Ep #134: What’s Possible – Therapy and Coaching: A Client Interview with Dr. Lisa Arango

Today, I’m bringing you a very special interview with my client Dr. Lisa Arango. This is part of my What’s Possible series, and Lisa is an incredible example of what you can achieve as a coach, especially if you combine the amazing work we do in the coaching sphere with your other professional experience.

Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience, and 15 years as a psychology professor under her belt, who has more recently started a business as a relationship coach. She helps her clients transform their relationships and become more secure, happy, and connected, and I know you’re going to find her super informative and inspiring.

Tune in this week to hear from my client Lisa Arango. Lisa is sharing what her business looked like when she joined The Mastermind, how she intertwines her coaching and therapy work, where each one differs from the other, and how she’s created a successful business that makes an impact in the world.

If you’re ready to create the next-level million-dollar version of yourself and become an example of what is possible, I invite you to join my High-Level Mastermind. And if you’re not at that level yet but you want to be, I encourage you to join my business accelerator, The Mastermind. I’m so confident in the processes that I teach that especially for the next cohort, I’m guaranteeing your investment. So click here to fill out your application and schedule a call! 

I’ve created something special for all of you, it’s an exclusive three-part private podcast series called 3 Vital Shifts Every Life Coach Needs to Rapidly Scale Their Business. I know it’s going to bring a ton of value to you because so many of you listeners are in this process right now, and this is the perfect resource to help you position yourself to make a quantum leap in your business. And to get access, all you need to do is click here!

What You’ll Learn:

  • Lisa’s journey into coaching and why she decided to become a coach.
  • The amazing level of understanding Lisa brings to her work as a coach and a therapist.
  • Where coaching and therapy differ from one another and the importance of these distinctions.
  • The ways that coaching has layered into and fit into her overall business.
  • How Lisa has been able to create a coaching practice alongside her work as a therapist.
  • Where Lisa was in her business before joining The Mastermind.
  • The incredible program Lisa has built in the time we’ve worked together in The Mastermind.
  • Lisa’s advice to anyone out there growing and scaling their coaching business.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

  • If you’re an established coach and are ready to scale your business, achieve your long-term goals and build a practice that will stand the test of time, my High Level Mastermind could help you take your business to the next level.  Find out more about it by scheduling a call with me here. I look forward to working with you!
  • Dr. Lisa Arango: Website | Instagram | LinkedIn | TikTok
  • The Gottman Institute
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Download a Transcript for The Life Coach Business Podcast

You are listening to The Life Coach Business Podcast with Amanda Karlstad episode number 134.

Welcome to The Life Coach Business Podcast, a show for coaches who are ready to up-level their business and take their impact, leadership, and results to a whole new level. If you’re ready to start taking powerful action and become the leader your business needs in order to grow and thrive, this show is for you. I’m your host, Amanda Karlstad, certified life and business coach, and entrepreneurial leadership expert.  Now, let’s get down to business.

Hello, and welcome everyone. I am so excited to bring you today’s conversation. Today I have a very special guest on the show. Today I’m bringing you an interview with my client, Dr. Lisa Arango, who is truly amazing.

Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist of over 20 years. She’s an educator, and more recently, a relationship coach who helps her clients transform their relationships and become more secure, happy, and overall connected in their relationships.

To give you a little bit of background about Lisa, her professional background includes a PhD in developmental psychology. She has an MS in mental health counseling. She is a licensed psychotherapist, a relationship coach, a university psychology professor. She’s also certified in emotionally focused couples therapy, which we’re going to talk about. She has advanced training in Gottman couples therapy, as well as advanced training in cognitive behavioral therapy as well as advanced training in acceptance and commitment Therapy.

She’s also completed a leadership training program in Gottman. It’s called the Seven Principles for Making Relationships Work. And Lisa has worked with hundreds of individuals as well as couples to address their relationship problems. She has led relationship workshops and retreats for women, for couples, for corporations, for high level executives. And she’s been a psychology professor for over 15 years.

So as you can see, Lisa has a ton of expertise when it comes to this area. I know you’re going to love today’s conversation with her and learning more about her journey into coaching and how she approaches her work today. And how she’s been able to maintain her private therapy practice and how coaching has really been able to layer in and fit into her overall business.

I have to tell you, one of the things that I have loved most about Lisa and working with Lisa is her commitment and her dedication to her work. The level of expertise that she brings both in her private practice and now into her coaching practice, which you’re going to learn about in just a minute.

Also the fact that I can attest to the depth that Lisa has really dedicated her career to the study of human development, to relationship science in this so very valuable work that she is now able to bring to so many more clients and so many more students through her signature coaching program, which she developed in our process of working together. It’s called the Relationship Success Academy. We’re going to talk about that in the episode.

