Maria Connolly, LPC Facebook Facebook Facebook


Continually grow as a person and find your work/life balance

Somatic Coaching will Unlock Your Potential

somatic coaching will unlock your business and personal potential“When you know what you are doing, then you can do what you want.” ~ Moshe Feldenkrais

Being able to unlock your potential is vital for living a full, rich life as an individual and as a business professional. That’s why the slogan, “Be all that you can be” is so appealing. We know deep inside that we can be and do better.

However, when you unlock something, you often don’t know exactly what you’re going to find. It might be a pleasant surprise or it might even be a little bit frightening. The same is true when you unlock your potential, because sometimes you have to dig deep to find out why you’ve kept your potential locked up.

A good way to assess your potential and how it’s being held back is to look at the way you communicate with yourself and others. The words you speak are not the only way you communicate. Your tone of voice, speech patterns, facial expressions, hand gestures, body positioning, and eye contact all deliver a message. And if you’re not in total alignment, your words may say one thing, but your body says another.

What do I mean? Take for example the stress that comes from confrontational situations. Western medicine has finally recognized that the way your mind reacts to stress will change your posture and physical health. Your shoulders will draw up toward your ears, your back and neck muscles contract and shorten, your jaw tightens, your teeth clench, your blood pressure rises, you experience pain and so on.

Now think about the reverse of this, how your body posture affects your mood and emotions. Perhaps you need to express how you feel to someone you feel will be less than receptive. Your body is rigid; perhaps you have slightly hunched shoulders. You eyes are downcast, your hands clench and your face shows apprehension. Does this body posturing make you feel more confident? Hardly. Will you be able to express yourself calmly or will it end up in sharp words being spoken?

Somatic Coaching will unlock your potential for precise, non-verbal communication, flexibility and overall performance. With it you can…

  • Create a more powerful appearance.
  • Develop more confidence in your voice and body.
  • Move more elegantly and with more self-confidence.
  • Use your own body language more effectively.
  • Be more at ease with yourself.
  • Improve your perception of other people’s non-verbal communication.
  • Build deeper rapport with colleagues, clients, friends and family.
  • Expand your social competence.
  • Take better care of yourself.
  • Construct a process of personal feedback that improves your self-image.

 Why does Somatic Coaching work? While traditional, personal-development coaching often focuses on the mind and/or emotions, somatic coaching creates a much higher awareness of the whole body/mind impact on your life. Somatic comes from the Greek root word “soma”, which means “the living body in its wholeness.” The body, mind, emotions and spirit integrally influence each other constantly, even when we’re not aware of it. The physical body is constantly shaping and altering your thinking, your moods and your behavior.

Somatic coaching gives you the skills to make subtle shifts in how you use your body as you create mindfulness and awareness that exponentially increases your ability to influence, listen, be resilient, manage stress, maintain energy and be more effective. Rather than numbing yourself to uncomfortable circumstances and powering through them, you can learn to mindfully choose to respond in a way that leaves you feeling whole and at peace.

If you’re ready to step up and benefit from personal coaching services, I assure you that Somatic Coaching will unlock your potential as we explore new processes or refine old skills to develop optimal strategies for everyday success. Contact me and together we will expand your ability to consistently make choices that contribute to your happiness and that of those around you.

Marketing Your Private Practice to Create a Steady Stream of Ideal Clients

Marketing your private practice“Where do I start? What do I do first?” Have you been asking yourself those questions as you think about marketing your private practice? I remember how thrilled and apprehensive I was when I began. There is so much about running a practice that we’re not taught in schools, especially marketing.

Your private practice will only grow if you get the word out that you’re available. I’d like to share with you some key ways to market your practice.

Successfully marketing your private practice begins with the proper mindset.

Marketing is all about being open to the possibilities before you and being intensely interested in the people you want to serve. When you approach it with a feeling of abundance and can use every event and experience in a positive way, you’ll naturally attract your ideal clients. So more than anything, you must create within yourself a safe place to receive the attention that marketing will bring you.

Remember, without marketing you won’t have clients and without clients you won’t have a private practice for very long. It can be hard getting your foot in the door when you’re new to a community. In all likelihood, if you don’t have a sound marketing strategy, you’ll be spending most of your time calling doctors and community centers looking for clients, trying to pull them in. What I suggest is that you create a strategy that ATTRACTS your ideal client to you. How can you do that?

