What I Offer

What kind of practices and techniques do I use? Why a life coach?

What is this DBT stuff?

DBT - known as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy - was created by Marsha M. Linehan. She is an American Psychologist who has written many books, published papers and scientific studies, along with founding various foundations. What she teaches DBT for is Borderline Personality Disorder. That isn't the only thing it is used for however; DBT has application in every day life too!

It primarily teaches skills to live in the moment and not worry about the past or the future. It teaches skills in the areas of Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

DBT is also the method of seeing how two things that are opposites can exist at the same time. For example, you can feel that your parents did the best they knew how - but also acknowledge that they taught you unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Some of the uses:

Helping step away from self-harm habits or coping practices and stepping into healthier coping practices. This is the first step in DBT for someone who is hurting themselves.

Self-soothing tools to deal with anxiety, depression, and other distressing moments.

Emotion Regulation - Helping you regulate how you feel and get back to feeling better.

Living in the moment by focusing on what is real and present; not the "What-If's." AKA: Mindfulness or Wise Mind.

Getting your needs met in relationships and helping talk it out when they aren't met.

Confronting an unhealthy relationship and walking away from the conversation with confidence instead of guilt.

Getting closer to people you love and growing the relationships that you want to keep.

Limitless other uses!


Essentially, DBT could be like a life saving surgery where CBT is treated more like physical therapy routines: long term priorities. DBT is highly focused for "in the moment" approaches. Both have long term affects and both need to be practiced and take effort; however they shine in different situations.

What is that CBT thing?

CBT - also known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - helps you examine your habits, coping mechanisms, and primarily "cognitive distortions." These are basically the filters of how we see the world and perceive the the actions of others. It's generally a slower, long-term approach to changing our behaviors. This is where the Physical Therapy analogy from the DBT section above comes in.

You may be able to fix a broken bone right away and take away the immediate danger, but you will still need to work on the muscles around it and let the bone heal. You can also prevent further injury by avoiding certain things that hurt it more. How does that apply to CBT?

CBT is the process of becoming aware of what we have learned in the past to understand why we behave the way we do in the present.

We observe our past to see what Cognitive Distortions (our way of thinking about the world) that we have presently. We become empowered to change our life when we can identify the unhelpful behaviors and habits from how we look at the world.

Direct Relation to the Analogy:

Broken bone - Our immediate problem we'd like to fix

Setting the broken bone - DBT to help treat us right away

Cast for the bone - Practicing our tools learned in DBT and CBT

Physical Therapy - Mastering our tools

Learning how to avoid reinjuring it - CBT to help us understand how our thoughts impact our behavior today and where we learned them from

As you can see, CBT can be a very beneficial method to learn how to STAY healthy. It takes practice and effort. but it is well worth it! In this way, you can observe what you learned at a young age so that you can change the way you think today. By changing the way you think, you can change the way you see the world and that can help change your behaviors.

Some Applications for CBT:

Identifying your Core Beliefs so that you can make choices that you are pleased with.

Identifying long term values or goals so that you have something to reach for.

Changing the way you see other people's behavior or your own behavior.

Tearing down old ways of seeing the world and building new ways of seeing the world.

Challenging self doubt, challenging depreciating automatic thoughts, and proving you have value to yourself.

More Mindfulness practices and living in the moment of truth and fact.

Uses facts to challenge the "What-If's" or other discouraging thought patterns.

What about ACT?

ACT is an acronym for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It was established by Dr. Steven Hayes in the 1980's. ACT takes the approach of making a helpful and healthy way of living. It has been shown to increase mindfulness and resilience. With a focus on doing, acting, and living, this is a very action based approach. Despite that, it does not encourage distraction or busy-ness. In fact, it encourages slowing down and doing things while being more aware.

It is described as having six core paths:

  1. Acceptance

  2. Cognitive Defusion

  3. Values

  4. Committed Action

  5. Present Moment

  6. Self-as-context

Acceptance, values, committed actions, and present moment are where I have seen the greatest impact with the people I have worked with. Because of that, those are where I spend most of my energy with you.

A goal of ACT is to help create a more flexible, motivated, and resilient "you."

ACT practices can help reduce stress responses, anxiety, painful memories, distressing thoughts, OCD, depression, and many other things in our lives that impact our mental fortitude. It can even help you to deal with chronic health issues. It does this by encouraging you to live in the present moment; be aware of where you are right now and what you want in life. Then you use techniques that ACT teaches to take steps in that direction.

You can let go of negative thoughts and lean into difficult feelings. By opening yourself up to the possibility of difficult situations, risk, and challenges - you also open yourself up to the possibility of rewarding situations, peace, happiness, and even contentment. A change in perspective can mean the difference between someone who sees the dark or sees the light.

