Category Archives for "Motivation and Choice"

Nov 18

Are We a Right Fit?

By Cisais | Motivation and Choice , Musings

Carmen-Isais-Coach-and-CounselorOne-on-One Coaching

My clients change.  This is something I say often.  And it is true.

The vast majority of my clients achieve success for themselves. This is because I only work with clients who I believe will succeed.

If I sense up-front that someone isn’t right for my approach, I’d rather not take take their time or money.  Read below to find out if you and I were meant to be…

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My clients –

  • Are looking for a short-term boost rather than a long-term solution.
  • Want to passively have someone “fix them”.
  • Are serious about getting their problem solved.
  • Are ready to take responsibility for their lives and relationships.

I look forward to working with you if –

  • You are ready to do the work it takes to get your goal accomplished.
  • You are ready to learn and change to achieve your outcome.
  • You take responsibility for your decisions and actions.
  • You want a natural, drug-free solution to your issue.

A few other things you should know about me

  • Pricing:  The services I offer enable clients to make profound changes in their lives, usually very quickly.  I charge accordingly.
  • Approach: All work is done with a tailored, one-on-one approach working with me directly.  There are no use of scripts, light/sound goggles or CDs.  In addition to weekly goal oriented solutions, working with me often involves coaching and tasks done outside of the office. Yes, I give “homework”.  :)
  • Medication:  I cannot prescribe, nor am I a proponent of psychotropic drugs. That being said, I understand that they can be a short term buffer between “no longer” and “not yet”.  For most, there are great alternatives to anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. and I have great referral sources to local medical doctors who can support that. Let’s talk.

If you have read this far, thank you. If you have questions and would like to reach me, please do not hesitate in contacting me via email or by phone at (530) 601-1003 .









Nov 16

Thinking As a Way of Being

By Cisais | Health , Motivation and Choice

second thoughtsThose of us on the path of personal and spiritual growth have a tendency to analyze our unhappiness in order to find the causes and make improvements. But it is just as important, if not more so, to analyze our happiness. Since we have the ability to rise above and observe our emotions, we can recognize when we are feeling joyful and content. Then we can harness the power of the moment by savoring our feelings and taking time to be grateful for them.

Recognition is the first step in creating change, therefore recognizing what it feels like to be happy is the first step toward sustaining happiness in our lives. We can examine how joy feels in our bodies and what thoughts run through our minds in times of bliss. Without diminishing its power, we can retrace our steps to discover what may have put us in this frame of mind, and then we can take note of the choices we’ve made while there. We might realize that we are generally more giving and forgiving when there’s a smile on our face, or that we are more likely to laugh off small annoyances and the actions of others when they don’t resonate with our light mood.

Once we know what it feels like and can identify some of the triggers and are aware of our actions, we can recreate that happiness when we are feeling low. Knowing that like attracts like, we can pull ourselves out of a blue mood by focusing on joy. We might find that forcing ourselves to be giving and forgiving, even when it doesn’t seem to come naturally, helps us to reconnect with the joy that usually precedes it. If we can identify a song, a picture, or a pet as a happiness trigger, we can use them as tools to recapture joy if we are having trouble finding it. By focusing our energy on analyzing happiness and all that it encompasses, we feed, nurture, and attract more of it into our lives, eventually making a habit of happiness.

Nov 16

Lee Ockenden, LMFT – My Approach

By Cisais | Couples and Relationships , Motivation and Choice , Musings

Lee_Ockenden couples counselorWho we are and how we relate to the world and others is dictated by the meaning we give to our past. But if we choose to find the purpose in our experiences instead of the pain, we find new resources, giving us the catalyst to change, grow, heal and pursue the life we desire and deserve.

Traditional therapy was founded in psychoanalysis with the assumption that an individual’s growth and change process was hinged on gaining insight and into their behavioral patterns by processing, free-associating and reflecting on their past. Inside this traditional “treatment culture,” it is not uncommon for a client stay in treatment long periods of time, lasting anywhere from three to seven years or more, including multiple sessions per week.

I believe that traditional therapy can foster dependency and create barriers for lasting change. I often hear from new patients who have been to therapy for many years that they felt their last therapist(s) were too passive. Rather than embracing a “backward looking—coping” approach, I embrace a “forward looking—thriving” approach by focusing on resolving barriers to change, identifying solutions and creating choices. This approach, inside a safe supportive and consistent counseling environment, encourages clients to use their own innate resources to heal.

In addition, I am also clear that my clients will ultimately find their support and accountability through their partner, family or community and I encourage my clients to create a healthy support system outside the office.

Jul 30

Coaching vs Counseling

By Cisais | Motivation and Choice

In simplistic terms, a therapist’s role is to heal the wounds of the past, and a life coach supports you in moving your life forward. Coaching does not focus on “why,” but “what’s next?” It shifts the client from a problem focused to solution based approached.

Coaching is well suited to a goal-oriented person who prefers to make choices and take responsibility for their processes and outcomes.

