Coach Interview Series: Deb Arbeeny

by Brandon

Deb Arbeeny

Integrative Wellness and 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 Deb Arbeeny. Deb is an Integrative Wellness and Life Coach, as well as the author of Destiny Do-Over: Your Personal Playbook for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life. She is based in Portland, Oregon.

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

Deb: I am an integrative wellness and life coach and, as such, strive to help people address their goals holistically. This means that I focus on bringing balance to all four body systems (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) versus just one aspect of one’s life. As an example, is someone is looking to lose weight due to overeating, there is a good probability that they are overeating due to an emotional or mental situation they are dealing with. Simply changing their diet may not work as their situation may just manifest in another aspect of their life.

Most of my clients are women who are at a crossroads in their life; women who feel like they lost themselves somewhere along their journey and have become a passenger in their own life. They feel unsettled or unfulfilled but are not sure how to get out of their rut. Much of my practice is online, enabling me to serve clients well beyond the physical limits of my hometown, and offering flexibility to work around clients’ busy schedules.

The most rewarding part of my career is knowing that I have helped someone be their own authentic self, find their path, or at least gain the confidence to take steps to realizing their dreams. There is a light and determination in their eyes that lets you know you made a difference.

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

Deb: I’ve always had a passion for helping others. I was a licensed massage therapist for 15 years and have been consulting with organizations on managing people change for over 17 years. Being able to connect with individuals, empower them to experience their “a ha” moment and build the confidence to go after their dreams is the most rewarding experience I could ask for. I truly believe that being a light and support system to others will bring us all closer together, which this world needs so much more of these days.

I received my coaching certification from the Integrative Wellness Academy (IWA). In addition, I am also a Prosci certified change practitioner as well as have a Masters certification in adult learning and development. Finally, and something I feel is vital in any coaching practice, is the “school of hard knocks” – my own personal experiences that enable me to relate on a personal level and be more empathetic to what my clients are experiencing.

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

Deb: The most rewarding part of my career is knowing that I have helped someone be their own authentic self, find their path, or at least gain the confidence to take steps to realizing their dreams. There is a light and determination in their eyes that lets you know you made a difference.

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

Deb: The most challenging part of my work is acknowledging that I cannot help everyone. Sometimes people get so stuck they don’t want to hear anything positive or they want you to just tell them what to do, or they don’t want to address all body systems but just the one thing they came in for. An integrative wellness coach is not for everyone and sometimes I have to refer a client to someone who is a better match for their specific focus. It’s really about knowing what’s best for your client at that particular time.

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

Deb: There are so many influencers to my coaching practice. One that immediately comes to mind is a mentor and friend who really helped me see my potential in a way that I hadn’t. I recall this person calling me their ‘trusted advisor’ which I thought was a funny way to describe a friend. They explained that I took the time to really listen, ask questions and guide them to reflect and make their own decisions, versus trying to solve their problems for them. That really meant a lot.

Another key influencer was one of the coaches at IWA, who taught the value of listening – listening to what someone is saying, listening for what they are not saying and listening with an open heart and open mind. I strive to bring that approach to every interaction in my life beyond just coaching. So often, people just listen to respond and when they do their response can unintentionally come from a more selfish place instead of what’s best for the receiver.

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

Deb: The one piece of advice is to know your lane. I’ve had friends question why I refer clients out and lose that income. If you know your limits and are passionate about what you do, you will attract clients that are a good match for you and the money will come. If you try to force yourself to be everything to everyone and go against your values or scope just to make an extra buck, it will show in your work and could impact your authenticity and credibility, not to mention your clients’ outcome.

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