ACT helps you to find new perspectives and let go of what holds you back from acting on your values and improving your quality of life.

Can I learn to Communicate more clearly?

Why are they important?

Communication is the primary way that humans connect. How many times have you misunderstood someone and spent the next 60 seconds trying to - awkwardly - clarify the conversation? I know I've done it a lot! Why is that?

Communication is often mistakenly summed up as a 3 step process.

  1. You think something

  2. You speak the words

  3. They hear and understand the words

You may be thinking: "Yes, that sounds right - why is it a mistake?" You wouldn't be alone in thinking that. In fact, most everyone believes this is how communication works!

I'll now introduce 2 more hidden steps to communication and 2 tools to help us be more clear.

Regardless of how aware we may feel during our communication, this is what actually happens:

  1. You think something

  2. You speak your words *how you hear them*

  3. They hear your words *as they hear them*

  4. They interpret what you mean by those words (Hidden step 1)

  5. They have a thought about what you said *and have their own understanding of your intent* (Hidden step 2)

What does this have to do with how I can help you? Because of two tools I was taught to use. They can be quite simple to learn, but challenging to practice. A person needs to be in a wise state of mind before they can efficiently use the following tools that I will help you learn.

Tool Number 1:


Reflecting what someone has said to you puts a pause on step 4 of communication. When we reflect, it could sound like, "So what you're saying is that you don't like my car?" Instead of going straight to interpretation, you are giving the other person a chance to clarify what they mean before you respond with your own words - potentially defensive or aggressive.

It could also sound like this:

"I can't believe I married you! You're such a terrible person!"
"What I'm hearing is you think that I'm a bad person and you don't love me, is that right?"
"No, I do love you - but you never help out around the house! It makes me exhausted, picking up after you all the time!"

What you have just avoided is making the situation worse by defending yourself from unclear communication. Now you can see what the real issue is and how to proceed. This is a skill that I teach to my clients. A result is not only peace or diffusing a situation, but also connection and validation of feelings and thoughts.

Tool Number 2:

Non-Violent Communication

An expansion of tool number 1, Non-Violent Communication (NVC) is a well known and growing method of communication. It is taught and used for many high intensity situations. It can range all the way from helping families learn to talk to each other and be heard - to corporate and leadership positions - to creating peace between a man who was wrongly accusing another of terrorism. That is a true story; it's in the book I use to help learn NVC.

This tool is very complex and in depth, so if you would like to learn more about this please fill out the client questionnaire and schedule an appointment with me!

Why are you a Behavioral Life Coach instead of a Dr?

Why did I choose to become a Behavioral Life Coach? I wanted a practical way of helping people. When I was shown how it would be possible for ME to help people NOW by becoming a life coach - That is what I decided to do. I'll be honest with you: I'm 'green' at this profession. However, I've been practicing these skills throughout my life. Now that I know I can use these things to help people, I am going to.

You may ask: Why not become a licensed therapist though? Frankly - too much time will have passed and too much debt for me to enjoy what I do. This is something that I'm passionate about. It's not a job to me and I don't want it to be about paying off student loans or making tens-of-thousands of dollars a month. This isn't a get rich quick scheme for me. I've been helping people for free for most of my career while working a full time job. I only recently took this into a full time endeavor.

In addition to that - and this may come as a surprise to you - being a Behavioral Life Coach gives me more freedom to say what needs to be said. You and I are peers. I'm not an all-knowing guru or trained pathologist that is going to sit here and examine your id and ego and what your dreams mean. I'm not Freud.

That means if I see something that you are doing that is unhelpful to your goals, I'll try to help you identify it... And if you can't, I'll tell you straight up. Don't worry though; I take pride in clients and family alike telling me "You're so patient, how are you so patient with me?" I'm not going to jump down your throat because you didn't follow up. I will however encourage you to keep pushing forward. Keep making progress. Keep trying.

I'm here to make a difference one life at a time.

So why choose to bring a Behavioral Life Coach into your life?

Because I'm here to make a difference and believe that letters in front of someone's name doesn't always make them the best fit to help me out. The same way you wouldn't pay a surgeon to help you unclog a drain in your house, I wouldn't want to pay $120 an hour for someone when all I need is someone to help me learn and practice a new skill.

Does this mean I look down on licensed therapists or psychologists? NOT AT ALL! I truly believe they have a necessary place in the world. I'll even direct you to some if I feel that I'm out of my depth with your needs. In fact, the best approach is to pair Life Coaching with a licensed therapist or psychologist. A psychologist or therapist can provide the in depth analysis and insight you may need, and the Life Coach is the team-mate that keeps you on track between appointments. The hard truth is, though, that sometimes that ideal way isn't possible for everyone. Which is why I present myself as someone to fill that middle ground. Let me help you on your path to growth and change.

I'm here to make a difference one life at a time.