Q. What is a Life Coach? How could a Life Coach help me?

A. Coaching has become one of the leading tools successful people are using to lead even more extraordinary lives. Many professionals are now developing an ally-relationship with a Professional Coach who provides the support, strategy and accountability necessary to achieve their desired outcomes. If you're trying to figure out how to get motivated a Life Coach can help you develop a plan of action to achieve your goals.

Some people may hire a Life Coach to help them create clear goals, discover their life purpose or feel more fulfillment. Others may want to resolve a specific issue or transform a relationship. Sometimes people just feel stuck, stressed, conflicted, confused or out of balance and these feelings can manifest as health issues. Sometimes people need an ally for support and strategic thinking as they stretch to accomplish big dreams.

A skilled Coach will help you identify core values and strengths, access talents and inner resources, be a sounding board, help with strategic thinking, make key decisions, boost your self-image, plan and organize and help you with accountability.

Q. What is NLP? What does it stand for?

A. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a way of understanding the way that your mind is storing your memories, emotions and conditioned responses. Each piece of information is stored in a pattern that is comprised of the five senses (pictures, sounds, and sensations). Imagine your brain as a computer system which creates ongoing programs that allow you to function in the world. Your brilliant brain continuously develops these programs as you live, as you make meaning out of our life experiences and as you grow into the unique person that you are - with your individual perspective, beliefs and personality.

NLP is the study of how this human computer system works and how these programs can be changed to create the outcomes you want in life. The founders of NLP discovered how our memories, emotions, responses and patterns were stored in the brain and then developed processes to change these patterns so that we would be empowered by the way we think - not limited. They developed step-by-step techniques to transform the programs that limit us and create new ways of storing our memories and thoughts, allowing us to achieve our fullest potential.

These changes can happen literally in the neuropathways of the brain and at the unconscious level of the mind -- the level that runs the body, stores the memories, and produces the mental and emotional states. NLP is very goal-oriented and has a reputation for working quickly on most issues, creating effective, long-lasting change.

Q. How was NLP developed?

A. NLP was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder who met at the University of California at Santa Cruz in the early 1970's. Bandler, a student of mathematics and Grinder, a linguist, had studied Gestalt Therapy with its founder Fritz Perls. They became friends as a result of their fascination with Gestalt and subsequently studied the work of 2 other great therapists: Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson.

Virginia Satir was the primary developer of Family Therapy. She developed Family Systems Theory and was famous for her exceptional effectiveness as a therapist. Part of the NLP philosophy includes the Presuppositions of NLP, a set of beliefs held to be true in every circumstance. The first presupposition of NLP is "Behind every behavior is a positive intention." This was the cornerstone of Virginia Satir's work with clients. Bandler and Grinder observed Virginia Satir's work in minute detail and identified the steps she followed to create her extraordinary results. From what they learned they developed some of the first NLP processes.

Bandler and Grinder then studied the work of Milton Erickson, the father of modern-day hypnotherapy. Milton Erickson was a medical doctor as well as a hypnotherapist and much of his work focused on people with severe physical and mental illnesses and disabilities. Bandler and Grinder watched hours and hours of video tapes of Dr Erickson working with clients to determine the exact steps used to create his successes.

Bandler and Grinder observed the dynamics of language patterns, the structure of belief and identity, as well as the way the brain stores information. Experimenting with various procedures, they discovered that these processes were effective in helping people make desired changes, with surprising and sometimes instant results. NLP became known as a new field of personal growth that offered people the possibility of working through difficult problems in a short amount of time.

The field of NLP has created a global community of people who hold the intent of promoting health and wellness for individuals, groups and organizations. The NLP Coaching Institute of California is one of the many respectable NLP training institutes and is where I received much of my training.

Q. What is TPM? What does it stand for?

A. Thought Pattern Management, created by Robert Fletcher, is based on thirty years of development and extensive research into the processes of the 'mind-body' connection. TPM offers powerful techniques and approaches for educating the mind and communicating internally to create changes at the unconscious level of the mind -- the level that runs the body, stores the memories, and produces the mental and emotional states.

Every thought in the mind has a corresponding body response. Every movement of the body causes a corresponding response in the mind. This interplay of action and reaction follows set patterns developed over the lifetime of the individual. As mental pathways are cleared many emotional and psychological problems simply go away and cease producing the negative symptoms of mental or physical illness. My work with TPM has taken me to a whole new level of effectiveness in helping people to resolve even the most serious and difficult issues like trauma, sexual abuse and PTSD.

