How to live a better life? Interview with Anna Barauskas-the first Polish life coach and NLP trainer in USA



The work of coach does not consist of providing advice, but stimulating self- reflection of the client himself, who starts to see new ways to move to reach the desired aim thanks to the professionalism of the coach. She is one of the best Polish life coaches in the world, the first Polish NLP trainer in the USA, a motivation speaker, co-founder and lecturer of the NeuroLinguistic Training Institute of Chicago, a chairman of the Polish American Coach Federation and a journalist.

IMG 9171She has worked with such famous persons as Agata Młynarska, Izabella Miko, Anna Guzik, Olga Kozierowska, Doda, Robert Klatt, Andre Napier, dr Thomas Grobelny – these are only some of the persons she has worked with both in the field of personal and journalist development. She has worked in media, politics and entertainment for 10 years, yet it is not working with celebrities, but trainings and sessions with individual clients which bring her greatest joy. Positive psychology, human development of the second age people and relations between psychology and philosophical anthropology are within her particular interests. She treats her activity as a personal development trainer more as a life mission rather than a job.

She trained almost 250 licensed coaches in the US until 2012, who have used among other things the NLP methods and elements of Gestalt therapy. She conducted over 3 thousand hours of open trainings and indoor trainings for companies and corporations as well as a few hundreds individual coaching sessions.

One of her bigger joys is her belief she motivates people to paint their world with colours of their dreams. Life coaching has become her lifestyle and the way to build relations with other people.

 What is coaching and what the work of the coach consist of?
Let us talk exactly about life coaching- it is a term originating in psychology. While a psychotherapist works with his client examining his past, a life coach focuses on the presence and the future of his client. It is the method of supporting and intervening on a mental level, based on one-hour sessions. During that time a personal development trainer and a coachee determine aims of the coachee and build a proper strategy to achieve them. One says it is a task of the coach to describe life and professional plans as well as their implementation until their achievement, last but not least it is the role of the coach to accompany his coachee through the whole process.

Why do people search for a coach’s help?
People contact coaches for miscellaneous reasons. They may search an appropriate life partner, they want to pass an exam to enroll at the university, to get prepared for a job interview, to improve relations with children and family, to set up one’s own business , to develop a career, to improve communication with employees, to improve sales in a company.

What was the origin of the term “coaching” and how does it differ from life coaching?

The term “coaching” that is to say “training” has been borrowed from the sport terminology and it has become popular due to its usage in business. As I was saying before- “coaching” means supporting a person in achievement of his goals in order to make him act deliberately and effectively.

A dozen or so years ago coaching- being initially a tool of work for business people, film stars and artists both in Europe and in the USA- came out of this prominent circle and started to function in life of average people in the United States and in Europe. That way the so called Life Coaching was created, aimed at personal development in professional and personal life to attain happiness and self- accomplishment in such matters as: family, love, partnership, parenthood, interests, passions, career, earning money and even leisure time.

Life coaching is currently very popular in Poland, it has filled the gaps in existing mechanisms of mutual support between people as in contrary to psychotherapy, which serves very often in resolution of very severe problems- it is designated to healthy, well-functioning people, who simply want to live even better and more happily, to achieve successes, both spectacular and those less important, who want to live efficiently and effectively. It is aimed at achieving psychological and material benefits, such as a great contact with own habitat, self- assertiveness, excellent self- esteem, ability for self- motivation as well as reflection on life and everyday decisions.

Does it mean almost everybody can use this technique?

Coaching is for all those who want to make the best of their lives, who want to develop in areas interesting to them, who have dreams and want to put them in life. It is also for those who want to take a challenge, yet they lack courage and they search for that courage. It is for those who search for love of their lives and still cannot find a trace of it and need help in that struggle.

Finally, it is for those who want to improve their company management, to raise its profitability, to generate better monthly wages or to build up own competencies in sales, customer service, running business. Coaching is also for those who pay attention to excellent well- being and a good look. Thanks to life coaching sessions they will not only accept themselves, but also they will slim down and shape their body. Working with a life coach motivates people to act, fulfill their dreams, make their plans happen, to become who they have always wanted to be.

How do you help your clients?
My multi-year experience in life coaching has enabled me to work in different ways with a client. IMG 9158

During individual coaching sessions I meet one to one in my office and we work there together on current situations and we set the desired goals and their execution. I meet some people once a month, most of them every two weeks. Some people require three- four meetings, in extreme cases- only one. There are also those who always take new life challenges and I meet those clients less frequently, let us say once every month or two, but for several years.

