I am passionate about supporting people as they live life as an intentional journey. I enjoy helping people find, tune and strengthen their internal compass to navigate their journey, however it may look. I bring a combination of humor, warmth and practicality to my work. I also bring a wide variety of life and work experience which gives me all sorts of random buckets from which to draw on while working with people..
Facts about me:
I am a Certified Interfaith Spiritual Director through The Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley.
I am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) through the Coaches Institute in San Rafael, CA.
I am a Unitarian Universalist Lay-Community Minister
I have 3 kids, ages 25, 23 and 17 and have been married over 25 years.
I have been a working/showing artist for the past 30 years
I have worked in many different environments from corporations to cafés and copy shops to churches.
I have run five small businesses - some have been more successful than others... but I have learned something from all of them.
I have produced an independent documentary film.
By far, the work I enjoy the most is the one-on-one work I have done in coaching and spiritual direction.
Professional organizations I belong to:
Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministers
Bay Area Spiritual Directors
Spiritual Directors International
Unitarian Universalist Spiritual Directors' Network
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT WORKING WITH SUSIE
"Susie's wisdom as a coach, woman, mom, wife and daughter have helped me tremendously in navigating through some major peaks and valleys in my own life. Her sense of humor, flexibility, honesty and continuous support have been a wonderful gift to me and my family. I have worked with a handful of coaches and therapists over the years and my experience with her has had the most impact on helping me to really see things as they are and step into my true authentic self. Thank You Susie!" TM - Client
"Susie has been a godsend to me. I knew I needed some support but didn’t know where to turn when I was adjusting to being a new mom, staying at home with my child, and facing infertility issues for the second time. I was feeling isolated and overwhelmed. I saw that Susie worked with parents but I was a bit apprehensive about going to a ‘spiritual director’. I worried I wasn’t “spiritual enough” or that my problems weren’t of a spiritual nature and imagined I would have to do some weird chanting ritual with incense. Nothing could be further from the truth! I walked into Susie’s sunlit office 15 minutes late and there was this lovely, totally down to earth woman welcoming me! She made me feel comfortable right away and had absolutely no agenda. Susie is clearly a professional and has had a lot of experience in her field. But most importantly she is completely passionate about what she does, she listens like it is a fine art, and her wisdom is born of real experience as a woman, mother, and wife. I feel honored to know her as a person. She is so genuine, sensitive, and funny! Going to Susie was like helping me to find my keel. She helped me to find my own rhythm and balance. I looked forward to our times together as an island of calm and opportunity for great support and insight. I felt like she genuinely cared about me. Seeing Susie is the greatest gift I can give myself, my husband, and my child. I love becoming more conscious about how I want to be a parent. “There is no one way,” Susie says. I love that. And I will forever appreciate her supporting me on this journey. I can’t recommend her highly enough." LB - Client
"Susie Idzik is an insightful, compassionate and gifted coach and mentor. During our work together she helped me take an objective look at my strengths and create a vision for wheare I wanted to use them. You might say she's rather like a magician....while I felt all my "light bulb" ideas came from within, it was actually Susie who turned on the switch. Today I am a fulfilled, self-actualized high school English teacher after spending years spinning my wheels in high tech. I credit Susie Idzik for giving me the courage to take the leap and highly recommend her services to anyone ready for meaningful change." - LF - Former Client
"For many years I thought lived a spiritually bereft life until I began my work with Susie. There were times I felt lost and she was the light in a dark doorway. My life is richer and more full because the work Susie and I do together." MH - Client
"Susie was instrumental in helping me change careers. I was in a high-paying, prestigious, but unfulfilling job, and knew I should do something but was stuck. Susie is the best sounding board you could ever ask for. She asked me questions to help me uncover what I wanted to move toward (starting my own business and writing the novel I've always dreamed about) and she role-played difficult 'what-ifs" so I gained the courage to let go of something good to grab onto something better." MG - Client
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Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
What if I just want to check out what this is like? Great! To start, we can set up a free, introductory meeting and you can see if this type of work seems like a good fit for you at this time. No pressure. If it seems like a relationship that will be fruitful for you, we can talk about how to get started.
How do we get started? Get in touch, and we'll set up our initial meeting. Our first times working together may be a bit longer than our regular meetings. Once we're going, we can meet weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or on a more flexible schedule. We'll work out what's best for you.
Do you offer a sliding scale fee? Absolutely. We can discuss fees after your first free initial session.
Where do we meet? My office is in Palo Alto. If you can't meet in person, I often work with people on the phone or Zoom (like Skype).
I don't even live in the Bay Area...is there anything we can do? Absolutely! I often work with people over the phone and through Zoom (like Skype), and we can work through email if that's something you'd like.
How is Spiritual Direction different from Coaching and Therapy? Ultimately, I offer people support. My sessions are deep conversations regarding your life and the support you need. My training is as a spiritual director and as a coach. I consider spiritual direction to be a time for you to look at your life, as it is, and process how your choices are lining up with your bigger questions of (and answers to) life. I would describe coaching as a forward looking, action oriented practice. Coaching looks at where you are now and where your going and how you are going to get there. Therapy tends to look at one's past and healing that may need to occur in order to move forward.
How long do we meet? A standard session will be either 1/2 hour or 1 hour, depending on the frequency and the work that we're doing. We can meet one time, for 3 months or ongoing for a year or more... again depending on the work we're doing together. I have worked with people just a couple times and some peoplel for 7+ years. I truly believe that my clients know what will work best for them, so I don't have a required frequency for meeting.
How did you get your certification? I thought anyone could be a life coach or spiritual director? Well, sure... plenty of people are calling themselves coaches, and spiritual coaches, these days. I received my CPCC certification from The Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, CA in 2000. Training was a series of classes and extensive supervision. I received certification as a an Interfaith Spiritual Director through the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley CA. Training included classes various faith styles and religions and the practice of spiritual direction, followed by extensive supervision. I trained in Systemic Family Constellations with Institute for the Study of Systemic Constellations which was a two year course. I continue to participated in ongoing education in Organizational and Family Constellations. While I have not been certified in the Enneagram, I have studied actively for the past twenty years with a variety of teachers. I have found my training in all programs to be invaluable and they continue to inform how I work.