So we started working together last fall when Lisa joined my mastermind program. This is my six month business accelerator program. You’re going to hear in our conversation today, we’re going to talk about where Lisa is when we first started working together and how she was trying to build her business before she entered into my program and what that looked like to today to how her business has transformed, and also how Lisa has transformed personally as a business owner through the process that I take all of my clients through.

I also have Lisa share her advice for all of you listening who are in the process of building and growing your businesses as well. I just know you’re going to find a ton of value in our conversation today.

One of the things that we also talk in depth about is the difference between therapy and coaching, and when and where therapy and coaching is right for clients. Personally, I think this is a really important conversation as I know as a coach understanding and knowing this distinction is really important.

I know for all of you listening, this is going to be such a great conversation filled with so much value that you’re going to be able to take. It has been truly such a pleasure working with Lisa and helping to launch this program, launch this coaching business, as well as to witness her growth and the growth of her business over these last several months.

I’m so excited to be able to bring you her story today and for you to hear about her journey, both personally and professionally as I really see Lisa as truly another example of what is possible when you do the work, when you commit to the dream, when you decide to get in the game, as we’re about to talk about.

So I want to encourage all of you listening to really see what’s possible for you too, through what Lisa shares in today’s conversation, through her story, through her journey. I really want to impart for all of you that the level of success that you desire in your business, I want you to know that it’s available to you too. So with that, let’s dive into today’s client case study interview with Dr. Lisa Arango.

Amanda: All right. I am so excited. I have a very special guest on today’s show. This is Dr. Lisa Arango. Dr. Lisa, welcome to the show.

Dr. Lisa: Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. I found you by listening to your podcast for months and months. So I just can’t believe that I’m actually on your podcast. Wow.

Amanda: Amazing. I love it. I’m so excited for you to be here. Super excited. So Lisa is a client of mine. So she went through my six month business accelerator program, the mastermind. I would love to start out with Lisa sharing her background and sharing a little bit about her career and what led her to coaching because I think she’s got a really unique experience that’s going to be really valuable for everybody listening. So Lisa, why don’t you just go ahead and introduce yourself and tell us about you?

Dr. Lisa: Okay, where to start. So I’ve been a licensed psychotherapist for the past 20 plus years, and I have continuously had a private practice either from part time to full time focusing my early career. So way back when, I focused on working with teenagers, and got burned out from that. I always like a challenge, and I’ve always run head on into that. Then I get burned out I’m like, okay, something new.

Which is the beauty of really of being a mental health professional, having a licensed mental health counseling is because you can kind of specialize in a variety of disorders and populations. Just as long as you get the specialized training and you’re able to be competent in the area that you’re practicing.

So I moved on from that and started working more with—I still do have some teen clients and young adult clients, mainly in my therapy practice working with anxiety. A lot of anxiety, lots, and lots of anxiety. Especially since the pandemic. I love one of the outcomes I’ve seen is that people are more open to coming to therapy, talking about therapy, saying that I’m in therapy. So that’s been really, really nice change I think.

I also work with people with depression, which in my experience is kind of cooccurs with anxiety a lot of times. It’s like the opposite side of the same coin, so to speak. So do with that a lot. And my real love now and passion is working with people with relationships.

Because even in the context of people talking about anxiety and depression, they always talk about their relationships. It doesn’t matter what is going on with them, what they’ve been through. At the end of the day, they just want to talk about their relationships. To me, there’s nothing more important. I’ll probably get into that more when we talk about like my personal story. But so I’ve been doing that, working with individuals with relationship issues.

I use attachment theory, which is really the science of relationships. I do couples therapy, and I’m trained in a method called emotionally focused couples therapy, which is an evidence based approach to helping couples have a more, what we call, secure attachment. Really strengthen the bond of their relationship. It’s a very like deep psychotherapy with really good evidence and outcomes for couples just doing really well going forward from that process.

Then also Gottman, which is a more well known for people who kind of look into getting help for therapy. Gottman Institute’s very big on Instagram, and they have done a lot of research on how to help couples. I look at that more like a top down approach to help people like learn skills for how to have what they term a master couple relationship versus a disaster couple relationship.

Amanda: Oh I love that.

Dr. Lisa: Yeah. So those are some of the kinds of tools actually that can be used in coaching as well. So that’s kind of my private practice. Then I have been a university professor in psychology for about 20 years as well. I did program development there. I created a program for graduate students becoming mental health counselors. So I developed and ran that for many, many years. I love that.