Marketing Your Private Practice through Community Connections

Reach out to your community by creating collaborative relationships with schools, community centers, religions organizations and the like. Some ways you can do that are:

Offer educational classes or speak publicly to showcase your professional skills. Think deeply about what you have to offer. Can you present classes on creating the ideal work/life balance to business owners and professionals? Can you provide a workshop that trains either staff or members of the community about mental health issues or services where you live? Is there a community college that you could teach a class on stress management or communication skills? Can you speak on a local issue such as drug and alcohol abuse, compulsive disorders, domestic violence and so forth? Even if you start by providing these services for free, it’s a powerful way to market your practice, gain name recognition and get client referrals.

Offer expert advice in trade magazines, newspapers, and online websites such as and Psychology Today. Writing a professional article that is interesting to readers is another good way to market your practice. It increases your name recognition and establishes your professional credibility when prospective clients see you contributing your expertise to publications and websites that they trust. These venues often list their writing requirements on their website.

Start an online or community group. Have you thought about starting a support group at a local community center, church or business so you can share with them non-therapy life tips? You can also start an online group via Meetup or Facebook.

Become a business consultant. Many businesses would welcome ongoing training in non-therapy topics such as stress management, productivity skills, communications skill, life/work balance, and so forth. Think creatively and offer specialized consultations to specific trades. Perhaps offer relaxation methods to tax preparers at tax time or meditation tips at a weight loss clinic. Look around your community and see what is needed and offer it. The beauty of it is that you can tailor it to showcase your strengths.

Marketing can create stress, especially when you’re new at it. Are you ready to address the self-limitations that are holding you back from building a successful private practice? Often it helps to have an objective coach who has already been there, done that, and can guide you through it. Feel free to contact me and we can discuss one-on-one coaching options so you can build a strong and healthy practice.

Branding Your Private Practice by Clearly Defining Your Personal and Professional Identity

360 Degrees Branding your private practice‘We act in accordance with our self-image.” ~ Moshe Feldenkrais

As healing professionals, I’m confident that you have a clear self-awareness of who you are as a person and as a practitioner and expert. However, when you start branding your own private practice it gives you a unique opportunity for major growth as you exercise self-awareness of who you want to be in business.

What image will you portray to your clients, colleagues and in your community? What is your mission? Your purpose? How do you feel about money, success, power, leadership? And how will you work through beliefs when they are standing in your way of creating a successful private practice?

It will be most helpful to define these concepts based on YOUR needs and values. This will have the largest, positive impact on your practice. Here are a few areas to give thought to as you begin to define your brand…

Build a Good Support System. As I mentioned in an in an earlier post, when I began, people said some very discouraging things to me. So I recommend you, first of all, gain positive support as you build your practice. Can you turn to your family members for support? Or will you need to join a professional group or find a coach who can provide the encouragement you need as you hold true to what you value as you’re branding your private practice?

Define your Specialty. What clients do you want to work with? What mental health issues will you treat? What services will you provide? What treatments will you offer? What are the professional goals, interests and skills that make you unique? When you narrow down your specialty, you’ll attract the people you want to work with and discourage the ones that you don’t want to work with. Remember, it’s okay to let them go to another healing professional.

Develop a Private Practice Business Plan. How many days and hours do you want to work? How many clients do you need? How much income do you need coming in to pay for all your expenses plus have enough left over to enjoy life? What processes will you use in your practice to schedule clients, collect fees, record transactions, and provide follow up? Will you hire a bookkeeper, office manager, janitorial service and so on? Will you rent or buy office space or work out of your home? So many things must be considered in running a successful practice including keeping track of your finances. And properly branding your private practice means that all of these must be in alignment with your values.

Create an Inviting Office Space and Web Presence. Your professionalism can be greatly enhanced by a well-designed office and website. People will make immediate judgments based on whether they feel comfortable with what they’re seeing, even before they speak with you. Everything that represents you, your business cards, flyers, letters, should look professional and inviting, while displaying your unique style. This will ensure your prospective clients will recognize you and come to trust you as they see your identity revealed in everything you put out there.

Not quite sure how to integrate your personal and professional identity into branding your private practice? Then contact me and we can discuss one-on-one coaching options so you can see all the possibilities that are before you.

Focus on Excellence to Build a Sustainable Private Practice

focus on excellence to build a sustainable private practiceAre you a psychologist, therapist, life coach or other healing professional who is thinking about opening a private practice? Are you wondering what you’re letting yourself in for? Well, let me share with you my story and how personal development, along with a lot of hard work and determination, led me to a thriving private practice. I hope it will help inspire you to see that you can do it too.

