformance, lack of confidence, fear of failure are common concerns of athletes. I help you identify your mental strengths and weaknesses. Therapy focuses on enhancing your strengths and improving your weaknesses to help you perform consistently and at your best. I help you build the mental skills necessary for success. These skills include goal-setting, energy management, mindful attention, self-talk, imagery & mental practice, and communication. Without these mental skills, you will reach a point where your performance stagnates, where you cannot go past a certain point despite natural ability or physical training. 

Mental skills training will help you push past that barrier and reach new levels of success and enjoyment. Practicing your skills over and over in your mind is one way that you develop a winning mindset. Michael Jordan talked about the mental practice aspect of his game during his retirement interview. He said that he had seen himself score with every shot in every possible situation over a thousand times. In his mind he never missed. And as we know, he seldom missed on the court. With mental skills training, athletes develop their skills and confidence. They expect to perform well, and they do.

Team Consultation

Athletes are often part of a team. Of course, when an individual athlete develops his or her mental game, it helps the team. When the whole team develops their mental game, that team has a distinct edge over the competition. I work with teams to build their mental skills so they can work together to achieve their common goals. In addition to the mental skills that all athletes need, I work with teams to develop a healthy, winning team culture. Team dynamics have a real impact on the success of the team and on the well-being of team members. Teams that are in constant conflict or have negative outlooks hurt the performance of coaches and team members. On the other hand, teams that are supportive and positive tend to enhance the performance of everyone involved.  

Individual athletes and coaches can call me at 248-770-3536 or email me at to learn more about my sport psychology services.

Parent Coaching

Parent Coaching is a wonderful resource for mothers and fathers who are trying to do their best job.  There are many books available on parenting, but most books are general and work with the "average" child.  In parent coaching I help parents discover and overcome the obstacles interfering with the parent/child relationship.  As a psychologist, I am able to assess the emotional health of both parent and child and design interventions specific for each family unit.  This technique gives each family a unique coaching experience, instead of a generic, one-size-fits-all approach.

Challenges that parents find parent coaching helpful for include:

behavior issues, such as defiance or stubborness
sibling rivalry, or adjustment to a new sibling
discipline challenges (e.g., "Help, I'm yelling too much at my kids!)
understanding a child's emotional development
educational questions (what's the best learning environment for my child)

Life Coaching

Life Coaching addresses the professional and relationship areas of a person's life.  Life Coaching is designed to help people achieve their goals by understanding what motivates, what hinders, and what affects the choices they make in their professional and personal lives.  If you feel stuck or confused about where you are in your job or in your relationships, life coaching may be what you need to get your life back on track.

Individuals who can benefit from life coaching may be successful in their professional life, but feel unfulfilled.  They may be considering a career change but are not sure if it's the right thing to do.  Or they may have questions about where they want to go in their personal lives.  Perhaps they are not enjoying life the way  they want to.

As a life coach, I can help individuals move forward in their lives.  I can help you develop the plan, the confidence, and the motivation to take the necessary steps to reach your goals.



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Elizabeth Robbins, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
999 Haynes, Suite 300 Birmingham, Michigan 48009


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