my Philosophy & approach
I believe the way we have been taught to approach personal change is entirely wrong.
Most self-improvement materials focus on a single strategy: brute-force transformation. We’re given an ideal to live up to and pursue it with all our might. If this strategy worked, we’d all become the exact people we want to be and go on with our lives. That’s not what happens. Instead, this strategy generates massive self-conflict with minimal long-term change. Even if we succeed for awhile, we often find ourselves back exactly where we started.
Lasting progress comes when we see ourselves as an ally we want to help instead of an enemy to defeat.
Fighting ourselves wastes energy that should be spent on forward progress. Self-collaboration yields better fruit than self-conflict. Our job isn’t to figure out who we “should” be. We already are someone. Our job is to figure out who this person is and discover what lets them thrive.
The best way to improve our lives is to improve the relationship we have with ourselves.
Living in self-alignment allows us to channel all our energy towards honoring who we really are and creating a life that respects our truth. We weren’t born to live someone else’s life. We were born to be ourselves.
Techniques & Approaches
Self-compassion is an evidence-based intervention that allows us to transform our self-relationship from within. While some fear self-compassion will cause them to become lazy or fall behind, research shows the exact opposite is true. Treating ourselves as an ally we want to help — instead of an enemy we want to defeat — produces excellent results. It’s amazing what we can achieve when we don’t waste energy fighting ourselves.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
IFS is an evidence-based framework that heals emotional pain by building a positive self-relationship within. It assumes we are made up of “parts” that are often in conflict. One part of you may want you to be bold and share your truth with the world…while another wants you to hide and avoid being seen. It remembers how you were hurt before and doesn’t want you to experience this again. Instead of picking a side and fighting this out, IFS allows us to heal these old wounds. Healing past pain allows these protective parts to switch roles and become powerful allies towards authentic living. IFS excels for those who experience high degrees of shame, self-conflict, self-doubt, fear of external judgment, and similar issues. With over 4,000 professionals on waiting lists to take IFS training, I’m fortunate to offer this in-demand methodology to clients.
Meditation allows us to transform our relationship with our minds. Those who are new will be taught the ropes and offered tools to support their journey as needed. Nearly every client I work with adopts a meditative practice during our time together. While I’m personally a fan of mindfulness meditation, clients are free to adopt whatever practice suits them best. Learning how to be still creates the mental and emotional space we need to create change. We want to respond to life, not react to it. Clients who are new to meditation will be taught the ropes and offered tools to support their journey as needed.
Emotional Skills Training
EST allows us to transform our relationship with our feelings. Built off the Inner Strength Training curriculum I developed for my previous work in men’s groups, it focuses on four key skills:
1) Learning how to connect with our emotions and name them;
2) Learning how to feel and process any emotion without letting it take us over or drown us;
3) Learning how to cultivate the feeling of strength and security from within; and
4) Learning how to effectively communicate our feelings to others so we can be respected, loved, and have our needs met.
The Self-Honor Process
The Self-Honor Process describes a framework I have seen clients routinely move through over the years. It’s made of three distinct phases. My job is to monitor their progress and help them explore and resolve any setbacks that routinely come up along the way.
1) Self-acceptance, where we come to peace with ourselves in a holistic and complete sense. Self-compassion and IFS excel here.
2) Self-discovery, where clients embark on journeys of self-exploration and discovery by investigating themselves and trying new things.
3) Self-honor, where clients takes steps to create an external life that reflects who they are within.
Every person is different. While positive results often show up within the first few weeks, most work with me anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. Some need less time, others require more. I realize coaching is an investment and do everything in my power to help clients achieve their goals as quickly as possible.
Most clients experience lasting change. It’s rare for clients to need coaching again once they’ve reached a critical mass of internal transformation. This matches my goal: I want clients to experience lifelong independence based on a strong sense of security from within. Fostering dependence on professionals such as myself goes against this goal.
I know we have succeeded when a client would rather be rejected for who they are than loved for who they’re not.
My work is not suitable for people who are actively suicidal, battling addiction, or who are emotionally unstable. If you are struggling to get through your day and need help becoming a functional person, counseling is required.
Coaching works best for people who can function in everyday life but struggle with persistent insecurity and/or fear. My style of coaching focuses on helping clients discover who they are and what they what while building lasting confidence and a healthy self-relationship within.
Yes! I frequently work with clients who are also in therapy. Many have benefited from these complementary approaches. Please contact me to learn how we can set this up in partnership with your therapist.
IFS practitioners (such as myself) and IFS therapists receive the exact same training from the IFS Institute. If you’re solely interested in IFS, there is no significant difference.
Yes. There are no limitations on who I can work with based on territory. I have worked with clients from across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France so far. As long as you speak English and we can find a common time to meet, we can work together.
Yes, though I usually refer different clients to different resources depending on their personal issues and needs. However, I am developing a resource page of my common recommendations that I hope to have active soon.
I received my coaching certification from Duquesne University in 2013 and have been helping individuals break out of fear ever since. I specialize in working with men, young men and women who struggle with high self-criticism and social insecurity, and college students who are stressed and nervous about the future.