Coach Interview Series: Tanya Simmons

by Brandon

Tanya Simmons

Brain Gym Consultant & Life Coach

Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.

We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.

Today we are interviewing Tanya Simmons. Tanya is a Licensed Brain Gym Consultant, Life Coach, Therapist and Educator. She is the owner of Brain Heart Balance in New Orleans.

NCA: Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?

Tanya: My company is just me and is called Brain Heart Balance which, in a nutshell, sums up the core of what I do – I teach people how to find that sweet spot of balanced communication between head and heart so that they can ultimately be able to be their very own coach and therapist! Empowered and centered to be the driving force in their lives.

There are three main areas of my work. One is teaching Brain Gym courses for professionals like teachers/PT’s, OT’s/parents – anyone interested in learning these great life skills. I teach these courses several times a year in New Orleans and sometimes in other states and countries. Brain Gym is a movement-based program which optimizes brain function and has been successfully used in education since the 1970’s all over the world. As an educator, I give seminars and speak at conferences about the Brain/Heart/Body connection – how we learn, why we don’t learn, and how to optimize our potential to master our minds and bodies and emotions.

The second area of my work is my private practice where I work one-on-one as a Coach & Therapist with adults, children, teens and older generations. My online practice works very well for one-to-one sessions using Zoom, or Facetime, or Skype as well as in person where I am based in New Orleans. I use a panoply of skills depending upon what each individual needs but all with the goal to help that person realize their potential, use their brains optimally, help them to learn how to become less depressed, more focused, quieten their minds to access their higher intelligence and wisdom, set and achieve personal and professional goals, rewire their brains and heal trauma, anxiety and other hardwired patterns of negative feelings.

I work with adults and children challenged with ADD and other learning challenges; with older people to help heal or prevent dementia; students to prepare for exams/help exam nerves, for those wanting motivational coaching and growth in self-esteem; in short, anyone who wants support in their professional or personal lives to just get better, healthier and happier in all aspects of their lives.

And last but not least, the third area is my weekly drop-in class here in New Orleans called Qi-Gym – Mind & Movement – where I combine principles of Qi-Gong with Brain Gym & other key tools for physical fitness, relaxation and healing. Essentially it’s a great, affordable way for local people to help heal issues in their life and rewire their thoughts and feelings about them.
This will also be available as an online course in 2021.

NCA: What initially got you interested in this career path and what kind of degree or certifications did you need to complete, if any?

Tanya: I taught and practiced Physical Therapy & bodywork for about 20 years in the UK. When I came across Brain Gym/Educational Kinesiology I was delighted to find the answers I was seeking neurobiologically as to why people felt so much better from exercise, physical therapy and massage, and also to find really effective tools to work with the subconscious mind to shift blocks, negative behaviors and habits of being that hold us back, or sabotage our conscious efforts for positive change and achievement, and from becoming all that we are meant to be.

Realizing that this work was fundamental for success in coaching, I trained as a Life Coach in the 1990’s at Newcastle College in the UK and combined the principles of my work as a Brain Gym Consultant with Life Coaching. As a lifelong learner, I have trained in several other related modalities over the last couple of decades and so it all depends on the individuals needs which tools and approach I may offer with them.

NCA: What is the most rewarding part of your career?

Tanya: Seeing people having epiphanies, starting to really change outmoded beliefs and patterns of thinking and emotions that don’t serve them, and seeing results as they step into their true empowered selves! It is really rewarding seeing someone commit to creating positive change in their life and watching the improvements in their journey! It also takes guts for someone to persevere and I love to be the one honored to support and encourage this journey.

I’ve had to learn that from experience in my own life journey – that there is a perfect timing for everything and learning how to be more and more in tune with one’s own heart and wisdom things flow and fall into place with so much grace and serendipity.

NCA: What is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Tanya: I have a big heart and love to help others. I quickly see in others their potential and true self and not everyone is ready to make the commitment to bring into their life the change they say they want. Occasionally someone will start coaching sessions with me and isn’t ready to use the tools and do the inner and outer work needed to move forward. I’ve learnt to trust that they are getting just what they need for now and will make changes when they are ready. They may have sown the seed and need time for it to germinate in its’ own divine timing. They may have received just what they need for now from me and have a different path to take with someone else or in another way.

Sometimes I get a call from someone who I saw a year or so earlier and, having reached a new level of self-awareness and understanding, they are ready to make new changes from there and really move forward. I’ve had to learn that from experience in my own life journey – that there is a perfect timing for everything and learning how to be more and more in tune with one’s own heart and wisdom things flow and fall into place with so much grace and serendipity.

NCA: Can you think of one client who challenged your beliefs or made you rethink the way you approach your clients or your work?

Tanya: One great story comes to mind of a young boy of about 10 years old with quite extreme ADhD who came for Brain Gym & coaching with me many years ago. His goal was to improve his reading, writing, focus and to fit in better at school. I had learnt in my training that sometimes things take time to reorganize and rewire in the brain even though one is doing the work and to trust that. Over the first 6 weeks I saw little change in his behavior and doubted whether what we were doing was actually working at all.

Then one day I received an email from his mother saying that the teacher had taken her aside one day after school and asked what was she doing with her son as he had radically changed – He was sitting calmly on the carpet for story time, he was writing paragraphs of coherent, legible content and was not lashing out in impatience and anger at his friends so much. It was a wonderful moment for me to learn to trust the process and be patient myself! He is now an extremely well-adjusted young man doing well in college.

NCA: Finally, what advice would you give someone looking to get started in the career path that you chose?

Tanya: Find a good coaching course that calls you in your heart, that you have a good gut feeling about, not just what is recommended or logically seems to be the best course. Then, really enjoy the process of learning, self-exploration, whilst you learn how to coach by being coached, coaching others on the course and coaching yourself. This will be part of any training. Explore other modalities that support changing the limiting beliefs and patterns in the subconscious as an adjunct to your work.

There is so much more understanding in the field of neuroscience now about the energy and neurobiology of the conscious and subconscious minds, and there are books galore to explore. EFT for example is a great and simple tool. I use this in my practice and share the understanding of modalities like this plus lots of other great information and tools in my trainings – online or in person – with Brain Heart Balance.

I also feel it’s important to charge what you are worth and at the same time be open to be flexible to help those who are genuinely ready for change but lack funds. Many therapies and trainings nowadays have radically increased their fees without considering that some people’s wages have not radically increased. In my practice I do offer a sliding scale and have the luxury of being Self-employed to do so. And finally, enjoy the never-ending journey that you will have within yourself as you get to know your True Self more and more deeply, and share that joy encouraging others to be all that they can be!

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