Counseling and Coaching for Change

I.  Personal Counseling and Coaching

DominicanRepublicVista-1000629Getting support is critical at certain points in one’s life.  It is all too easy to push on and tough it out when even a little outside help provides the necessary psychological and emotional support to navigate whatever challenge one is facing.

With 40 years experience in psycho-spiritual development, training in psychiatry and multiple psychological and physical healing modalities, I have helped thousands of people deal with a wide range of issues –  anxiety, depression, stress reduction, relationship issues, healthy aging, creating a fulfilling and meaningful third phase of life, and the challenges of expatriating and moving to a new culture.

My style is eclectic and holistic though depending on your situation or issue, I may focus in with one particular approach or tool for a while.  Whether you want a one-session consultation, sessions as needed, or a series of sessions, we c0-create a structure and plan to help you move forward.  I offer both in-person sessions for those who are local in Cuenca and work virtually via Skype for those outside of Cuenca and in other countries.

Who can benefit?

  • Expats world-wide who need someone with a mental health background (psychiatry) to talk to about issues related to their illness
  • Expats who are having difficulty or questions about adjusting to life as an expat
  • Those who are struggling with relationship/marital issues, recent retirement and loss of purpose or meaning in their lives, anxiety, stress management
  • Anyone seeking to achieve greater self-acceptance, peace of mind, well-being and fulfillment in their lives

How It Works:

  1. I offer an initial free 30-minute consultation to see if I can help you.  If not, I will make referrals to other resources if I can.
  2. Contact me to set up the initial consultation, at which time we will discuss what kind of assistance you’re looking for and you can get to know me a little to see if we’re a good fit.
  3. Then if you decide you want to work with me, we’ll set up a schedule (whether it’s one or more sessions).  Clients pay in advance by Paypal.

Contact me to schedule a conversation!


II. What’s Next Program for Boomers

In Ecuador, New Year’s Eve is ritually celebrated in part by the burning of effigies that represent all that people want to let go of and say good-bye to in the past year.  As much as we may be ready to let go of the old and move on to the new, for many there now remains a burning question.


“What’s next? “

For those who have just retired or are nearing “retirement”, this question can loom large and create significant discomfort as you face what is often a big unknown.  In fact, it may seem like a potential huge void.  The conventional wisdom of life after retirement is that it’s a time to enjoy oneself,  to throw oneself into having fun and pleasure after many years of working hard and paying dues, and do all the things we’ve deferred.

Yet the need for meaning and purpose does not age; it does not retire.

This is a paradoxical time.  On the one hand, societal norms – at least in the West – still treat life after 60 as winding down.  Yet, in some ways you’re at the height of your power; you’ve learned so much, you’ve had a huge amount of life and work experience.  And yet you find yourself asking questions like these:

“ What’s ahead?”

“How can I make a meaningful contribution or difference with my knowledge, experience, talents and skills?”

“I don’t think I’m ready to not work at all but I have no idea what I want to do next.”

“Is it possible to have an encore career at this stage of life?”

“I don’t have enough retirement savings to live the life I want now.  What should I do?”

“What is my/our best option for moving forward?”

At this moment in history, baby boomers are one of the more challenged groups – we’re living longer (as a whole) than previous generations yet we’re alive in uncertain and volatile times, many of us having lost significant amounts of retirement savings or simply not having saved enough for the time we have yet to live.  You also know we’ve got lots of joie de vivre left and you want to make the most of the rest of your life yet without the structures of career, work, and family you may have once had, you’re surprised to find yourself feeling uncomfortably stuck and at a loss as to what to do with yourself now.

Drawing on my many years as a coach, counselor, guide, seeker, adventurer and of course, my own Boomer experience, I’ve created a four-month structured coaching program to guide and support you in creating the next phase of your life so that you have the sense of purpose, meaning, fulfillment and ease that you desire.  With this program,  I offer you tracks to follow, pitfalls to avoid, and a steady guiding hand along the way.

