Life Coaches En­cour­age, As­sist

Two South­west Florida prac­ti­tion­ers have far-reach­ing im­pact

Times of the Islands - - Contents - BY ANN MARIE O’PHEL AN

Lis­ten to any coach at a base­ball game, a tennis tournament or even dur­ing an event at the Olympics, and you’ll likely hear him or her say­ing, “Well done!” and “Keep it up!” and “Ex­cel­lent work!” Such words of en­cour­age­ment help in­still con­fi­dence, pro­vide sup­port and show pride—which in turn help the play­ers per­form bet­ter.

Get­ting be­hind an ath­lete, helping him or her de­velop an ac­tion plan and en­cour­ag­ing the player to see it through are what makes a great coach. These same prin­ci­ples are be­hind the think­ing of life coaches, who help clients get from point A to point B—whether it is mak­ing a ca­reer change, in­creas­ing one’s in­come or turn­ing around a mar­riage.

For nearly 40 years, David Es­sel has made pos­i­tive im­pacts on many lives, in­clud­ing celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy and Kenny Log­gins.

David Es­sel is an author, speaker, ra­dio talk show host, coun­selor and life coach. Based in South­west Florida, he has a world­wide reach. He com­bines the qual­i­ties of a coun­selor and the at­tributes of a life coach.

Es­sel is her­alded by Psy­chol­ogy To­day as a top coun­selor and life coach in the United States, and ver­i­fied by mar­riage.com as one of the world’s top re­la­tion­ship ex­perts. For nearly 40 years, he’s made pos­i­tive im­pacts on many lives, in­clud­ing celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy and Kenny Log­gins. His new­est book, Fo­cus! Slay Your Goals, came out in Fe­bru­ary and is avail­able from his web­site and on­line book­sell­ers.

Es­sel ex­plains that he starts off with a 30-minute in­tro­duc­tory ses­sion to see if there is a “right fit” in terms of com­pat­i­bil­ity be­tween him and the client. Then, if it “syncs,” they fig­ure out an ac­tion plan.

Es­sel’s love of lead­er­ship be­gan at an early age. His web­site notes he played ju­nior var­sity bas­ket­ball at Syra­cuse

Wil­liam “Bill” Tollef­son, Ph.D., earned four life coach­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tions to ex­pand the more tra­di­tional coun­sel­ing meth­ods he’d been us­ing.

Univer­sity, and was of­fered a po­si­tion on the var­sity team dur­ing his ju­nior year, which he de­clined. Es­sel cre­ated a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in fit­ness be­fore tran­si­tion­ing to sports psy­chol­ogy. In 1990, “I be­come a coun­selor and a life coach, helping peo­ple from all walks of life to achieve their goals,” he ex­plains.

Some have been so in­spired by Es­sel they’ve also be­come life coaches. Wil­liam “Bill” Tollef­son, Ph.D., is a cer­ti­fied master life coach with of­fices in Cape Co­ral and Boca Ra­ton. He met Es­sel at a seminar; then earned four life coach­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tions to ex­pand the more tra­di­tional coun­sel­ing meth­ods he’d been us­ing. “I found that as a life coach, I could as­sist in­di­vid­u­als by teach­ing pos­i­tive life skills and meth­ods, and can change their mind­set more ef­fec­tively and faster than in ther­apy,” Tollef­son says.

He fo­cuses on helping clients re­cover from trauma, abuse and post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der. Tollef­son also as­sists with a wide va­ri­ety of other life is­sues for all kinds of clients, such as those seek­ing to bet­ter their fi­nances or to im­prove their ca­reer or re­la­tion­ships.

Tollef­son has a blog, ra­dio show and a series of videos. He’s au­thored sev­eral books that are avail­able from his web­site and on­line book­sell­ers, and of­fers a va­ri­ety of self-help pro­grams and DVDs. “I find this type of work very re­ward­ing—not only for my­self but also for the clients I have helped through­out the years,” he says. Ann Marie O’Phelan is a South­west Florida res­i­dent and a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia.

David Es­sel's new­est book is avail­able from his web­site and on­line book­sell­ers.

Dr. Bill Tollef­son is a coun­selor, life coach, speaker, ra­dio show host and author of sev­eral books.

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