Being a psychotherapist and life coach in my own private practice is a way of life that I love. I opened my own practice after becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) over 10 years ago. When I started out, I had dreams and hopes about what I wanted to create. At the time, however, there wasn’t a lot of information to help me know how to open a private practice and make it successful.

In fact, the information I did get wasn’t very helpful at all. When I began to ask around, I got a lot of personal opinions that were very discouraging. Since I had just begun studying NLP, I was aware that people use their map of the world, so I tried to stay clear of downers and began my own journey of discovery.

Instead, I asked myself: What do I want? Why? What will I get by having that? What is my mission?

These are questions that every professional should ask as they begin their own private practice. You’ll find that your personal development will go hand in hand with the development of your practice. It did for me. I had to clear my history, identify and change limiting beliefs, build confidence through specialized trainings and certifications, and finally choose business methods that have a similar philosophy to what I adhered to. Excellence has been my focus, believing that in order to succeed I had to stand out, offering that je ne sais quoi that would make people come back over and over and make them want to refer their friends, too.

As John W. Gardner says, “Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

If that sounds like a lot of work…it is. But it’s crucial if you want a good foundation for when you build a sustainable private practice.

You’ll find that it’s an ongoing process of taking deliberate and consistent actions. It also involves being able to tolerate failure and use it as feedback for continual improvement. You’ll also find the need to continually adjust as you set long-term and short-term goals. The long-term goals for your practice will need to satisfy your big picture. You won’t ever want to lose sight of that big picture. You’ll also need to keep short-term goals that give you daily tasks to work on as you build your practice. There is a difference between working in your business – helping your clients – and working on your business – doing all the things a private practice requires so that it remains profitable and successful.

For me, my deliberate practice included immersing myself fully in trainings like NLP and Feldenkrais, with long-term commitments to developing inside and out as a person, as a therapist and as a business owner. Sometimes these commitments have been four to five year intensives, but it’s been worth it. In addition to seeing my private clients, I enjoy helping other practitioners who are eager to build their own business, integrating personal excellence, core values and originality. And if you’ve been in practice for a while already, I’m eager to help you bring life and enthusiasm back into your practice. If either of these sounds like something you’re looking for, contact me and we can discuss your one-on-one coaching options.

In my next post, I’ll share with you two main aspects that are essential in developing a successful private practice.

Principals and Benefits of Sponsorship

A powerful approach to healing is that of self-relations.  The primary objective of this new psychotherapy is to focus on the relationship between a person and their own self. In my last post, I shared some of my in-depth study with Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D, who came up with this approach. The idea is that each problem and symptom experienced by an individual presents opportunities for major growth, if self-awareness exists.  Without that awareness, one can become mired in self-destructive patterns.

The foundation of self-relations is the principle of sponsorship.  This is the commitment, or vow, to help a person (including one’s self) to recognize how to use every event and experience in a positive way by connecting the goodness and gifts of self and the world. This acknowledgement gives value to each occurrence, regardless of how injurious it may appear.

Sponsorship skills can be developed, and they are worth the effort to do so.  Young children, don’t have language or other sponsorship skills for their feeling states (like being tired, hungry, or angry) leaving them to “act them out” until a caring adult recognizes their meaning. Hopefully, over time a child learns to recognize and “sponsor” their own feeling states.

Without these sponsorship skills, negative experiences or behaviors are neglected or ignored and become increasingly troublesome.  If the problem or symptom is recognized and sponsored however, the person who has a positive relationship with oneself can validate the experience and build on it.

As a therapist, my job is to not only be there as a sponsor but to help my clients develop their own sponsorship skills.  A balance between the following aspects of sponsorship can transform a negative experience or behavior into one of value:

The receptive aspect of sponsorship encourages openness, a safe place to receive. It enables one to be curious, while intensely listening with kindness and understanding.

The active part of sponsorship includes being attentive, giving guidance while, at the same time, setting boundaries. It challenges self-limitations.

As this relationship between a person and their own self grows, they begin to see all the possibilities that are before them.  Through connectedness, their individual human value takes shape.  This develops self-appreciation and strength, along with the realization of the good gifts of who the person is. At this point, healing occurs naturally.

Let's get started with 30 free minutes

I invite you to learn more about me and my coaching and counseling services. Please contact me to schedule an “It starts with you!” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via video consultation, so we can explore our partnership.


How to Step Forward to a Future You've Created

Discover how to replace your old, self-limiting map with a new map full of possibilities for the future


© Neways Integrated Wellness Center. All rights reserved. Site developed and hosted by Rogue Web Works.
Professional Certified Coach by International Coach Federation