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  • Ricka Robb Kohnstamm

I'm getting the shivers this week...

I get the shivers when someone I care about speaks a hard fought truth - steps deeply into their own space, learns to stand up for the small child inside of them who hasn't felt seen or heard for years, creates space for the parts of them that have felt run over by others.

This week in individual, couples' strength building, and family sessions, this is what I am hearing:

  • "I am here and I would like to feel seen by you..."

  • "I will apologize for harm I have caused but I won't apologize for who I am..."

  • "I have something important to say, I also want to hear what you have to say... "

  • "I want to belong to myself and to you..."

  • "I am afraid to ask for what I want, but I am going to do it anyway..."

When we learn tools to become sturdier in our own truth, clarify our own boundaries, express what we think with respect and kindness, it is powerful and seeds joy (and gives me the shivers...)

These new habits can replace the old ones, so we stand up taller, feel more grounded, and soften into knowing we are solidly doing our work.

Considering trying on these three skills, even before you get all those other things worked out...

Apply restraint.

  • "I am super upset about what happened at work. I am going to take a walk to cool down before dinner so that my anger doesn't spill onto you."

  • "I have something important to talk with you about and I want to share it in our next Couples' Strength Building session with Ricka, rather than now, when I am pissed off."

  • "When I stop to think about it, I know that my child is going through a major transition - a new school, new relationships, a new schedule - all things that cause anxiety. I don't need to get on them about making their bed and picking up their laundry this week... we can come back to that later when things calm down."

Use empathy.

  • "I see how you are working to get a handle on your angry outbursts. I know it's hard work and I appreciate what you are doing."

  • "I know you lean towards using alcohol to cope; I am not comfortable with it but I get it."

  • "I know the plumber messed up the bathroom - you have worked so hard to keep everything on track. I get why you are so upset."

Add perspective.

  • "I know that she is struggling right now, so I can give myself space to not take everything she says at face value."

  • "We've had a major conflict in our family and I remember Ricka reminding me that healing takes time - it doesn't happen overnight. We'll sit in the safety of family sessions to gently get to know each other again, to remember what is important to each of us."

  • "My time on earth is limited - I will do my work now, with those I love, so that I don't ever have regrets."

Behaviors aligned with values support optimal health.


Hello, I'm Ricka.

Ricka Kohnstamm Executive & Physician Coach Profile Photo

I'm a Nationally Board Certified (NBC-HWC) Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coach. I specialize in working with physician leaders, corporate leaders, non-profit executives and their families to navigate complex work and personal issues so they can strengthen their relationships, heal, and feel hopeful about the future again. 



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