What is coaching?

​Remember back in high school when you were assigned, or maybe even got to choose, a guidance counselor?  Someone to help you explore your options without telling you what to do?

Soooo . . . after graduation, what happened to those people??? As an adult, when life gets REAL, who do you turn to? Do you have it all figured out now that you're over 21? Are you done growing because you made your life choices when you were younger?

Who gives you guidance? Maybe you lean on friends, partners, coworkers, or family members? But, they are adults, too! With their own busy lives and competing agendas.

Over decades, I sought out lots of traditional therapy and psychiatry to help me with my life struggles and no doubt, found them helpful and maybe even life-saving; but once I was functioning in all capacities yet still fundamentally unsatisfied, I realized I needed a different approach. When I serendipitously experienced my first coaching conversation with a life coach via a telephone job interview, I knew something powerful was at hand. Within a few minutes, this executive life coach asked thought-provoking questions that led to my own insights in a way I had never experienced, challenged me to see outside the box I'd been living in, and motivated me to take action on those insights to create the life I really wanted. While I strongly believe that traditional therapy and psychiatry are valuable tools and certainly helped me when I needed them, I don't believe that every adult who needs help living adult life is mentally ill or should get a medical diagnosis in order to qualify for guidance


No one should have to go through life alone, literally or metaphorically.  Life is MESSY.  We need each other.

As a grown-up, it's tempting to just work harder, decide you are crazy or designate yourself as "compost" for future generations. I'd like to suggest another option . . . maybe dig a little deeper and . . .

partner with me

remember who you are

re-empower yourself 

feel successful


 Is coaching for you?

Coaching works best for people who are highly motivated, open-minded and are willing to do the work. Real change and growth occur as a result of the client taking insights and ideas from the sessions and translating them into action between sessions. Coaching is not for people who are not ready to take responsibility for improving their lives, nor is it for people who blame others for their challenges.


I am not a therapist. Therapists often diagnose and treat clinically significant disorders, with the goal of helping clients return to normal function. There is often a focus on understanding how the past has created the present, and on achieving emotional resolution of past events and interpersonal issues.

Coaching, in contrast, is focused on helping clients move from functional to optimal, as well as overcoming areas where they may be stuck (such as personal and professional burnout, boredom, a sense of isolation or loneliness). Coaching uses evidence-based techniques to help people clarify what "success" means to them and what internal and external challenges are getting in their way.  That insight is then used to set and accomplish goals for leading a more purposeful and meaningful life. Coaching is very focused on action and on the future.


All photos on this site were taken by Allison Curtis in Humboldt County, California.