Dr. Villarreal’s Coaching Practice

My professional experience is multidisciplinary, spanning across education and training in executive coaching, cognitive neuroscience, clinical and organizational psychology.  For more than a decade I have worked closely with top-tier organizational leaders in the Bay Area’s diverse tech community, guiding them into and through pivotal transitions in work and life.  My clients describe me as a straight shooter, knowledgable of Silicon Valley tech culture, skillful at interpreting complex organizational and interpersonal dynamics, and fearlessly committed to helping people push past barriers to reach their full potential.  My executive coaching style incorporates evidence-based practices from peak performance psychologycognitive neuroscience, behavioral design and critical communication skill acquisition.

I help high-achieving people cultivate and strengthen:

  • Leadership identity and authentic performance style
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
  • High stakes decision-making & problem solving
  • Skillful communication across relationships
  • Phase of life preparedness and planning
  • Change facilitation
  • Career/life transitions

I help organizations build and enhance:

  • Value-driven company culture design and alignment
  • Role development and clarity within teams
  • Inter-team trust building
  • Solution-focused communication
  • Conflict resolution management
  • Diversity/inclusion awareness and integration
  • Retrospectives for insightful learning

People who optimally benefit from coaching are highly motivated, mentally healthy, ready to achieve identified goals and execute plans.  I use an interactive, problem-solving approach that is positive, strength-based and results-driven.  Some of the typical subjects my clients target through coaching:

  • Sustain stamina through fundraising rounds
  • Achieve mental centeredness in high pressure roles
  • Develop impactful speaking skills for targeted audiences
  • Build strategic networks for professional/personal advancement
  • Transition from one professional space to another
  • Learn collaborative methods to reduce conflict
  • Evoke confidence, charisma and vision into leadership presence
  • Figure out ‘what’s next’ with an outside thinking partner
  • Problem -solve practical ‘how to’s’
  • Identify new strategies for reducing professional/personal isolation
  • Expand solutions for managing stress / burnout
  • Instill trust into and across a range of relationships

“Engaging in executive coaching is an opportunity to uncover new dimensions of problem solving and potential for success, cultivate new skills, overcome hurdles and enlist strategic resources as part of a tailored plan of growth.  Ineffective patterns are identified and reframed allowing for new insight and positive development.  Coaching can also help identify and build solutions when someone is ‘stuck’ in a gridlock, or at a crossroads.  Coaching sessions are a collaborative effort intended to produce measurable progress and solidified learnings.  In partnership we will celebrate accomplishments, examine the pitfalls that are a natural part of growth, and reinforce a support system to help maintain positive change.  It’s an exciting journey that I enjoy taking with people, every step of the way.”  Dr. Christina Villarreal

How is participating in coaching different than participating in psychotherapy?

Coaching provides a distinct service that helps individuals and organizations reach their goals for enhancing performance, functionality and productivity.  Organizations that have used professional coaching have seen a median return on their investment of 7 times their initial investment, according to a study commissioned by ICF, and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Association Resource Centre Inc. (ICF Global Coaching Client Study, 2009).

Coaching focuses on supporting growth and improvement in the present and the future:

  • Coaching is appropriate for people ready to take on new challenges through behavioral change
  • Coaches support specific goals and action plans developed in partnership with the client
  • Coaching capitalizes upon a person’s skill sets and strengths to achieve improved outcomes
  • Measures progress with ongoing evidence-based assessment tools; process is results driven
  • Provides tailored structure, positive encouragement, support, and feedback
Psychotherapy is a form of clinical treatment intended for people experiencing varying degrees of mental health symptoms, and is effective for treating emotional and behavioral dysfunction that has led to significant impairment in one or more major areas of functioning (e.g. work, school, childcare). Psychotherapeutic assessment outcomes are defined through clinical diagnoses according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).  Like coaching, psychotherapy may also include concrete treatment goals, and provides supportive professional care.  However:
  • Psychotherapy is appropriate when a mental health problem/disability arises which warrants clinical attention and psychological intervention
  • Psychotherapy focuses on moving people from a state of dysfunction to one of being functional; it was developed out of the need to treat human pathology
  • Psychotherapy is appropriate for diagnosing and treating mental illness and other clinical levels of malfunctioning (e.g. bereavement, marital separation, trauma)
  • While psychotherapeutic treatment may vary in duration, clinical orientation and format, it provides support with or without the inclusion of goals, actionable intent or progress
  • Psychotherapists are trained to take a neutral, objective stance towards their patients and provide empathic listening and emotional support.  Coaches work in partnership with their clients and advocate for positive behavioral change and measurable growth.

Please note, once you have scheduled and confirmed an appointment, you have a 24 hour grace period with which to cancel or reschedule that appointment.  You may cancel or reschedule directly via email, phone message or text.  Without adequate cancellation time, you will be responsible for the cost of the missed appointment in full.  Payment for services rendered are due at the time of the scheduled appointment.  

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Please note, once you have scheduled and confirmed an appointment, you have a 24 hour grace period with which to cancel or reschedule that appointment.  You may cancel or reschedule directly via email, phone message or text.  Without adequate cancellation time, you will be responsible for the cost of the missed appointment in full.  Payment for services rendered are due at the time of the scheduled appointment.  

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