I love program development. I love watching things grow and watching a vision come into fruition. Then also seeing the fruits of that. Like so many people over the years have become therapists. So it’s like just watching all the seeds that have been planted in that program grow. So that’s been beautiful.

Actually, I’ve taken a leave of absence from there this last year. Maybe we’ll talk about that later. But that is still part of who I am. I am an educator, professor. It’s in my blood. Can’t get away from that. Most recently a relationship coach doing online coaching for individuals and for couples.

I also have an online group coaching program called Relationship Success Academy, hence, the professor in me can’t get away from that. Inside that program, I walk people through a transformational process that people that are really ready to make changes in their relationship and just don’t know how. Maybe they’ve just seen that they’re stuck in certain patterns, and they want to understand relationships really just at a basic level. Then what are the tools, tips, and strategies that they can use to improve their relationship? So yeah, so that’s where I’m at.

Amanda: That’s amazing. That’s what you were able to develop in our time together too, as well, in the program, which we’re going to talk about in a little bit. So as you can hear, everybody, Lisa has such deep experience when it comes to her practice, and from having a private practice for how many years? 20 plus years, right? To university professor, to all of the amazing things that you’ve done. I love that we’re able to have this conversation today.

So I would love for you to share, Lisa, because I know there’s probably listeners right now that have probably similar backgrounds to you as well. Even if they don’t, I think there’s a lot we can take here. So what really led you into coaching? What made you really open up your practice, open up your vision to create this program and really move into coaching? Or really, actually add that on to your practice is really what it is.

Dr. Lisa: Yes, yes, it definitely is an add on. I’m still doing my private practice. I guess that the reason that I chose coaching is that I find that it gives me a lot more freedom to reach a wider audience. As a licensed therapist, I can only practice in the state of Florida. That’s actually changing though. There’s been some laws that are shifting that have like an interstate compact with other states. So I’m happy to hear that that’s changing.

But that was one of the main motivations. Like really being able to reach people, I mean, theoretically all over the world, right to bring them what I have to offer and just like see that open up. I think just coaching, the profession of coaching, there’s a lot more freedom in that. I can get into that a little bit later just in general in terms of what you can do and how you can use yourself as a helper is a lot different in being a therapist versus being a coach. So that was definitely one thing.

On a more personal level, I have an entrepreneurial spirit that has been living inside of me that I have to give birth to and now’s the time. Yeah, it’s like having a coaching business, and it’s an online coaching business, is very different than having a private practice.

While they’re both like technically, they’re both businesses, but I really differentiate like what is a practice versus a business, and how I can show up and each of those. I find that I love how I can shift from one to the other. I mean, I’m learning, and I’m in the process of still becoming that business owner, but I just feel like this is the next part of my journey as a helper.

Amanda: I love it. I love it. The ability to help so many more people, like you said, really around the world. Whereas in the therapy world, you’re much more limited that way. Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about some differences between therapy and coaching. I think you’ve got a great perspective that I’d love for you to share.

Dr. Lisa: Well, I mean, I’ve been thinking about this since you asked me to come on the podcast. I mean there’s a lot of differences. There’s actually some books that have been written on how to transform from being a therapist to a coach or how to add coaching to your therapy practice. But some of the things that really came to me that were really practical were, as I was starting to mention, your role as a helper. And I’ll get into that. Then also who it is that we help.

Again going back to that practice versus the business and then how I can show up. So really that role, I look at it as in the therapy role, I see myself as a healer and more so help think people who have been—and this is goes to who do we help. Helping people who have been through something really difficult. This is not mutually exclusive. So coaching clients could have also been and probably have. I mean we’ve all been through difficult times.

But therapy clients are either in the thick of it, or they’re stuck in something that’s happened in the past. They also are not really functioning at a baseline. So sometimes, I mean, when people are severely depressed, they can’t even get up and go to work.

Anxiety can be extremely debilitating, especially with a lot of young people that I work with. They’re not able to show up to social events, especially coming out of the pandemic. They’re having difficulty reintegrating into society, and even just doing things like showing up for tests and doing public speaking if they have to do that and school. So things like that can really set a person back, and then you can see how that anxiety would just turn into depression because it becomes rather hopeless if you’re not even able to function.

So as a therapist, I’m really just doing that helping people come back to baseline. Then more as a coach, I look at it as a guide. So you’ve been through sort of this healing process. Maybe you have to take some side roads along the way and do a little healing, but really it’s just a guide. It’s like okay, coaching clients know where they want to go, and I know how to get them there. Like, if we’re going on a rafting trip. It’s like all right, hop in, and we can tailor this to what your experiences that you’re looking for. But I’ve done this. So let me let me help you get there.

Amanda: Yeah.