Coaching as an Option


Life coaching is a refreshing approach to personal and professional growth that helps you achieve specific goals and make your unique contributions with focus and ease. Coaching trains you to stop biting the hook that gets you stuck in old dramas, stressful interactions, and emotional suffering. Instead, you learn to shift your attention into the present moment, focus on the intentions that hold meaning and value to you, and take effective action.

A coach supports you to define your goals, and stay on target towards achieving them by taking regular, manageable steps that lead to satisfaction in all areas of your life. Be more effective with time and money. Enjoy greater physical vitality. Be more creative and adventurous. Have stronger relationships. In just a few sessions, you will gain clarity, confidence and renewed vision.

Coaching empowers you with simple pragmatic tools so that your life experience expands. Daily tasks become rewarding, and interactions with others become authentic. Would you like your life to be easier and more fulfilling? All it takes is a choice to begin. Message our Coaching Intake Bot today and get started.


About the Author

Carmen Isais, MA is a transformative coach, professional mediator, business builder and trainer. She is the co-founder of Life Compass, LLC, an independent coaching and psychological services company she runs with her best friend and partner, Lee Ockenden, LMFT.

Carmen is passionate about effecting change through solution based action plans, authentic communication and understanding. She lives out this mission in all the above ways (and more). [/author_info] [/author]


Sep 22

Decisions, Decisions… How to Stop Fearing and Start Deciding

By Cisais | Anxiety and Trauma , Motivation and Choice

The last time I checked the DSM-IV (and I try not to check it too often), the treatment of Decidophobia, the fear of making decisions, included everything from “cognitive re-mapping” to anti-depressants. Pretty serious stuff for a common problem.

But, if it’s so common, what’s the fuss all about? That is the real damage to indecision?

Often, people who fear making decisions tend to vacillate and procrastinate in an effort to avoid the choices they must make. When the fear of making decisions begins to harm the psyche and affect daily life, it can become a serious problem. Even on a lesser level, individuals who vacillate , are ambiguous or procrastinate can hurt others and their relationships with this indecision. Consistent lack of follow through breeds resentment and distrust.

Making decisions requires confidence. It requires a degree of certainty. When tough decisions with serious consequences are called for, it can be difficult for some people to know what is best. The fear of making the wrong decision can cause a sort of mental paralysis. Individuals who are unable to be decisive may feel angry and agitated when faced with choices, because they are unsure of themselves.

Decisions sign in the skyIn the business world and in personal life, the choices we make can define us. The decisions we make can be wrong, and if they are, they can be very costly. In our busy world, every day brings a barrage of new decisions to be made. But what if decision making could be as easy and instinctual as  dealing with all those small choices, such as what to order at a restaurant?

Effortless Decision Making

I’ve been learning (but haven’t mastered) the principles of Effortless Decision-Making. It’s a way of making decisions where you can flow through the constant stream of decisions we must make every day of our lives, without getting stuck, without being paralyzed by fear. We choose, and flow, and we let go of worry.

What follows is a very brief guide to making effortless decisions.

Let go of perfection.

 We’ll never make perfect decisions, and wanting to make the perfect choice keeps us paralyzed.

Get more information.

Don’t let this hold you up, but if you’re stuck it’s often because you don’t have the necessary info. What info do you need? Can you easily get it? Get it now if you can, but don’t be held up by the lack of info.

Try and err.

If you don’t have enough info — and that’s usually the case — just choose. It doesn’t really matter what you choose, just make a choice and let go of the idea of making the right choice. Now live with that choice for a bit, and see what happens. This is called trial and error, and it’s often the best way to get information. We try something, and see how it works out — and then we have more information to make better decisions in the future. When you look at it this way, decisions are just a series of trial and error experiments, and it doesn’t matter what the outcomes are, because any outcome is good information.

Try intuition.

If you’re stuck and don’t have enough info, let go of worry and just make a choice. How do you make a choice? You could flip a coin, but you could also just go with your gut reaction. What does your intuition say? Start listening to it — often it’s an unconscious decision based on lots of factors that we can’t consciously process, so a part of our unconscious brain processes it and comes up with a split-second decision. Intuition can be wrong, but that’s still OK: we’re going to learn from the results no matter what. So just learn to hear your intuition, and go with it.

Let go of worry.

If you learn the above principles, it’s easy to see that there’s nothing to worry about. You don’t need to be perfect, and a decision is very rarely the end of the world (at least, no decision has led to the end of the world yet). Sure, history is littered with the corpses of those who made bad decisions, but there are a million times more decisions that were made without any really bad consequences. You won’t die, you’ll just learn. So don’t worry — just choose.

Practice, and flow.

You’ll get better at this with practice, as you learn to let go of perfection and worry and see decisions as experiments. You’ll learn to do it better, faster, with more intuition. Soon you’ll flow through your daily decisions with ease. Do it consciously at first, keeping in mind all of the above principles, but it gets easier as you go.

Making decisions is something we do all day long, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. We build certain decisions up in our minds because we think they’re incredibly important, but in truth they’re rarely that big a deal. This isn’t the Cuban Missile Crisis — we’re not deciding the fate of a nation. See choice as an opportunity to learn, and you’ll be happy for every single effortless decision that comes your way.

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