What You Get:

What’s Next is a structured four-month coaching program  designed to help you create a roadmap and life design based on who you are and what really matters to you.  To accomplish this, you receive 8 personalized coaching sessions, each of which builds on self-exploration assessments and a workbook of self-discovery exercises.  In addition, I share with you the benefit of my own extensive experience with transitions and my resource collection.

Session 1:  Setting the Stage

–     Client’s background/history:  where you’ve been and where you are now

–       What success in this program would look like?

–       What kind of support do you need?

–       Sharing of expectations (mine and yours)

–       Overview of self-knowledge assessments and how to access them

–       Preview of Assumptions and Beliefs exercise

Homework:  Complete assessments, Assumptions & Beliefs Worksheet

Session 2:  Assumptions and Beliefs

An examination of and coaching to clarify your assumptions and beliefs about this stage of life, how they do or don’t serve you, clarifying what success means now, and what assumptions for success underlie having the good life and for the rest of your life

Session 3:  Self-Knowledge: Who am I really?

– Review assessment results and take a deeper dive into self-knowledge of what your preferences, strengths, non-strengths, and motivating drives are.  Here we look at the “so now what?”  based on your assessment results and how you can use the information to inform how you design this next phase of your life

– Preview Self-Discovery and Values Clarification worksheets

          Homework:  Self-Discovery worksheet, Values Clarification worksheet

Session 4:  My Personal Values

– Review and clarify what gives your life meaning, how you’ve lived your values in the past, and what makes sense now into the future

– Preview Vision and Eulogy exercises

          Homework:  Vision Worksheet, Eulogy exercise

Session 5:  My Personal Vision

–   Review homework worksheets

–   In this session, you identify a meaningful and energizing personal vision for what you want to be, do, have and become.  You will be able to answer the question “What’s important for and about the rest of my life?” from a sense of inner guidance.

–   Preview Life Options and Resources worksheets


1) Life Options and Dreams for Lifestyle, Contribution, Work, Play, Fulfillment Worksheet

2)  My Resources: What available resources do I have and which do I need to get

Session 6:  Life Options and Dreams Review

–    In this session, we examine and help you clarify life options that both make sense for you and give you both a sense of vitality and ease.  Then we look at what resources you will need to make your vision and chosen options a reality.

Homework:  Goals and Action Steps

Session 7:  Putting the Plan into Action: Goal-setting

–    Clarify 3 month, 6-month, and 12-month goals

–    Identify first action steps

–    Provide pertinent resource material

Session 8:  Check-In and Progress

–    Celebrate what you’ve clarified and accomplished

–    What’s needed now?

In summary, you receive:

– Eight (8) one-hour coaching sessions

– Three personality, preference, and motivator assessments

– A workbook of self-discovery exercises that deepen your self-exploration and self-knowledge

The Program Logistics

– The program may be taken solo or as a couple

–  Sessions 1 through 7 are each separated by a two-week interval, and Session 8 following after Session 7 with a 4-week interval.  Since Session 7 is a commitment to goals and action steps, this month is designed to get you into action and active exploration.

– One-hour coaching sessions are scheduled weekly at a mutually agreed upon time

Program Fee:  $1200 (if you live in Ecuador, ask me about the reduced fee)

This includes the coaching sessions, personality assessments, workbook, and all email support between sessions.

Is this program right for you?

If you’re feeling stuck, scared, confused, or simply needing a roadmap for how to move forward, this program will focus you in creating and concretizing a plan.  Furthermore, check in with yourself to see if your life may not have enough meaning or purpose:

  1. You find yourself drinking too much
  2. You’re spending a lot of time on Facebook and/or watching TV
  3. You’re feeling bored, lonely, and empty
  4. You see your grandchildren as your purpose for living
  5. You’re complacent, feel you’ve paid your dues and that there’s nothing left to learn

All too often we feel we should be able to figure this out on our own, so we tough it out, thinking the answers will show up sooner or later.  Believe me, I’ve done that way too many times in my life.  If this describes you, just remember that the longer you procrastinate or wait in hope that the answers will magically appear, in the meantime you will have wasted precious time and perhaps energy too, trying to reinvent the wheel.

Is this the time to give yourself the gift of support and guidance from someone who has walked this path?

