About Deanna

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With a background steeped in a love for education and academia, I'm a self-proclaimed nerd who likes to keep her nose in a book and always sits in the front row of every class. As a former French teacher, I'm a lover of language and culture and enjoy traveling all over the world to learn about people and their culture and history.

I'm from Jersey which means food and family are priority. Bagels, pizza, and Penn State football are my favorite weekend indulgences. My wonderful family is back east, but I feel at home here in California with my two adorable pups, Lola and Penelope, and a wonderful network of friends who have become family.

Growing up near the shore, I always feel drawn to the water. When I lived abroad in France, I lived in Montpellier, a city situated right on the Mediterranean Sea. Now I live right near the beautiful Pacific and enjoy views of the gorgeous San Gabriel Mountains.

I grew up with a strong love of music and dance and started ballet at 4 years old. I was a cheerleader throughout my childhood and picked up Latin and ballroom dance in my twenties. I would say the waltz and salsa are my favorite styles, which are total opposites, but reflect my personality - classy and sassy! 

I do yoga or Pilates every morning in my loft overlooking the Hollywood sign, work with clients from all over the world in my home office, and regularly try to recruit my friends and family to move to the palm-lined west coast. I'm incredibly grateful for the life I have and continue to create.


My story

I will get to my qualifications in a moment, but first let me tell you about why I do what I do.

Well, for starters, I'm a recovering perfectionist and destination addict.  

I've been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. I thought being perfect meant I would be loved by all and become wildly successful and happy beyond belief. What I learned, though, is that my perfectionism would bring me the exact opposite of everything I desired. By trying to please everyone, not only did I fail, I began to dislike myself. I didn't know who I was or what I liked because I tried to be good at everything and make everyone else happy. And my own happiness was undermined by an intense feeling of emptiness and discontent.

I was suffering. I constantly felt the pressure to succeed one goal after another, though no one pushed me but myself. I punished and judged myself more harshly than my parents, teachers or coaches ever could. I was riddled with anxiety, but never spoke up about it. I was afraid to ruin my image of "Little Miss Perfect." I swallowed my feelings and learned to cope because I thought getting help, love, or support meant I was weak. 

At 25, I had a quarter-life crisis. "Who am I?" "What do I want to do with my life?" "What makes me happy?" I couldn't answer any of these questions. I landed in the hospital with anxiety where I was given meds to numb the pain (and the joy) and was put in group therapy where the other members called me "College Girl" and snickered at my "privileged problems." Obviously this wasn't going to help.

I decided to go back to the comfort of academia and looked into graduate schools. While researching more traditional programs, I stumbled upon a Master's Degree program in Spiritual Psychology offered by The University of Santa Monica (USM). Skeptical, apprehensive, but willing to try anything, I applied and was accepted.

A few weeks later, I took the advice of my refrigerator magnet - "Leap and the net will appear." So I packed my bags and moved across the country to Los Angeles, California with no job, no place to stay, and about $1000 cash. While it was the scariest thing I had ever done, it was also one of the best decisions I have ever made.

USM changed my world. I finally felt heard, validated, honored and respected. Everything that upset me or disturbed my peace became a tool to better understand myself and to learn how to treat myself with the kind of love and compassion I had always wanted from others. I began to change and people not only saw a huge difference, they could feel it. My energy was contagious.

I began sharing my story, my skills and my insights with others who identified with my journey and their lives began to change as well. I found my gift was to make "spirituality" practical and applicable for people.

This became my life's work and my personal mission. Everyone deserves a safe space to feel heard, be loved, and explore who they are and what they desire. I never claim to know more than my clients.  I'm not a guru, I'm not a healer, and I'm not a therapist. I am simply someone who knows that a judgement-free space and a lot of love can go a long way. 


PRIVATE TRAINING

QUALIFICATIONS

 

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

  • B.A. Psychology
  • B.A. French
  • Minor International Studies

THE UNIVERSITY OF SANTA MONICA

  • M.A. Spiritual Psychology
  • Soul-Centered Professional Coaching Certificate

THE INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRATIVE NUTRITION

  • Certified Holistic Health Coach

EN*THEOS Academy

  • Professor

My training includes extensive work and mentorship with:

  • Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick, Carolyn Freyer-Jones and Michelle Bauman of the University of Santa Monica, where I learned to treat myself how I wanted to be treated.
  • Steve Chandler - The Godfather of Coaching who helped me turn pro.
  • Shannon Graham - My Weekend Warrior Coach who helped me rediscover my best self.
  • Joshua Rosenthal - Founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition who inspired my healthy lifestyle.
  • Alison Armstrong - Founder of PAX Programs where I learned to embrace my power as a woman.
  • Jenna and Brad Ballard - Founders of Ascension Leadership Academy who reconnected me to my worth and value as a leader.