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Maria A. Connolly

Somatic Therapist & Coach – Leadership Trainer

My personal background gives me insight into distinct cultures as well as the challenges and transitions they often create.

I was born in Sydney, Australia. However, soon after my birth my parents returned to their native country of Italy and I grew up in a town just northeast of Venice. In 1991 I met my husband, an American, and started a new and exciting life in the beautiful community of Ashland, Oregon. Since life is full of challenges and transitions, I find that this insight has increased my consciousness and compassion as a coach.

My professional background has led me to the satisfying field of Somatic Coaching with clients who are committed to meaningful and purposeful lives.

I began studying psychology in Padova, Italy and went on to receive my Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. Over the years, I used a variety of methodologies as a therapist. After extensive study, training and experience with my clients, I gradually shifted away from traditional therapy and into Somatic Psychotherapy and Coaching.

As much as I love learning, I also have a passion for teaching!

As adjunct faculty and supervisor at Southern Oregon University (MHC Program) I enjoy mentoring beginning therapists and providing peer training for coaches and therapists looking to venture into private practice. I also participate as a lead trainer for Newave Leaders, pulling from my experience in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Somatic work to help professionals enhance their leadership skills.

Favorite quote to live by:

“The way we do one thing is the way we do everything.” Iyanla Vanzant

Some other fun facts about me…

Proudest accomplishments:

  • Studied 6 languages
  • Lived in 3 continents
  • Taught NLP
  • Built a successful business
  • Lead 3 seminars abroad
  • Developed a Leadership training
  • Created a curriculum guide for a women’s empowerment course
  • Being married for 27 years

Still on my bucket list:

  • Learning to solo-skydive
  • Visiting the Taj Mahal
  • Going on a Safari in Africa
  • Getting my pilot license
  • Learning to sail
  • Attending the Oscar Awards ceremony


  • Write my first book
  • Appear on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday

Worst job:

  • Cleaning hotel rooms

Favorite mentors:

  • Milton Erickson
  • Pat Ogden
  • Ron Kurtz
  • Stephen Gilligan
  • Richard Strozzi-Heckler
  • David Trealeven

Guilty pleasures:

  • Freshly baked croissants – the buttery flaky kind
  • Italian espresso

Healthy pleasures:

  • CrossFit
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Listening to books

Favorite books and audios:

“Narcissus and Goldmund,” by Herman Hess. I read it at 17 and it gave me the first glimpse into the duality of the soul

“What to Remember When Waking,” by David Whyte (Audio)

“The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal.” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. A book I pick up often to remind me of life balance.

“Educated: A Memoire,” by Tera Westover. Hard to read and so empowering.

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.


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