Actor Will Smith brought an interesting twist to the concept of relationship counseling in his role as a “date doctor” in the movie “Hitch.” But alum Akirah Wyatt Robinson (’07) has followed an equally interesting—and unusual—career path that has landed her squarely on the other side of that counseling continuum. As a “breakup coach,” she combines her education and experiences in communication, sociology, and counseling to help women find healing from broken relationships.
At Messiah, Akirah earned a B.A. in communication (with a concentration in public relations and advertising), along with a double minor in Sociology and Counseling. She chose communication because "it's a very broad, general degree, and you can relate it to a lot of things." After graduation and a period of job-searching, Akirah began pursuing a degree and licensure in social work at the University of Pittsburgh. Her undergraduate communication courses made her very comfortable writing and communicating with others, both of which are very important in the social work field. Describing the impetus for her social work interest, Akira said, "If communication, sociology, and counseling had a baby, it would be social work."
How does one start a career as a “breakup coach”? For Akirah, it began with a passion for writing that started while she was attending Messiah. She started a blog that she would post to frequently for the sake of practicing writing. As her writing developed, she found herself drawn to writing about relationships, in part because of a past difficult relationship. As she continued to blog post-graduation, many women sought Akirah’s relationship advice through emails, leading her to further pursue her passion for helping women heal from broken relationships. Now, as a breakup coach, she brings together her communication, counseling, and social work knowledge and experience to provide coaching services to women in need. She explained, "I help women heal from heartache, and I teach women how to participate in healthy relationships."
Over time, Akirah’s work has garnered name recognition. One of her original blog posts, "Why I Told 150 Guests That My Husband Does Not Complete Me," went viral overnight, and has now been featured on Huffington Post and in Glamour magazine. Akirah has been given access to Huffington Post and continues to submit articles. Earlier this month, the Australian morning news program Sunrise featured Akirah’s blogs and role as a breakup coach, gaining further attention and exposure for her work.
Although she is one of only a few breakup coaches, she sticks to her passions, noting, "If I was not willing to throw myself into it, those opportunities would be worth nothing."