Dr. Lisa: Yeah. Then so yeah. In terms of who we help, I think I responded to that. It’s like people who are really looking for that healing, looking for their functioning to return to baseline.

Amanda: It’s so good. I love that. I love that definition of using that baseline as kind of that place where the therapy works to get somebody to that baseline, and then the coaching can really pick up from there and help them move forward from that baseline place. I think that’s beautiful. Beautiful.

Dr. Lisa: Yeah.

Amanda: Wonderful. So let’s talk a little bit about your, if you don’t mind Lisa, your personal story and how it relates really to the work that you do and your focus. I know you mentioned that earlier. So I’d love for you to share a little bit more about that.

Dr. Lisa: Okay. So this is where my heart starts to beat a little faster. Because one of the many differences, and this was what I was going to mention also, in being a therapist and being a coach, is how you show up. As a therapist, we’re taught to, especially in psychoanalysis.

Like traditional psychoanalysis, we use the term tabula rasa, which means blank slate. So I’m your therapist, and self-disclosure is used very, very sparingly. I mean I teach my students all the time it’s not about you. Your clients really don’t even care what you’ve been through. They’re in pain, and they need you to be right there with them, walk in their shoes.

Versus being a coach it’s like building a personal brand, putting yourself out there, sharing your story of who you are. On a personal level, the struggle, the kind of what they call hero’s journey, and the transformational process. So it’s a much more, I feel so vulnerable when I talk about myself when I because that’s not me. So that’s one of my challenges.

But anyway, so relationships, like I said, just professionally, I’ve always noticed that people always want to talk about them. For me, there’s nothing more important, I’m not going to go too deep, but I talk about this inside of some of my master classes. That my parents divorced when I was very young. They, God bless them, and I don’t blame them. They did the best they could, but they couldn’t get it together when it came to relationships. I mean they married and divorced a total of seven times between the two of them.

Amanda: Okay.

Dr. Lisa: And in my family that’s just like this, broken relationships have been all around me. It’s been a part of my upbringing. Then what I have learned through—So I learned that through my own personal experience. What I’ve learned through research and reading, and studying is that we develop a model of who we are in the context of other people and what relationships are, what love is, and how it’s going to go down based on our upbringing and those experiences and what we told ourselves at a very, very young age.

So that was…So I had all that as my upbringing, and then I got married. My wonderful husband. So yeah. So 25 years ago, we just celebrated our anniversary. In that like I wanted to break that that generational pattern too. I wanted to get it right. I was totally committed, my husband and I both committed to each other. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have problems and we haven’t had problems, which is really the definition of commitment right. Staying together when it’s hard.

Amanda: Absolutely.

Dr. Lisa: So, so I had to figure a lot of that stuff out on my own because I didn’t have those role models. But when it came to like really hard stuff, that big conflicts that we couldn’t seem to get past, I was like—and this is just my personality. When I don’t know how to do something, I get into some issue in my life, I just I start researching. Right? That’s my psychology background. I’m going to figure this out. I’m going to find out, to the root, I have to find out not just at a surface level. I need to go to the root, and I did.

Amanda: Yeah.

Dr. Lisa: My poor husband being the subject of some.

Amanda: Right.

Dr. Lisa: Yeah, so doing that in therapy was great. But, again, there’s this limitation. It’s just something that’s been inside of me always. I love this saying by Viktor Frankl, who’s a Holocaust survivor, and he wrote a book called Man’s Search for Meaning. It says, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” So, for me, it’s like a calling to use my experiences, not just to learn for myself and to grow my own character, but to really use them to help as many people as I can. Those that might be drawn to me or could relate to what I’ve gone through. Also to use my skills and my knowledge about that.

Amanda: Oh, it’s beautiful. That’s so beautiful Lisa. Thank you for sharing that. So let’s talk a little bit about where you—Like when you think about your program, the Relationship Success Academy specifically that you developed. What are—and you touched on this a little bit before. Can you just give us a picture of what that process really looks like as you bring clients into that container? What are some of the things that you’re working with them on from that coaching aspect to help them arrive at where they want to be in their relationship?

Dr. Lisa: Well, it’s a 12 week program. So it’s like walking them through this process. The very beginning, from the way I see it is like learning just basics of what is love. It’s based on science, not sentiment. A lot of people think, “Okay, love is…” Then we listen to—I listened to a lot of country music songs. So if you really want to know what love is.

Amanda: Okay.

Dr. Lisa: But understanding, again, going back to attachment theory, having people gain an awareness that that is really like the music in the dance. Also how emotions play a role in our relationships. Also that we have—I don’t put a bumper sticker on my car, but if I did, it would be this. That we are hardwired for connection.