Q. What is The Symbols Way?

A. The Symbols Way was developed by The Ashland Institute to help individuals facing life direction issues. It is a powerful tool to help people connect with their life's calling, their deeper sense of purpose. An artistic, ritual setting is created on a fabric diamond or "Field" on the floor. The client uses symbols which represent the major factors in their current life to help them observe their current juncture. A specific series of inquiry has been designed to help open a new range of understanding, perspective, intuition and insight for the client.

The Symbols way weaves together work from Dynamic Dialogue, ShadowWork, the archetypal foundations of Carl Jung, Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. The work draws upon the four directions and an understanding of wholeness shared by indigenous peoples around the world. The process has been refined over many years of guiding both individuals and groups to connect with life's design and patterning. Life gives order to the unfoldment in our lives in a systemic way, given half a chance, and The Symbols Way process awakens your intuition so that you can more clearly envision the next evolutionary steps in your life.

Q. What is Shamanic Healing?

A. The roots of shamanic healing go back to the ancient times of our tribal ancestors and have been kept alive by the tribal cultures living around the world, close to nature and at the edges of civilization. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in modern western culture to rediscover these ancient traditions and reconnect to our ancestors. From the shamanic perspective, there are three causes of illness: disharmony, fear and "soul loss". Shamanic healing addresses one or all of these in a healing session. This type of transpersonal healing addresses the spiritual, non-physical causes of ill health. When these causes are healed, the effects can filter into the physical realm, bringing renewed health and wellness.

Shamanic healing uses a practice called journey work which involves working in the transpersonal spirit realms. Drumming or rattling is used to help create a light trance state, a state of theta brain waves, an ancient type of meditation. In this state of inner focus, it is possible to contact the transpersonal forces in other realms. When healing occurs in those realms, the shaman becomes the bridge to bring the healing to our physical realm. The results are often subtle and yet profound.

Q. Are you a therapist?

A. I am a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Thought Pattern Management, NLP Health and Beliefs, a teacher of The Wealthy Mind Clinic and a Coach certified by the NLP Coaching Institute. I am an NLP coach, consultant and trainer. I am not a Washington or Montana state licensed mental health practitioner. I do not provide psychotherapy, counseling or any other form of mental health service which would require a Washington or Montana state license, nor do I hold myself out to provide such services. I provide individualized Coaching designed to help people learn how to commit to and achieve their performance goals, and remove any barriers they have to success. Whenever a new client comes for a session, I ask them to sign a disclaimer indicating that they understand my credentials.

Q. What is the difference between Coaching and Counseling?

A. NLP and TPM focus on the "how" while traditional counseling and therapy focus on the "why". NLP and TPM aim to change how the brain codes experiences, while traditional counseling approaches often involve re-living, dissecting, discussing and understanding past trauma. NLP and TPM don't concentrate on the diagnosis, treatment and assessment of mental disorders and behavioral dysfunction. Instead, they operate on the presupposition that people already have within them all the resources that they need and if one person can learn to so something, you can learn to do it too. NLP assumes that each of us is the expert on ourselves with the wisdom to solve our problems. Coaching provides an inquiry process which leads the client to clarity and the ability to utilize their own resources and insights to create solutions and desired outcomes.

Q. What are your credentials? What training have you had?


  • Certified NLP Practitioner, Choices, Seattle 1999
  • Certified NLP Master Practitioner, NLP and Coaching Institute of California, 2001
  • Certified NLP Health Practitioner, NLP and Coaching Institute of California, 2003
  • ICF Certified Coach, NLP and Coaching Institute of California, 2003
  • Prosperity Coach and Trainer of "The Wealth Mind" program
  • Certified TPM Master Practitioner, Thought Pattern Management, Inc., 2004
  • Certified TPM Advanced Master Practitioner, Thought Pattern Management, Inc., 2005
  • NLP and Hypnotherapy, NLP and Coaching Institute of California, 2003
  • NFSH Certified Full Healer, Healing in America, 2003
  • Shamanic Healing training: Visionseeker - Levels 1,2,3 by Hank Wesselman

A. I work with clients on many different kinds of issues because typically the source of most issues involves the ways we have learned to see ourselves and make meaning out of our life events. Difficult childhood experiences and traumatic events in life often lead to the limiting beliefs, negative thought patterns, inner conflicts and painful emotions which block our levels of success and ability to be truly happy.

There are highly successful processes for resolving childhood or adult conditioning which have affected our levels of confidence, self-esteem, relationship-building skills, career success and general emotional state. NLP helps clients rebuild a new reality that is based upon feeling loved, accepted, worthy, secure, confident, relaxed, positive and at peace.