I’ve gone through the excitement, fear and uncertainty of numerous major transitions and reinventions, including divorce, major geographic relocations, career changes, and now, embarking on experiencing life in a foreign land.  In addition to my professional training as a coach and counselor, I’ve earned my stripes as a guide, having traversed the shoals of transition many a time.

So whether you’re….

  • feeling stuck
  • feeling overwhelmed by too many or competing decisions to be made
  • wanting a roadmap
  • uneasy about your future
  • unsatisfied with your present (even if life isn’t necessarily bad)
  • mourning something you’ve given up or lost from your past
  • feeling something is missing
  • not having the impact or making the contribution you want
  • considering relocating to a new country

Then you’re in the right place…and I would be honored to serve as your guide.

Interested?  Want to learn more?  Contact me for a free consultation.  I have both Skype and a U.S. phone number with no-charge calls from the U.S. or Canada.

III. Awake Self Coaching and Counseling

Seeking after wholeness is the Spiritual Warrior’s quest.  In the Shambhala Zen tradition, the spiritual warrior is one who sees into the heart of the matter, who discerns what is needed, who focuses intention and brings to bear spiritual, mental, and emotional resources in order to shift physical reality.

Are you feeling stuck or stagnant, finding yourself repeating old non-productive behaviors?

Having a hard time with the loss of someone or something important to you?

Do you yearn for a breakthrough or some clarity on how to move forward?

Are you escaping from a sense of emptiness by drinking/eating/facebooking too much?

Are you sensing that now is the time for a new beginning of some kind? 

If so, then you may be in the perfect place to benefit from a change catalyst. At the heart of my work– which encompasses coaching, counseling, guiding, teaching and  consulting – I am a change catalyst who works with those seeking wholeness, purpose, and greater fulfillment.

Most of the time, change requires a period of self-discovery – a peeling back of the onion so to speak – for deeper self-knowledge and awareness.  Although a never-ending life process, you can accelerate this process with the help of a catalyst.

What often makes change difficult or unappealing is that it also requires a period of transition. Transitions take time – and often longer than we’d like.  They have multiple stages that must be navigated in order to successfully make a change.  Throughout this period, we typically experience a myriad of emotions and states ranging from fear, confusion, doubt, discontent, dissatisfaction, lack of meaning, curiosity, longing, desire and excitement.  It’s easy to get stuck in the emotions or feel like it’s simply more than you want to take on.

But the great news is that all these states indicate a spark of life simply waiting to be catalyzed into some new form, some new meaning, some new life.

However, to ignite the spark and bring forth something new, different or better typically requires taking some action which brings new information into your system.  Providing new information and new perspectives is what I do as a catalyst, coach, counselor and facilitator.

My Approach and Style

With my background as a massage therapist, healer, physician/psychiatrist, and professional coach, my approach to health, healing, growth and well being is integrative and multi-dimensional.  I utilize everything from skillful questions, challenges, support, ideas, and sharing of resources to use of personality assessments and wisdom tools such as the Runes, the Enneagram, and astrology.

My intention in co-creating change with clients is one of self-discovery, deeper self-acceptance, creativity, renewed vitality and transformation.  For most of us, change does not come easily.  And too often we get trapped in the notion that we can or have to figure it out ourselves.  I speak from personal experience!  Yet why not make it easier?

If you’re reading this page, you’re probably someone who’s committed to a path of growth.  But if you find yourself stuck, discouraged, confused or simply wanting someone to share and deepen your self-discovery, I invite you to contact me.  No matter where you are in your journey, I will both support and challenge you in creating your path forward, clearing it or building it as the case may be.

And yes, you can figure it out for yourself (probably), but if you want to accelerate your growth, happiness, and success, then partnering with someone who has expertise in facilitating change and growth is the way to go.

If you sense in your heart of hearts that you could use some guidance and support to initiate or expedite some change you’re seeking, I always give a free initial consultation to see if I can in fact help you.  If not, I may be able to offer you other resources that fit the bill.

Contact me to set up a time to chat, by Skype or by phone (I have a no-charge direct dial to and from U.S. and Canadian numbers).