Our brains are hardwired for safety and connection. Well, fortunately for survival, it prioritizes safety over connection. So that sometimes gets in the way of our connections because relationships are based on risk and trust, and you can get hurt.

So really just understanding how we are hardwired, that your own wanting to be with another person, wanting to have connection, having emotional needs there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make you weak. It’s part of your nervous system. It’s part of your neurobiology. It’s our natural state of being. We are meant to be in connection with other people.

So many different deep rooted beliefs about that that people have. So that’s the next step is really identifying what are my beliefs based on like I was sharing my experience. So coming out of my experience, it was like, okay, I’m not going to open my heart to anybody. Like nobody’s getting close to this. You’re just going to leave me. You’re just going to hurt me. This is what I know about relationships. But that was all at a very unconscious level.

Imagine if you’re operating on that level, you’re just going to continue to sabotage without even understanding that you’re actually creating what you don’t want through that self-fulfilling prophecy. Because these really deep rooted beliefs are like your default setting.

Amanda: Yes.

Dr. Lisa: So yeah, so that’s the next stage. Then is understanding like what are these? Let me uncover what are my beliefs and having those ah-ha moments. Also, if your partner is open, if you’re in a relationship, you don’t necessarily have to be, but if they’re open to it, they can also learn. You can also have those conversations with your partner as well, even if they’re not part of the program.

Then using some skills and tools for rewiring that. I borrow those from cognitive behavioral therapy. So there’s a lot of evidence based tools that are—and this is not therapy, by the way. I always want to say that, but we can use those tools to become not only aware of our thoughts, but to rewire. To kind of deal with them and rewire them.

Then the last phase of the program. So there’s four phases. Is to kind of what I call refurnish the toolbox of your relationship. Two things really get in the way of having a long lasting dream relationship, and that is emotional distance and unresolved conflict.

So in that last stage, I really hope that everybody fills their toolkit with tools and strategies that they can use. I have like a kind of a conflict blueprint that I use to resolve conflicts, and really come back to zero every time and have that confidence. I mean if you have the confidence that you can deal with any conflict that comes along, I mean that just is a game changer in your relationship.

Amanda: Huge. This is an amazing program. Amazing. So good. So good. I’m so excited for you to be offering this program. So who is it that you work with Lisa? Like, who are the types of clients that you’re working with in this program? How would you describe them?

Dr. Lisa: Well, in my masterclass, I say, who this this for? I say it’s for you is for you if you’re human. I believe that because every everybody is in some sort of relationship, right? So. But I think it’s best suited for people who are either in a long term relationship. They’re married.

They’ve been maybe in a place where they feel like they’ve reached kind of this homeostasis or they’re feeling some emotional distance in their relationship. I see a lot of people that come in that have been, they got married. They got the house. They got the kids. The relationship gets put on the backburner, or what I call autopilot. The next thing people are waking up and being like, “Who are you?”

So if you can catch that, like you’re in kind of the thick of it. Just growing your lives together and find that you are getting in I always say the same fight over and over. Because there’s a way out. There’s a way out, and that’s one of the things that I teach you. How to get out of the negative cycle of conflict.

Yeah. So if you’re just looking even just to take your relationship to the next level. Like okay, we’re committed. We love personal development. I want to know. I’m just hungry to learn more about my relationship and whatever I can do to take it to the next step. If you’ve come out of a relationship and it’s not gone well, and you really want to make the next one the best it can be. So, again, learning how to be a good partner, how to search out and find a good partner.

Amanda: Yeah.

Dr. Lisa: Yeah. So those would be the people that I would say that would benefit most and the people that I work with.

Amanda: I love that you said if you’re human, you can benefit.

Dr. Lisa: Yes.

Amanda: I totally agree with that. That’s so good. So let’s talk a little bit. Lisa, when you and I started working together, this was last fall. As you mentioned, you had listened to my podcast for many months, and had reached out. We had a conversation. Really since then have been working to build this program, launch this program. Can you share a little bit about where you were at when we started that process? Then where you are today as a result of the work that you’ve done in this process? I’d love for you to share that.

Dr. Lisa: Yeah. So when I first met you, I had a dream and a website. Yeah.

Amanda: It was a great website, I will say. You had a great website to start with.

Dr. Lisa: You know, I am a good perfectionist which took me a long time. I worked with a personal brand specialist who helped me develop my website and really work on my personal brand. That was really good inner work for me to do you know? So the outcome of that, like the visual outcome was my website, but so much blood, sweat, and tears went into that. As I was like even transforming into my becoming a coach, you know?

Amanda: Yes.

