Today we had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Allison Sucamele, a certified positive psychology coach, who was kind enough to talk with Mystic Mag about the ways in which she implements HeartMath techniques into her work, and more. You’ll want to read this one!
Can you tell our readers what HeartMath represents?
Based on my personal training, HeartMath essentially represents coherence, or cooperative alignment between the heart, mind, and emotions. It has been demonstrated through research that your heart rhythms can affect your thoughts and behaviors. Practicing HeartMath techniques can help a client tap into their heart’s intuition and increase a feeling of regenerative emotions. When coherent heart rhythms are experienced, the client’s brain can then perform at an optimal level when it comes to things like memory, focus, and decision-making, thus synchronizing the heart, mind, and emotions, which in turn makes the client feel better overall.
How did you come across HeartMath and what sparked your interest in the field?
I learned about HeartMath from a student in my graduate-level Introduction to Positive Psychology course that I was teaching at Pepperdine University. He was certified by the HeartMath Institute and briefly mentioned it to the class during a presentation. My student was a war veteran and was using the techniques to help other veterans and reported finding great success with the techniques when it came to this particular group. I then researched the HeartMath Institute, evaluated what programs I was most interested in, decided that it aligned with my values and interests, and over time, earned my certifications.
How do you customize your sessions for individual clients or groups?
My client groups essentially fall into three categories: Individual Teen Coaching, Individual Coaching, and Group Coaching. All clients receive individualized, science-based, positive psychology coaching. Depending on the client’s coaching goals and personal preferences, we collaborate on a coaching plan which helps me to determine what modalities I will be using with that particular client. Coaching sessions are not a one-size-fits-all and no two sessions are ever the same. It’s all about open and collaborative communication between the client and coach, and most importantly, what works best for the client in terms of personal growth.
My coaching groups can range from 2-12 people per session. Clients can sign up for a set program like my Self Love Program, form their own group with common goals, or I can match clients with a common goal to form a group. I do a consultation call with all potential clients prior to the commencement of coaching to make sure we are a good fit for coaching. Like any relationship, I need to know that our partnership is going to benefit the client and that their goals are attainable through what I have to offer via positive psychology strategies and techniques and the supplementation of HearthMath techniques.
What other services do you offer and how do you incorporate your experience as a HeartMath professional into them?
I am a HeartMath certified coach specializing in Building Personal Resilience and an Add Heart Facilitator. In addition to positive psychology techniques and strategies, I can augment sessions with heart rate variability analysis (HRV) to help clients synchronize their heart, mind, and emotions, as well as teach them how to build personal resilience through the use of science-based skills that helps to increase self-awareness and build and sustain resilience by enhancing the ability to more intelligently self-regulate energy, which directly affects day-to-day performance and puts the client on a pathway of peace and purpose while deeply connecting with their authentic self.
What resources do you rely on to stay up to date with new developments in the field and how do you continue to grow as a HeartMath professional?
I am a member of the Institute of Coaching, McClean, Affiliate of Harvard Medical School, a member of the American Psychological Association, and several other professional organizations which you can view on the Founder’s page of my website: thelemontreecoaching.com. Several of the professional organizations that I am involved with offer webinars, articles, discussion groups, and trainings to help stay up to date on new developments. I also read a lot of books published by colleagues and do research for my own podcast called The Lemon Tree Coaching Podcast which is meant to educate people on the science of positive psychology, as well as provide them with tools and strategies that they can try and implement into their lives if it is a fit for them. Again, when it comes to self-care, it is not a one-size-fits-all and it is important to emphasize this point. What works for one person, may not work for the other. You have to find what works for you.
How do you see the field evolving in the future?
I think we are beginning to see more of a shift in thinking when it comes to our daily lives. Western culture tends to emphasize this push towards always obtaining more, being involved in more meaningless activities, and awarding those who work long hours, are always busy, and their lives are out of balance. It’s this constant search for external validation. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of arriving at enough, reconnecting with our authentic selves, finding balance in our daily lives, and internally validating ourselves through self-love.