I was born in Russia to Jewish parents, a doctor and an engineer. In the early 90’s it became possible for Jews to leave Russia, and millions did, because life was especially hard for Jews in the Soviet Union. We moved to Israel when I was 7 years old, and it was a huge culture shock. My parents struggled to support us, because they simply couldn’t get work in their professions because of the language barrier. We were very poor. I was sad, overwhelmed, lonely and lost.
When I discovered music at the age of 13, it changed everything. I began studying, playing and composing. I found the best teachers I could, and threw myself into studio recording. I didn’t make money on it, but I released a lot of original work, and gained a feeling of satisfaction from it.
Still, I was depressed and lacked direction. Deep inside, I knew I wanted to study psychology, but instead, I tried to do what I thought was right and go to school for business so I could make lots of money! I was miserable as a business major. I desperately tried marketing, journalism, literature and musicology - everything except what I really wanted - for six years until I finally found the strength to listen to my intuition. I loved psychology. I also began meditation and therapy, and realized that I wanted to apply psychology to help others and have a career as a therapist. I also began studying coaching in-depth, because I was interested in an accelerated, results-oriented process. I found a counseling master’s program in Boulder, Colorado at the Naropa University that combined mindfulness, meditation, and Western psychotherapy. It was at that point that I worked with a coach for the first time. We confronted my doubts, and created a vision and I was able to approach a trans-continental move by myself with clarity and determination.
In Boulder, I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Because of my preparation with the coach, this time the move to a new country was easy. I felt energized and empowered, sure that this was exactly what I wanted and needed to do. I made a lucrative profession with my music and recording skills while roaring through my degree at Naropa, where I am now teaching the next generation of counselors as an adjunct faculty. I opened and continue to run a successful therapy and coaching practice in Boulder; I provide couples therapy, couples retreats, family therapy and individual therapy, and as a coach, I offer executive coaching and life coaching. I co-own a boutique website design company that serves coaches and therapists. I continue to make and produce music. It was my honor to found a record label, Natural High Records, for teens in the Boulder area as a part of a substance abuse prevention program. At this point, no part of my experience or education, lost as I sometimes felt, has been useless. It has all woven beautifully into this multi-career life.
Do you need clarity on the decisions that need to be made? Do you need support on how to set goals and how to move yourself forward? Do you need an environment where your difficulties and wounds will be honored and accepted? Do you need an environment that will support your desire to take action and utilize your strengths?
I synthesized my training in coaching, Contemplative Psychology and mindfulness practices to create True Next Step Coaching:
Psychology & Coaching Theory: Contemplative Psychotherapy, Adlerian Life Coaching, Co-Active Life Coaching, Motivational Interviewing, systems theory, family therapy, narrative therapy, strengths-based models, Existential Psychology, Individual Psychology, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Attachment Theory.
Mindfulness and movement Practices: Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Insight Meditation, Qigong, Kundalini Yoga, Reiki, Thai-Boxing, and Kung-Fu.
Artistic & Creative Practices: Music composition and performance. Songwriting, producing, participating in and creating contemplative musical communities.