- You were raised in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family
- You are attracted to dysfunctional partners
- You are recovering from addiction for at least 3 months
- You feel like a fraud
- You are afraid to just be yourself
- You are insecure in your love relationships
- You’re afraid that who you really are isn’t enough
- You work hard to overcome who you’re afraid you are
- You justify being dishonest
- In the game you play, you’re always playing from behind
- You feel powerless much of the time
- Risks are too risky and anything out of the norm is a risk
- You are performing your life rather than living it
- You are afraid of most people
- It seems like life is happening to you
- You have little or no capacity for additional stress or drama
- You have been criticized as too sensitive
- You experienced childhood trauma
- You are constantly seeking validation, approval and acceptance
- You see compliments as manipulative
- Any attention is too much or not enough
- You compare your life to the lives you see on social media and always come up short
- You post the life you wish you had on social media
- You’re stuck in a job you hate
- What is comfort?
- Criticism gets in you and hurts
- You’re stuck in a relationship you hate
- You settle for a life that is as good as you believe you deserve.
- You are apathetic about your life
- You feel judged, disregarded, disrespected or discounted
- You’re afraid to acknowledge the struggle
- You live in fear of rejection, abandonment, conflict or criticism
If you can find yourself in this list,
If you are willing to do the work required to permanently heal and change, and
If you are ready to accept help let’s talk.
It’s not a fluke that I work with people like you. I created this list from my own experience. I was raised in an oppressive religious family with violent alcoholic parents. I became frightened of people and constantly feared criticism. I learned to perform in school and at work. I lived an automatic life completely unaware of my own power and responsibility. My own journey has provided a deep level of recovery from my own addictions, trauma and survival strategies. Now I work with clients who have had similar life challenges so they can move beyond enduring, tolerating and surviving to lives of clarity, purpose and joy.
My coaching philosophy
We were all born whole perfect and complete. We are born completely dependent on caretakers for our comfort and survival. At some point, we experience feelings of powerlessness, helplessness and hopelessness when our needs are not met right away, when feeling threatened and defenseless, or when our survival is at risk. For an infant or child, when something happens, they think it happens because of them.
To endure unbearable powerlessness, children look to themselves as the cause of the discomfort. Perceiving themselves as the cause of the problem, children conclude there is something about who they are or what they have done that they can change. If only they were different or better, the problem could be avoided. The moment this idea is accepted as the solution to the pain, a new identity is born for the child. I call that identity the Shame Self.
The shame of who we believe we are must be kept a secret. If the world were to find out what we have just learned, we would be abandoned; left alone with no one to care for us. We immediately begin to employ strategies to hide or overcome who we decided we are. I refer to who we try to be; who we try to convince the world we are, as the False Self.
Children become young adults and these identities only become stronger. Young adults become adults. Adults become parents, coworkers, friends, leaders, followers, and spouses. Getting older without healing the Shame and False Identities and recovering our True Selves creates a world of Adult Children. Adult children who have become even more convinced that they are what they decided was wrong with them. Who have gotten better with more complex strategies for overcoming and hiding who they are afraid they are. Adult children pretending to be mature adults and making the same mistakes their parents made. I help my clients to recover their True Self. As our True Selves, we are capable of joy, love, truth, compassion, creativity, wisdom, courage and so much more.
How do I help my clients recover their True Selves?
In my coaching, clients are introduced to their internal Family System made up of “parts” which influence them to think, feel and react to life when they are activated. These parts create a lens that effects how circumstances of life are perceived. Using the IFS model, internal healing and balance is achieved. The results happen quickly and the healing is permanent. IFS has worked for me and it works for my clients.
I tried to create a sense of value and worth by working hard, being thoughtful, being smart and being nice. I tried to feel a part of the crowd by doing what the crowd did. I felt like a fraud. I used cannabis, nicotine, work and alcohol to cope with an unfulfilled life. I was insecure and didn’t trust my wife to be faithful despite a total absence of evidence that she couldn’t be trusted. I almost drove her away with my strategies for preventing her from abandoning me. When I thought she was about to take the kids and leave me, I stopped the cannabis and alcohol and began attending 12 step meetings.
Almost immediately, the 12 step social scene became my addiction with up to 3 meetings a day and meetings after the meetings. She liked me better when I was drinking. I stayed sober. I didn’t drink. I was lost, confused, frightened, angry and upset most of the time. I became even more insecure. Eventually my wife died of a brain tumor when I was 7 years sober and left me with our two children, 8 and 9 years old. Life was happening to me.
I remained abstinent during her illness and after her death but found another addiction to help put a cushion between me and my pain. I created crazy, addictive, codependent relationships with half a dozen women – most of whom I had met in 12 step meetings over the next 2 years. My two children had just lost their mom and were now watching me usher these strange women in and out of their lives.
I expected abstinence and the steps to make it all better. I worked the program to the best of my willingness and ability but continued to struggle and suffer. Two years after my first wife died I married my second wife in a last-ditch effort to interrupt the insane dramatic cycle of new relationships. We had a daughter and built a house together. Like the other women I had gotten involved with, my second wife was in and out of recovery for addiction. We tried our best but only managed to make each other miserable for 8 ½ years before I ended the marriage. Afraid that I may just resume my addiction to relationships,
I committed to working on myself and stayed single for 13 years. During that time, I discovered The Work of Byron Katie, Landmark Education, Life Coaching and Internal Family Systems Therapy. In 2013 I remarried for the last time.
Thanks to the deep and lasting healing work that I had done to that point, I found someone who is as kind and sane as I had become. We have been together since 2011 and enjoy a happy, healthy and authentic life together.
I began my coaching career in 2011 after hiring my first life coach, Carlos Jones. Carlos told me how he had been trained to be a life coach and I followed his path by completing a one year life coach training program in 2016. In 2019, with the support and urging of my therapist, I was accepted into a one year training to become an Internal Family Systems Practitioner. I completed Level 1 IFS training in June of 2020 and completed Level 2 the same year. I am now in the process of becoming a Certified IFS Practitioner.
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