ich.jpgHi, I’m Christiane Turnheim, and I’m a professional coach. People often ask me: “What is coaching or, what do you do as coach?” As a coach I enable people to change. This is what I love doing: Helping people realize what they really want in life and then helping them to change their lives so that they get what they want. 

The great American poet James Russell Lowell once said: “What others dare to dream of, dare to do”. I interpret these lines as: Find out what your dreams are and then go for it. Don’t let yourself be stopped by thoughts like: “These are only dreams; there is no chance to live like that. You will never achieve this etc.” If you don’t try, then your dreams will indeed remain only dreams. So, go out and start making your dreams a reality, whether it’s finding a new job, writing a book, being a good parent, rock climbing, traveling or planting a tree. To increase your chance of success, get all the help you can get. As coach, I will help you realize your dreams. That’s my promise and this is what I’m passionate about.

My coaching philosopy: magnolia.jpg

As people are different, there are also all kinds of different types of coaches with different personalities. For a successful coaching relationship it’s important that coach and client can work together. There must be genuine trust and as client you must have the feeling that you really can open up, and also admit and talk about characteristics that you may experience as your “weaknesses”. Know that once I accept you as my client I will accept you as whole person and therefore, I will never judge you. We all struggle sometimes and say or do things we later regret. As coach I will help you to improve how you are handling difficult situations, but I will not criticize you.

Coaching is about making changes in your life– some of these changes may appear scary and you might hesitate. I believe, as coach it is important to know how much of a push someone needs and when to give more time to become ready for these changes. I’m a gentle and patient person and won’t rush you into changes, but I’m also persistent about moving forward and not letting you escape into all kinds of excuses that hold you back in the past.

As coach, I want to help people who are thinking about a major life transition or are already in it. Events like going through a divorce, changing your career, moving to a foreign country, getting a cancer diagnosis, or becoming a parent have the power to change the whole direction of your life and even to change your personality.


Three events that have influenced me as a coach: Cancer, moving to America, parenting

For one, I was diagnosed a couple of years ago with cancer. At this point it really hit me that life is not endless and that I can’t afford to waste my time pleasing other people. I vowed to focus more on my dreams and to make the most of the rest of my life, whether this life would last just one more year or forty years.

Those, who have never been faced with such a disease can’t imagine how uprooting the diagnosis can be. There are questions like: Did I do something wrong with my lifestyle? What do I have to change to become/stay healthy? Will I see the graduation of my children? Should I prepare memory books? What are the 10, 20…100 most important things I absolutely want to do before I die? Cancer means going through a crisis. Not only a physical health crisis, also a mental crisis. As a coach, I would love to help other people who are facing a crisis in their life.

Another event that changed my life was moving from Austria to the USA. Life is very different here – from the ways to shop to how to talk with people. For example, the way how we discuss problems and conflicts with each other in Austria would be considered rude by many in the US. Therefore, the entire family had to learn and because my husband was at work during the day, it was my job to help our boys to adjust to the new country with a different school system and language. Adjusting to a new country means constantly to question your values, to keep some, to overthrow others and to learn new ones. It’s an exciting process and definitely influenced my personal development. I know that many expatriates struggle with similar issues as I did and therefore, as coach I want to support them.

Lastly, being a parent of two teenagers has another defining impact on my life. Teenagers can be very moody and critical. They are on the journey to find their own identity and this journey often starts by defining what they don’t want to be. They don’t want to work as much as dad. They don’t want to be as strict as mom. They don’t want ……  It can be tough to go from the admired dad/mom on the pedestal to the adult that’s no longer a role model to follow. As coach, I would love to help other parents mastering the challenge of raising children.

My professional background:

I’m a co-active coach (CTI trained; www.thecoaches.com). I also have a Master’s degree in psychology from the University of Vienna, Austria. In addition to coaching, I currently work as a college instructor in psychology.(Adjunct Faculty, MassBay Community College, MA). I have many years of experience coaching, consulting, advising, and teaching through my online psychological practice (all in German, www.psychohelp.at). Right after high school, I worked for more than 10 years as journalist for the Austrian TV and Radio broadcasting company ORF. In this function, I was also supervising and training younger colleagues.


10 Facts about my private life:

  1. I’m  married and the mother of two teenage boys.
  2. I love traveling. So far, I have visited more than 40 of the 50 US states and my goal is to travel to all 50. 
  3. I’m an avid gardener, and I’m particularly proud if I can grow plenty of fruits and vegetables during the summer months.
  4. My favorite flower is the sunflower (which explains the header of the website).
  5. I don’t have a favorite book, but I love to read.
  6. I like an active lifestyle with hiking, swimming, dancing etc.
  7. I have two cats. One of them has his own blog: maxi-cat.blog.de (in German).
  8. I also love photography and take lots of pictures of landscapes and flowers.
  9. I like to cook and entertain people in my house .
  10. I speak fluently English and German.