A life coach whose business cards ended up in Oscars gift bags wants to change the 'wiring' of CEOs with $100,000 holistic wellness courses
- Kayote Joseph is a life coach who uses controversial "quantum healing" to help wealthy clients.
- Joseph says she's worked with CEOs, celebrities, and global leaders to help them reach their goals.
Kayote Joseph, a California-based life coach, didn't know anything about Oscars gift bags when her publicist approached her and asked if she wanted to be a part of this year's awards-show gift bag — worth $138,000 — by paying $40 to have her cards bundled with swag like a $50,000 three-night stay in a Scottish castle, a year's supply of cosmetics, and gold-dipped pretzels.
The week after the Oscars, Joseph said she was fielding 20 more calls a day than usual and watching her Instagram following grow, and it dawned on her that she could potentially be counseling Oscar nominees from Steven Spielberg to Jessica Chastain and Will Smith.
The $40 investment she made was tiny compared to the $700 Joseph charges for a "holistic wellness" session, which she will soon parlay into a $100,000 all-in course.
Wellness has become a $4.4 trillion industry — but has attracted skepticism
Joseph has a degree in depth psychology — a field of study that focuses on the unconscious mind — and is completing her Ph.D. in integrative healing, both from the Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her methods are unconventional, diverging from traditional psychology and medicine by championing the use of quantum physics to change clients' "energies."
Popularized by Deepak Chopra, a New Age author who found fame after appearing on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and became a spiritual advisor to Michael Jackson in the 1990s, the practice known as quantum healing or energy healing prioritizes meditation, hypnosis, and spiritual thinking over traditional medicine, with many quantum-healing practitioners taking issue with the pharmaceutical industry and what they see as doctors' overreliance on prescribing medication.
Joseph believes that by reducing stress in the body, quantum healing allows people to recover from physical and mental ailments when other methods haven't worked. This approach, part of the family of complementary and alternative medicine, has attracted scrutiny, especially from traditional-medicine practitioners and when used to combat serious illnesses like cancer.
A 2017 Pew Research Center study found that a fifth of Americans used alternative treatments in lieu of conventional ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says alternative medicines can make cancer treatments less effective. A Harvard study on reconnective healing, which shares some similarities to Joseph's practice, couldn't draw a final conclusion on its effectiveness.
But Joseph's services reflect a growing demand for nontraditional pathways to health. McKinsey published a study in 2021 estimating that the global wellness market is worth $1.5 trillion, with projected growth between 5 and 10% per year. The Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit research group, valued the wellness industry at $4.4 trillion in 2020.
Changing the 'wiring' of CEOs and the superrich
Joseph said she works with two types of people in the business world: The first are people who feel like they can't get what they want in life; the second type are people who have everything they could want and still feel unfulfilled.
She works with her high-net-worth clients in three-month stages, with the first stage "recreating the way a client sees themselves to be in line with the life they want to have," she said.
Targeting CEOs and high earners is a fertile market, because they often have a desire to find meaning in their lives, and the means to pay for it. Recent studies indicated 60% of leaders felt "used up" at the end of the day, a strong indicator of burnout, with the figure for "high-potential employees" at 86%.
"When I'm coaching these CEOs, they have what they think they want, but they don't feel anything. It's because what they created for themselves, it was almost always coming from a need to prove something," Joseph said.
"What I am doing with these people is I am helping them to rewrite their software programming so they can actually have what it is they want."
When she's finished working with her clients, Joseph believes they usually feel like the high cost was worth it for what they achieved in her sessions.
"Capitalism is a driving force in our society which is going to tell you to work really hard, and not put any emphasis on how your life actually feels while you are working really hard," she said.
Joseph declined to provide the identities of these high-net-worth clients due to nondisclosure agreements.
'The people I am hoping to work with are people who can change the world'
She's soon to convert her $700 sessions to a flat rate of $100,000 for six months of work, which, realistically, is only affordable to the very wealthy who have likely benefited from the capitalist system. Joseph declined to share with Insider how much she had earned to date from her practice.
While Joseph conceded that her services are "a ton more than what therapists are charging," she said she is doing something "so different." Services will include access to an "aesthetic architect," who will fly to a client and help them upgrade their wardrobe and home to complement their new outlook on life.
The aim of her work, she said, is to induce a changed perspective from CEOs, celebrities, and policymakers, from which those unable to afford the services can benefit in a sort of trickle-down spiritual healing of society.
"The people I am hoping to work with are people who can change the world," Joseph said, suggesting that a CEO with a positive mindset would make their employees happier and more motivated, while a celebrity could share encouraging messages with their millions of social-media followers.
She added that she has also tried to accommodate those unable to afford her counseling services with free content on her Instagram and more affordable e-courses.
Despite skepticism around the costs and mixed reviews on the effectiveness of the methods involved, Joseph believes her ideas will resonate with a growing number of cash-rich, time-poor Americans.
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