Dr. Lisa: So I think how I saw myself is like I was I was wearing the uniform, but I was on the sidelines. So I wasn’t in the game because I didn’t know how to be in the game. I didn’t know what the game rules were. I didn’t have a strategy for playing. I could my envision myself being there, but I really had no concept of like what to do next.

I would always like—That feeling, and maybe people can relate to this of like when you’re building a business is like spinning your wheels. Like I always felt like spinning my wheels. I would just sit and contemplate. Like okay, what do I do next? I would be like oh, well, why don’t you post more on social media? Then I would do that for a week. Then you’re like, nobody’s calling. I don’t know. I tried it on my own for a while and then I was like okay, I really need to get some help.

Then I would say the transformation for me really has been now I am, and you’ve taught me this. Now I am the CEO of my coaching business. I’ve never been a CEO before. So that has been a huge shift. I have to employ myself. I have seen to discipline myself, and keep myself on track, even when that might not feel right or my thoughts kind of try to take me in a different direction. So I really have that role. Well, I’m really stepping into that role and becoming that since working with you.

Amanda: So good, so good. What do you say is the difference between building—Obviously, you’ve built a practice, a local practice of 20 plus years. Versus building an online business, an online coaching business. When you look at the process. Obviously, a lot, technology, like there’s been a lot of changes since you’ve started your therapy practice, but I’d love for you to share what are some major differences between just the process of building those types of businesses?

Dr. Lisa: Yeah, for a private practice, one of the things that’s really tricky is marketing and advertising for private practice. This is not something that is widely done in our mental health therapy community. Now, I would say, in the last couple of years, it really has been okay, especially since social media people are advertising. But more in an indirect way. Kind of like by putting information out there, which coaches do that as well.

But with how you grow a private practice is one of the ways you can do that is getting on insurance panels. If you’re on insurance panels, then the insurance companies will refer you the clients. So you’re getting clients based on what you say you can treat. What kind of mental health disorders you can treat. It’s also a lot of word of mouth.

I’m not on insurance panels, but I get a lot of referrals from other therapists who I’ve gone to. Before the pandemic, we would have networking events in our local community, where we go and kind of introduce ourselves, find out who does what type of thing. Then also client to client kind of referring. Just, again, really word of mouth.

That’s really all I’ve done for my therapy practice is just try to do the best I can, hope I help you, and then hope you tell. But I can’t even tell you hey, tell so and so like if you like the services. You can’t do that. You can’t push that because it’s totally different. It’s a professional practice in a different way.

Whereas with, and this is where it feels more freeing with coaching. It’s also more, I guess vulnerable, and intimidating is that you can put yourself out there in a different way, and you’re directly targeting people that you believe will do well in the business that you’re selling. You are selling.

In therapy, we don’t sell. We offer our services, and then it’s like, “Okay, we have a service. If you need that service, you’ll come.” Much like if you go to your doctor’s office. They’re not coming into your home, meaning like through your phone or whatever, and saying come in and get this service. So that you’re really directly targeting people that you want to come and work with you and really doing a great deal. Like most of it, the work that I’m doing is marketing outside of and then this is the other difference is all the technology. And you know how I feel about that Amanda.

Amanda: Tell us about that, Lisa. Share a little bit about that. I think that’s important.

Dr. Lisa: Yeah, it’s been a journey. There’s been a lot of resistance in my mind to doing that because I really just want to give it to somebody else and have somebody else do it, and me just show up and do what I already know how to do. So I’ve had to learn so many systems, and it’s been difficult, challenging, huge learning curves. But at the end, it’s worth it because it gives me confidence that I can learn.  Then having, I think this is really important. Like having those systems in my business.

It’s like once I build and I understand one platform, it’s like okay. Done, check, move on to the next one. I can tweak it, but I already know how to take care of whatever. If there’s any problems there, I know how to build landing pages. I know how to build funnels for my marketing. I’m still in the process of—I am doing Facebook ads, but I’m learning the process and how to look at that and look at my business in a different way. But yeah. That’s a lot different in terms of the therapy practice.

Amanda: So good. Thank you for going into that. I think that’s really important, those distinctions between the two. So what do you think has been—You alluded to this a little bit before when you said really stepping into that CEO role in your business. I’d love for you to talk a little bit more about some of those transformations that you kind of looking back over these last six months have really experienced, felt as a result of doing this work.

Dr. Lisa: Well, one of the things that comes to mind is that, and I think you’ve taught me this or maybe you’ve even said it directly is, and I don’t know if I’m quoting you, is that business is not personal. It’s like when something goes wrong in my business or something is not working, it just means that something needs to be changed, something needs to be tweaked, something needs to be assessed. Which I can relate to as kind of a scientist. I did research. So understanding like okay, let’s isolate these variables. Let’s see what’s going on. Let’s try a different experiment.

