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  • Writer's pictureJulia Gillis

What Does a Transformation Specialist Do?

I have purposefully starting using this as my professional title because it's vague & niche. If you know anything about marketing, you know it makes people ask, "Oh! What's that?"

Which is exactly what you want them to do.

But to be honest - it's a tough go after that. Especially for me.

I have credentials. A bunch.

I have experience. A ton.

I have obsessions. Deeply researched.

And I have gifts or talents. Which I routinely work to build.

Depending on who I'm talking to, I most often explain that I help adults from low nurture backgrounds, trauma & abuse learn to build resiliency skills to become the person they have always wished to be or to reach their highest potential.

Or sometimes I revert back to my list of certifications: I'm a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Coach & my Transformation Specialist Certification allows me to help people tie together their fitness & nutritional struggles with motivational interviewing, cognitive behavior change tactics & neurolinguistic programming. This helps people change their mind, change their habits & it has positive somatic impacts. But it's a friggin mouthful.

I'm basically a life coach that can help you figure out how to become a better person through fitness to improve your body, or through how you eat or just through verbal coaching to unpack trauma blueprints. Then teach you how to make better choices that keep you moving in a better direction; in a permanent long-term way.

This means it changes your physiology - how your body is responding to your internal script of how you think life works & how you respond to what is going on around you. Basically stress or joy = how your body works.

I can help people use personal training & their body movement to work through their developmental trauma from their youth. Or we can do this through a nutrition program & look at how they are using food as a coping mechanism for negative emotions, again, learned from youth.

Most negative coping mechanisms fall under addictions. Which is why I also earned a double diploma in Community & Addictions Support Work.

This one is hefty - but most people who take this program are seriously ill prepared for the job it qualifies them for. Also - the training is not adequate for what it is used for. This job is interacting with people who have major, layered trauma that has been unanswered for years by the biomedical model & continues to fail them. We're suppose to provide them with motivational interviewing, navigating a path for healing & connecting them to the local supports they need to get there. We're hired into detox centres, group homes & corrections facilities - which are often coordinated for failure. Or optimistically hired into community resource centres which have fluid support frameworks that give people a chance.

I have entry level sociology, psychology, criminology, lifespan development, government & social services, case management, counselling & ethics, plus intro to mental health & addictions, then Addictions Worker levels 1, 2 & 3. The rest of the diploma is Microsoft & Windows training, plus how to write reports as a support worker & some career building courses such as resume writing & career coaching (which is self awareness development & understanding other people's behavior.) Then I have a cute side of First Aid.

I challenged a few of the computer skills exams & had about 2-3 months shaved off my diploma time. I came into the diploma with a massive amount of experience & research about developmental trauma, addictions, recovery, sociology, psychology & lifespan development under my belt. I wanted the diploma because I knew the system was broken in North America & wanted to know what they were teaching people. I also wanted the credentials so when I go knocking on government door steps to make change, I know where the model is coming from. I am deeply committed to public advocacy work in the Family Ministry system & our nation's healthcare model improvement.

This is my experience & obsession. I have recovered from a low nurture background. I have had & conquered my addictions and shitty, self-sabotaging, toxic behavior. Not just exchanged them for other, more socially acceptable things. I didn't just kick alcohol in exchange for food. I didn't kick daddy issues for a co-dependent relationship. I didn't get obsessed with the gym or start offering Buddhist quotes to people that I use dogmatically, without critical thinking.

I self published a book on building resiliency from a low nurture upbringing with complex developmental trauma. Now I have multiple other publications underway. To do this requires me to be extremely well researched. I have read more books, listened to more podcasts, had more discussions, read more articles, watched more videos on the topic of infant brain development, personal growth, trauma recovery, youth resiliency support, addictions, nurturing, parenting, optimizing, nutrition, habit forming (and breaking,) somatic work, genetics vs environment - than you could shake a stick at.

There is about 5 years in the culinary industry that helps me with my nutrition coaching. Plus 4 years in marketing & branding mixed with a Bachelor's Degree in Interior Architecture - which weirdly helps me present a 'dream' or explain or advertise someone's dreams & desires. It helps with word play & learning to 'pitch' ideas to help people make a pivot or see themselves in a new world they had never though of. I'm able to challenge people to see the world in a different way when they are strongly married to their toxic background script. I'm pretty talented at helping someone consider a view they have never considered before.

Which is really important when someone says "I want to change." But then every fiber of their body fights them into a bloody pulp each time they give it a try.

Which is where, I guess, my gift comes in.

I'm really good at walking beside someone.

Or I'm really good at sitting with someone.

To just be there. To hear them. To make space for them. To see them.

I'm not certain this can be taught. Which is why I call it a gift.

I can see fragility behind aggression. I see wounds behind armor.

I also see success in the smallest of corners.

I see triumph in the dark.

My deepest love is watching people become alight. There is a Quasimodo in all of us, that we attempt to hide from the world. I love finding the beauty beneath & within. I see past the ugliness many of us carry from our past. Its a mix of compassion, empathy, optimism, hope, grit & a little curiosity. I love helping people 'shift.'

I purposely gained the credentials that allow me to work in the field where I get to use my experience, obsession & gifts. I'm a Transformation Specialist. I specialize in helping people 'transform.'

Sometimes I just tell people I'm a 'coach.' Maybe I fuck it up when I do that? I don't know. Whether you're trying to figure out Where's Waldo or the highest, aligned, most genuine version of yourself - I'm probably the most talented, experienced & certified person to do it.

Oh yah - and I do Reiki. Chakras are important.


If you would like to start building your Core Resiliency Skills contact Coach Julia today. You will learn how to Thrive beyond your damage, become a Transitional Character, break abuse cycles in your family cycle & build the core resiliency skills most often missed when being raised in a low nurture environment.

Julia is a Holistic Health Consultant, holding a Double Diploma in Community Support & Addictions Work, is a Certified Transformation Specialist, Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach & a Lvl 2 Reiki Practitioner. She specializes in Trauma Informed Practice & Resiliency Coaching. 

If you are seeking material on parenting beyond your damage, check out the first of my workbook series Parenting Beyond Your Damage on (and

You can work through The Pillars of Resiliency while learning to bond with your child to end the intergenerational abuse cycle.

Units 2-6 are due to be released soon.

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