A more in-depth testimonial from a client who recently finished 12 sessions:

1. What did you get out of coaching? How did it help you?

I got a sense of hope. I was able to vision forward, and be where I was at all at the same time.  I came to Carissa at a very difficult time in my life.  I was in the midst of transitioning out of a severe health crisis.  I needed permission to dream. I needed to permission to feel bad for myself and fail. I was a former golden boy, a perfectionist that was fortified by ongoing success. My sense of self had gone up in flames. 

I thought "who the hell was I to plan my future when I couldn't even walk?" Slowly that question changed to: Do I have to walk to dream?  I learned to play the ukulele terribly, I sang out loud in public like a howling dog, I applied to schools and got rejected. I failed and it felt liberating. It broke me open. Slowly Carissa helped me reframe my questions or trash the ones that didn't serve me anymore. She helped me sit with the unknown and transform the energy of fear into creativity.

2. What “results” did you get?

I was able to cultivate more faith and surrender.  While I still plan and strategize more than the average bear, I also take the time to let the light of creativity and joy in as an equally important stake holder in my life design. I was able to trust and rely on different parts of myself while my body and mind healed.  I have integrated key strengths into a new career and life path that I had not previously envisioned for myself.  I am now pursuing a career that speaks to my sense of justice, that lets me use my creative juices, that's outside of the box, and that has practical applications in the real world. YES!

3. How would you describe coaching to a friend?

I would say that coaching is like a good but unexpected recipe. Your coach helps you whip up a new recipe, taking all of your miscellaneous ingredients of experience, joys, fears and dreams and puts you in the kitchen. They sometimes bark at you like a restaurant take-over show but then they balance it out with praise when you set your dessert on fire (in a good way). At then end you can take your recipe with you and tweak it to meet your own needs.

4. How would you describe my style or approach?

Carissa's coaching style is grounded, client-specific, warm and firm. She was able to pick up on my needs for each session. She knew when to push, when I needed an extra nudge, and when to back off and just hold the space for me when things were tough.  She takes the time to listen and ask what works for you but also challenges you to hear and try new things.  I am accustom to linear, driven, goal-focused, heavy handed pushing. I asked for that and thought that was what I needed.  What felt too "soft" for me is what pushed me the most.  I stayed with the "soft". Truthfully it was uncomfortable but much to my surprise that is where my new growth sprang from.

7. Was there anything about the coaching process that was unexpected?

I expected to create and structure a new life plan.  I envisioned a well-thought-out, organized, pragmatic, stream-lined plan of attack. That process pretty much blew up in a cloud of glitter. Carissa helped me appreciate and set aside the organized and driven parts of me that got me to coaching, and helped me pick up and draw out the under represented creative, joyous, and mischievous parts.  She helped me develop trust in those parts to create new present moments that accumulated into a future that I was unable to think up all at once.

- T.M., Boston