It’s not personal. It doesn’t mean that I’m a failure, or I wasn’t meant to do this, or this is never going to work. Not going to those thoughts don’t come in, but that’s when I really have to then be the CEO and be like, “No, this is not personal. This is business. You need a business solution to this business problem.”

Amanda: Love it. That’s so good. That’s so good. One of the things I want to talk about and go back to as you were explaining just the subconscious really stories that we carry, and the programming that we all go through. You talked about it from the lens of relationships. That’s really the core of your work.

I want to actually bring the conversation to this is. It’s very similar, I find, in working with my clients in business, right. That based on the programming, based on the conditioning that we’ve had, we carry a lot of those stories into the business, into the process of building the business. Would you agree with that?

Dr. Lisa: Yeah, for sure.

Amanda: Yeah.

Dr. Lisa: Absolutely.

Amanda: Yeah. So you talked a little bit about self-sabotage. Let’s talk about that for a little bit. Because I think that this is really important. Because I see this happen a lot in the process of whether it’s working with clients or just in general. When you’re putting yourself out there as a personal brand, when you’re going out and being vulnerable in new ways, learning all of the new skills that come along with launching a business like this. It’s so common for those belief systems for that narrative to really come to the surface.

So I’d love for you to just like your perspective on like self-sabotage, and really what we do as humans when we’re put in situations where our circumstances are new. Perceived as maybe dangerous, right. Because you mentioned we’re programmed for safety first, connection second, I totally see that pattern when it comes to putting ourselves out there, right, and really hitting publish on those Facebook ads or going live or whatever it is. So I’d love for you to just talk about that briefly.

Dr. Lisa: Well, I mean as a process of doing something new, there’s always going to be a hesitation, right? Because, again, going back to that safety, and our brains are always going to over protect us. It’s kind of like a smoke detector that is going off. But you know, I use that analogy a lot with clients. I’m like but there’s no fire. Like there is no fire. You just need to go back to the smoke detector, and sometimes you got to check the batteries. You just got to turn it off. You’ve got to reset it.

So just knowing that process is like a process of diffusion. Like knowing, okay this is how my mind works. When I start something new, my brain tries to keep me safe, and it says, “Nope, stay here. You’re fine. We’re safe. We’re closed. You don’t go out there.”

Because rejection and failure actually register in the same part of our brain as physical pain. So it’s like it’s like a punch to the brain. As humans, we avoid things that are painful like instinctively. We go away from pain. So it goes against our human nature sometimes to walk into something that could potentially be painful.

But that’s really where you have to become aware of your thoughts, and also create some thoughts that generate thoughts that you want. Like, what’s on the other side of that pain? Like, why would you do that? Instead of what is the potential danger or failure, what is the possibility. And really holding on to that.

I think it’s important that you know what are your go to type of, like what is the story that my mind, my personal line that comes from my upbringing, my background, my map of the world, my personality.  Like what are the stories my brain usually tells me when I’m in a situation where I have to put myself out there, do something new? And really be aware of that because then it just becomes like, “Oh, there goes my mind doing that thing it does. There’s that same old story. It gives you the power to change it, create a new story, and kind of override what your thoughts are telling you.

Amanda: Yeah, that’s so good. That’s a lot of the inner mindset work that I work with clients on as well is really looking at those belief systems, looking at those thoughts. I love the smoke detector example. That’s a great. I might have to use that one by the way. That’s a great one. I love that, but that’s so true, right?

Like, I love what you said about the even going back to registering in the same part of the brain, right? Even though it’s not a physical danger, our brain is still registering these things as if it was. That’s why this process feels so difficult, right?

I have found this is such an inner journey to build a business like this because you’re really faced with these beliefs. You’re really faced with all of these narratives that we carry with us. I’ve found like if we don’t have an awareness to this, if we don’t have the resources, the support to, like you said, really look at them and write a new story. It’s very hard to break away from that story. Would you agree?

Dr. Lisa: 100%. I think too is that we can’t do it ourselves. Like the committee in my head agrees with all the negative thoughts and all the dangers. They’re all like, “Yes, yes, yes, yes.” We all leave the meeting. We’re like yep, that’s it. Until you actually see them out loud, and they become almost kind of comical if you really say out loud some of the beliefs that we have in our mind when it comes to like overestimating the types of danger that we can actually get into or really say something and then find that there’s actually no evidence for any of the dangers.

