A Child Knows

A bowl of oil.  I’m just glad I asked.  Even at 4 years old, my son taught me an important lesson that day.  Apparently, kids have their own thoughts.  And apparently their thoughts are not what their grownups think they are. For months we struggled with bedtime. As we saw it, this behavior could not be tolerated, and it had to change.  Afterall, we needed our sleep.  But he wasn’t having it.  We had so many theories of what was wrong.  As you can imagine, with every theory came a different trick or strategy.  A hug, a scolding, a pill. …

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Worm Days

Yes, I ate the worm.  I had assumed that this is what people do, until I showed up at the ABC store asking specifically for tequila with a worm.  I was indignant; outraged when the gentleman informed me that I was weird.  He didn’t say it quite like that, but I could see it in his eyes.  It’s not what you say, but how you say it.  And trust me, he said it.  No matter.  Eventually he produced a very reasonably priced Mezcal, worm included. It took my husband and I over a month to reach the bottom of that…

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That’s what Friends Are For: Email-Interview with Keith Brown

That’s what friends are for.  They give you hope; make you smile and remind you of who you are and what is possible.  It turns out that friends are good for us.  And so, kicking this off with a friend seems only fitting.  Let me explain.  This is the first of what I hope to be a monthly series of email-interviews focused on the specific aspects of wellness and wellbeing, primarily from the perspective of Culpeperians living it and working it every day.  No one will be doing it perfectly, but hopefully they will all offer us just a little…

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Baby Steps

  You may not know it, but there was a fourth member of the Motown group, The Supremes. It was my mom. At least that’s what she told me when I was a kid. Before putting me to bed, she would tell me stories of her experiences on the road with Diana Ross and the other girls. To this day, I’m almost sure that it was true, even though I also know it wasn’t. What a wonderful way to imagine your momma. Strong and beautiful. Admired and loved by all. Not only did it allow me to see her possibilities,…

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A New Way

I was tempted.  I couldn’t help it.  There’s something about an open door or a new trail.  It was no reflection on my current path.  I’d been perfectly happy with it.  But with this newly paved one in my sight…I just had to… I started to imagine the possibilities.  Where would it lead?  For better or worse, I had to know. It didn’t happen overnight.  Despite my excitement, it was also a bit stressful.  It was a change after all. The dog and I had been walking the same path religiously for some time now.  Frankly, with our current rituals…

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A Father’s Light

  At the top of my list is my dad. Recently I participated in a webinar on the science of effective coaching.  The instructor, Dr. Richard Boyatzis, is a leader in the fields of Social and Organizational Psychology.  In all his wisdom, he started the class with a simple question.  He asked us to think over our lives and our careers and consider who were the people who helped us the most in our development.  For me, there were quite a few family members, supervisors, and teachers.  But number one was my dad. Dr. Boyatzis then asked us to recall…

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Hope in Rainbows

“Think of me and smile” was one of my senior quotes.  I’d forgotten it but was reminded as I and my kids were looking through our yearbooks together.  They seemed to enjoy getting to know me between those pages. While they looked at mine, I looked at theirs.  I get the pleasure of knowing them as my kids, but there’s so much I don’t know and so much I don’t get to see of them as they live more and more of their time away from me.  How fascinating to see the comments of their friends, and to see the…

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Turtle Lessons

This week I came upon not one, but two turtles.  I had noted along the way that a new bridge had been built across the creek.  In seeing this, I knew immediately that this was the problem.  Their habitat had been altered, and they were displaced. I began imagining the difference I would make in their lives if I could just get them back home and safe again.  I was especially concerned about the second turtle.  He seemed to be struggling to extract himself from a deep hole.  But wait.  Something was wrong. The longer I watched him, the more…

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Hero’s Journey

This Memorial Day is an opportunity to recall our Veterans, to understand and honor their sacrifice.  It is also a time to thank them and to realize such bravery and strength in our own lives.  To different degrees, we all must move through the process of accepting and facing what is and what is to come. “The Hero’s Journey” according to Michael Mervosh describes the stages through which we all must travel to know our true self as hero. Innocence This stage begins within the comforts of business as usual. It is at this level that life throws us a…

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Get Yours

HELP.  That was what I was sure I needed so many years ago.  I was 19 years old, on my own, far from home, and I was asking for money. How difficult it is to ask for what we want, especially when we are in the midst of the struggle.  Now in reading that old letter, my fears and concerns were clearly very serious and real.  I had no idea how I would make it.  It seems to far away, but I can still feel it’s intensity in my chest and in my toes, even now, so many years later. …

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Psychological coaching is grounded in the art and science of psychology and is in many ways very similar to traditional psychotherapy.  They both utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation, behavioral change, and interactive techniques in order to help a client move from where they are to an improved state of being. The differences between psychological coaching and traditional psychotherapy are related to their goals, focus, and perspective. Traditional psychotherapy seeks to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioral conditions, with the therapist serving as "expert" in support of the client. Unfortunately, many have considered the pursuit of traditional psychotherapy to be stigmatizing, in part because of this perspective of the client being "broken" and in need of repair.  Psychological  coaching offers a different point of view.  The coaching psychologist is more likely focused on developing a collaborative relationship, with the client in the "driver seat", with the perspective that the client is creative, whole, and resourceful.  The clients' capacity for wellness and healing is assumed, encouraging them to move more quickly and directly through obstacles to their happiness, success, and life satisfaction.  

As a Coaching Psychologist, my goal is to support you in creating awareness so that you can access your own skills and inner resources in order to manage the challenges you face now and into the future.  While our work together may touch on past traumas and psychiatric concerns, they will be addressed from the perspective of your strengths, rather than with a focus on ill-ness or disability.  In our larger community, it is not unusual for individuals to experience mild to moderate mental health issues, making psychological coaching an accessible and viable option.  If, in the course of our work together, either you or I have reason to believe that your mental or emotional health concerns are better addressed by another service provider, a referral will be made.  

As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I have 20 years of ongoing training and experience providing, consulting and supervising others in the provision of psychological services.  However,  as of now, the life coaching field is unregulated, allowing anyone to be a life coach - even those without training in the behavioral sciences.  As well, the coaching field is considered to lack a solid base in research, creating disagreement on educational and training standards. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is working to change this.  In order to ensure that your coach is not counseling others beyond their expertise, it is suggested that when considering a life coach, individuals  should seek coaches who are trained or ICF certified.  Along with my license as a Clinical Psychologist, I am currently enrolled in MentorCoach® L.L.C., one of the oldest ICF accredited coach training programs, and one that will enable me to be an ICF certified coach.