Here’s the pedigree:
I have a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I am a certified Martha Beck Life Coach and a Certified Weight Coach from The Life Coach School.
I have been working with clients individually and in groups for the past 20 years. For much of that time I was doing therapy with children, adults, and families. But for the last 7 years my focus has been on coaching adults. I still do therapy, but the bulk of my practice is my life coaching and weight coaching clients.
Technically, I keep these roles separate. There is different paperwork, different goals, and a different cost structure when doing therapy than when doing coaching.
I cannot, however, compartmentalize all of my learning into one camp or the other. That means I bring a lot of ‘coachiness’ (clear goals, action steps) to therapy and I bring my therapist history into my coaching sessions (awareness of trauma and complicated emotional symptoms). The result of which may be that I will refer you to one of several great therapists I know if I believe the symptoms of a psychological diagnosis are interfering with your ability to progress in coaching.
As both therapist and coach, I treasure that twinkly, goosebump-y ‘aha’ moment - the flash of insight when a client sees something in a whole new way. However, the more ‘seasoned’ (ahem, read ‘old’) I get, I am just as passionate about the importance of following up that insight with a commitment to clear action steps.
On a more personal note:
Something that makes me laugh...
The unexpected. Not long ago I was driving behind a mobile medical van. It had a giant picture of a doctor on the back (it looked like those city buses with ads on them). As I was absentmindedly staring at the back of the van I noticed that someone had written in the dirt that had collected on the van. Right next to the big doctor, it said "poop." I laughed for about 15 minutes.
Something that makes me cry...
Any kind of kid's school program. Preschool graduation. Kindergarten program. 4th grade music assembly. Grandparent's day. I stand in the back and try to wear sunglasses because the minute those kids come out on stage the water works start.
Something that amazes me...
The creativity of expression in my older son and the depth of compassion in my younger son. The lack of inhibition and the raw emotion in both of them can just overwhelm me. Then I want to wrap my arms around them to keep them from getting hurt. But in doing so I would be lessening the very things that make them so amazing. So I work on managing my own fears and letting them be exactly who they are.
Something that I wouldn't do again but am glad I did...
Graduate school in clinical psychology. Sure I was bitter and in debt when I finished, but the self-esteem has returned and the debt gets smaller. Without it, I wouldn't have had the wide range of experiences I've had in the last 15 years and I could have missed out on some truly awesome people. Everything happens for a reason.