I always say the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Like I mean, yes I fail at things, but I’m a hard worker, and I know that I will do what it takes. I can figure things out even if I’m scared that I’m not going to be able to figure it out. Well, that’s where I think a lot of the coaching has been really helpful to help me identify like, what’s the story that I told myself? Then when I say it out loud that’s what a coach can do is like, “Okay, well, let’s really look at that. Is that really true? What else is possible?”

Amanda: Yeah.

Dr. Lisa: Yeah.

Amanda: So good. So good. So, talk a little bit about what you are working on right now, Lisa. So we know that the Relationship Success Academy, you’ve developed that. You are officially launching that program. Yeah. So talk to us about what—If some of the listeners that are thinking, “Wow, I need to work with Lisa. Like I need to get into this program.” Because again, we’re all human. We can all benefit from this work. Talk to us about where they can find you.

Dr. Lisa: Well, my website, as I mentioned that I worked very hard on is drlisaarango.com. Then I am on social media, much to my own resistance. My daughter is my social media manager. So shout out Ashley. Thank you. We make posts consistently now. So all my social handles on LinkedIn, on actually TikTok also, if I can even say that. I can’t believe it, and Instagram is Dr. Lisa Arango. So on all those channels, and yeah.

So through my website, there’s a contact form. There’s also a lot of information to go into more detail about my program, and also about my story. There’s also a link that you could book a call with me if you’re just interested in learning if I can possibly help you or if you have any questions about whether or not therapy or coaching could be best for you. I’m happy to help you walk through that as well.

Amanda: Love that. So good. So good. So lastly, what advice would you give coaches? Would you give even therapists that are maybe also looking at layering on a coaching program, similar like you’ve done? What advice would you give to them?

Dr. Lisa: One thing I think is really important is keeping everything separate. So I have a separate website for my therapy practice and for my business. I think that is, for me, so important. I also think it’s important for your clients, so they’re not confused about what services that you’re offering them. I also have a separate business entity, a separate bank account, everything is—They’re two different businesses. So to just really mitigate any kind of confusion about what I’m doing with the people that I’m working with.

Knowing also my limitations. That I can’t be all things to all people. So even if I’m working with a client in therapy, and I feel like they can really benefit—and this happens all the time—from my coaching program, that I don’t cross over that line. That I maintain that boundary that they are my therapy client, and they will maintain that with me. So I could refer them out to other coaching programs.

And the same if  my coaching practice with coaching clients that could also benefit from therapy, either alongside the work they’re doing with me or maybe as some pre-work. So being able to know what our boundaries are with that. Yeah, because we don’t want to have that dual relationship with our clients. We’re taught that. That’s part of our ethical guidelines in being a therapist.

Then lastly, I would say to get a coach. As therapists, and this has always been a limitation. When I was a program director, I tried to bring people in to talk to my students about the business of practice. But grad school just doesn’t teach you that at all. There’s no course on any kind of business or anything. A private practice, at the end of the day, is a business.

So even moving into being a coach is even more of a business, and there’s more spinning plates and more along the lines of having a traditional business. So I would say get somebody that you can work with that has a strategy. Like a step by step strategy that’s proven to work that you can really trust and work with. So definitely couldn’t have done that without you, Amanda, without the work that I’ve done with you. I would still be on the sidelines in uniform.

Amanda: With your beautiful website, but still on the sidelines.

Dr. Lisa: With a beautiful website.

Amanda: So good. So good. Well, you are amazing, Lisa. I would really encourage all of you listening if you are really looking to do some work in this area, I can vouch having worked with Lisa. Lisa is amazing. She has a phenomenal track record experience in relationships and is just doing such beautiful work in the world. So I’d really encourage any of you listening. If this is work that you’re looking to do, I’d highly recommend that you look at Lisa and her program because it is it is a wonderful, wonderful program.

So with that, Lisa, is there anything else important? You’re welcome. Is there anything else important that you would like to share as we close out our conversation today?

Dr. Lisa: Well, I think it’s important to always have—I mean it’s just kind of like a philosophy of mine is just always having like a beginner’s mind and being open to learning as much as I can. Just staying on the journey heading in the direction of my values and using that as kind of a compass for where I want to go even when it gets tough because that really keeps me on track for moving forward.

Amanda: So good. Such great advice. Thank you so much, Lisa. It’s been insane to have you on the show today. Thank you so much. I’ll talk to you soon.

Dr. Lisa: Thanks Amanda.

Amanda: You’re welcome.

Hey if you’re ready for a real breakthrough in your business and want to grow and scale your business to at least six figures or more in annual revenue, I invite you to apply for my exclusive program The Mastermind at amandakarlstadcoaching.com/the-mastermind. I look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Life Coach Business Podcast. If you want to learn more about how to build, grow, and scale your business and accelerate your results visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com.

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