A better you

Dave Schwab

Thu December 29, 2016 4:50pm

Her website says it all: “Love yourself first — and the rest will follow.”

That’s the working philosophy of Chula Vistan Tahira Mitchell who, though she has university degrees in both marriage and family therapy and human development, considers herself instead to be a life coach and healer.
Mitchell’s business office is at 2127 Olympic Parkway 1006 #417. “I (also) go to my clients at their preferred locations,” she said.
So how is Mitchell’s approach different from standard psychotherapy?
“It’s almost like an extension of therapy,” said Mitchell, who claims to be intrinsically empathic, having counseled everyone from disturbed children to anxious adults.
“Now I have the freedom to work with them Individually in the healing process,” she noted.
Mitchell’s background in human development has helped her realize just how many people are from dysfunctional backgrounds — and how their pasts impact their present.
“What my clients don’t realize is their dysfunctional backgrounds play a role in how they are as adults,” she said. “They need to heal. I work with them to deal with that as adults.”
Mitchell’s method first involves having the prospective client fill out an exhaustive questionnaire.
“I ask them about their family history and whether there was any traumatic mental, verbal or emotional abuse they need to get over,” she said. “Then I focus on those issues they’re having now in their lives that may be attributable to their family stuff.”
“Some people do need mental health therapy,” noted Mitchell. “But what I do as a life coach is work with them to help the healing process,” which she noted is “more on an emotional level.”
Mitchell said she does a lot of “inner child” stuff to find out “what a parent didn’t do back then. If they’re having a lot of anxiety, real fear, I can help them make decisions on how to make things right, help them get over those traumas. We go back to that, those fears they had as a child, allowing them to live in the moment.”
Past traumatic events can lead to “blockages” in a person’s behavior. Mitchell said that often causes a repetitive loop in which people repeat mistakes, like getting into bad interpersonal relationships with the same types of partners.
“I only know that when we get stuck we get fearful, we’re hurting, devastated,” Mitchell said, adding, “When you have all this on your mind — you get an emotional reaction.
“What I do is work with them to try to connect the dots, figure out what’s lacking in their partnering,” Mitchell continued. “I try to help them figure out what they need and how to meet those needs.”
Mitchell said people’s lives need to be analyzed as a continuum.
“When other people hurt us, we feel like we did when we were children,” she said. “So we go back to the beginning, examine that hurt. Part of what I do is not just going back, but also making the connection to their emotional discomfort.”
Truth is also a key ingredient in the healing process, according to Mitchell.
“I work with clients to talk about that hurt and tell the truth about what their parents said and did,” she said, noting “sometimes in order for them to cope now and in the future, you need to go back to their pasts, tell the truth about it (traumatic experiences), not avoid the pain.”
Mitchell said she shares her traumatic experiences to help her clients. “I had to help myself to get over those hurdles,” she said. Mitchell said a person doesn’t overcome traumatic blockages by avoiding their leftover pain but rather by “dealing with it.”
“The healing process comes from all that,” Mitchell concluded.