Go to neuro-linguistic programming to learn more about the specific issues which I've helped people transform and to read inspiring testimonials from clients.

A. I offer a free 30-minute consultation so that I can understand any particular issues you may want to address - on phone, Skype or in person at my office if you live locally. By the end of the session I can usually get a sense of the origin of the issue and can tell you the ways in which I can work with you. I can usually also tell you approximately how many sessions I think it will take to change any negative emotions, limiting beliefs, critical voices, childhood imprints, trauma, inner conflicts, etc.....whatever may be stopping you from being and doing all that you want in life. In the consultation I can also explain the Life Coaching package I offer and answer your questions about how NLP works.

I suggest that people fill out an Intake Form before the free consultation. The Intake Form asks some thought-provoking questions which will help you focus on any particular issue you may like to work on. Filling out the Intake Form will help us have the most effective free consult for you.

A. I set aside two hours for each session and we usually use the entire two hours since we are often dealing with deep issues originating sometime in the past. If the session does not take the full two hours, you will only pay for the amount of time we use.

Depending upon the needs of the client, longer sessions are possible to resolve an issue more quickly. Personal Transformational Retreats are also available to help a person delve into all the ways in which they may be stuck. I offer 2 or 3-day individual retreats at my beautiful home in the mountains of Montana. During a Personal Retreat you are a guest in my home and work with me each day for 4-8 hours. Meals are provided and Energy Healing is available at night to ensure a deep night's sleep. This is the perfect solution for the client who wants to work deeply and thoroughly to transform their life and create a new beginning.

Q. How many sessions will I need?

A. I am usually able to estimate the number of sessions necessary after the initial free consultations. If you're working on a simple and straightforward goal, such as overcoming a test-taking anxiety or fear of flying, you will probably achieve that goal within a couple sessions. If you are working on something more complex, it will likely take four or more sessions. NLP has a reputation for being a quick, direct and powerful tool which can work very quickly on many issues. If you have a specific number of sessions that you wish to work within, I can tailor our work to accommodate that.

Q. What age groups do you work with?

A. I have worked with children as young as 6 years of age and Seniors in their 80's. Once the cause of an issue is discovered, it is possible to work with people of all ages to help them blast through blocks and fears and achieve their dreams.

Q. Do you work with teen-agers?

A. I've had great success working with many teen-agers with issues such as bullying, cutting, low confidence and low self-esteem. I can usually gain rapport with teens quickly and have addressed a variety of subjects: making healthy lifestyle choices, fitness, dating, shyness, family, relationship building skills, relationship endings and peer pressure. NLP has wonderful tools for building confidence, achieving goals, creating success, seeing conflicts from others' perspectives and discovering happiness.

Q. Do you work with married couples? Do you work with parents and children?

A. I've worked with couples, parents and children, co-workers and other relationships where conflict can easily arise. I often have at least one individual session with each of the people involved and then have a joint session where I help facilitate both clients understanding the perspective and challenges of each other and arrive at mutual respect and some common ground.

Q. What are your fees?

A. I charge $150/hour with a discount for members of the Peak Health and Wellness Center. My rates are intended to be competitive with other professionals as well as reasonable for a wide range of clients. Payment plans and sliding scales plans are also available if necessary.

Q. How does it work to do a session with you by telephone or SKYPE?

A. I will call you at the appointed time for our session. It will be helpful if you can use a headset or speaker-phone so that you don't have to hold the phone. Some NLP processes work better if you are standing. Any processes which I might do with you in person, can be done by phone or Skype.

Q. How do I pay you if I work with you by telephone?

A. Payment by check is mailed to me on the day of the session. Payment in advance is accepted but not required. I can also accept credit cards.

Q. What are your hours? Do you offer evening or weekend appointments?

A. Typically my appointment times are Monday - Thursday 10:00am - 5:00pm Sometimes I can offer flexibility within that schedule depending on my availability.

Q. Are your sessions confidential?

A. All sessions are strictly confidential. I often end up working with several members of the same family and no information is ever revealed without explicit consent from the client.

Q. Are you experienced with working with people from diverse populations?

A. I have worked with people around the world through Skype and am experienced with working with people from many cultural and racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, different abilities, sizes, class backgrounds, genders and gender orientations. I identify as an ally to all people from diverse backgrounds and orientations.

Q. Is your location wheelchair accessible?

A. My location at the Peak Health and Wellness Center at 5000 Blue Mountain Road in Missoula, MT is wheelchair accessible. Telephone sessions are well suited to the special needs of a client in a wheelchair.