The second way of my work with a client is conduction of trainings and workshops. People take part in organised courses to obtain abilities to work independently on their own development. People after such courses not only improve their lives, but often decide to start to work as a coach. Those trainings take place in the Neuro- Linguistic Programming Training Institute of Chicago and School of Business and Life Coaching, where I am a co-owner and a teacher. It is my third way to reach clients. These days I run trainings with students in a one-year school as well as during the weekend courses. Further info available at


What professional and age groups are within your clients?
All. You can find people of every age and with various interests. Now, I guess, as couching is fashionable, both young, middle aged and old people attend coaching sessions. I meet students, professionals of different branches, housewives taking care of a household raising up their children, with unemployed people.

I have dealt as well with many so called celebrities- people from the first pages of newspapers, one priest has been my client for some time as well.

What are the problems of your clients?

People come with various problems, yet the work of a coach consists of not working with a problem, but converting that problem into a goal achievement. For instance- if someone tells me his problem is joblessness, then I ask what he or she would like to have instead of it. Then it turns out this person wants to work. The puropse of my next questions is to determine what occupation would suit that person, where, with whom, for what remuneration. The more precise the goal, the more realisitic it becomes and one can easily design the strategy of its implementation

Problems I deal with in my daily work are various- marital problems, unanswered feelings. Some clients want to work in a profession they dream about, others want to pass an exam and enter a university, others want to get rid of frustration after an unhappy relationship. Some want to reduce their overweight and need motivation to do sport or they want to identify their passions and to develop their interests- and- turning them into a source of income.

Many people come to improve their relations with their family, parents with children, businessmen want to have better relations with contractors. There are some who want to increase their incomes or to find money to buy a car, to cover educational expenses or to pay a holiday trip.

Do you give them advice then?

The work of a coach is not about giving counsels, but about making the client reflect on possible new ways to reach the aim. A coach is a guide of the meanders of human psyche. Through his mediation we discover ourselvesagain- we carefully analyze own potential, we rationalize assessment of own capacities and we find new solutions to complex issues. A coach has to find optimal ways to reach the desired aim. The basis of the entire process is to create adequate conditions supporting that process and to find special techniques. At the same time a coach cannot impose anything, he doesn’t advise either. He is about to help with his knowledge to guide a client to discover own wishes and expectations so as to learn the best way to use his/her own potential.

What is the effectiveness of such a training?
IMG 9486I will not be modest , but I have to admit effectiveness includes one hundred percent of my clients. All my sessions up to now have been successful. My training as well. People after attending weekend or one year training, were coming back to me saying how much they had changed their lives. They were proud of their successes, healthier attitudes and fantastic attitude towards challenges. „Grey mice” turn into divas, boys full of complexes turn into mature men.

Helpless people, not so well adapted to life, start to grab their destinies into their hands. Overweight people start to enjoy the desired body shapes, mothers undergoing afterbirth depression become aware parents and accomplished women. People who did not find out sense of their lives- suddenly have great dreams and start to execute them with determination. Lazy people turn to be work-motivated. Less talented, or considered to be so, discover their talents and hidden capacities. Generally speaking- people regain self- confidence, a belief they merit a better life, a satisfactory job, a tender partner, a great love, exotic trips, exciting trips, attractive looks and a bulgy wallet.

What has coaching changed in your life?

It has given me the way of life and of self- accomplishment and has showed to me that we are a mystery to ourselves. We believe we know ourselves very well, we are convinced of our good and bad points. But only different life situations verify our hidden nature, the way we deal with adversities, whether we manage to recover after a major failure and to be courageous and not conceited.

Thanks to life coaching I have understood even more that everyone has their own right to live and should be not judged about it. I have accepted that people have the right to have own ideas and to express them and that the feeling of own value in other words means consciousness that I am neither worse or in any case better than other people. Personal development is about growing inside, about becoming always a better version of ourselves and not about being better than other people.

You talk with great joy and passion about coaching
Yes, because I have become myself the person I teach my students to become. When we do something out of love, we simultaneously share this love with others.

How did your attitude towards life has changed since you became a professional coach?
My priorities have changed significantly since I became a client of life coach. Now my aim is to live a present moment. I have already stopped planning far into the future. My plan is to experience life and to do everything the best way I can, as I know perfectly that future arises in the present moment and I work now for its quality. Being deeply rooted into the present moment allows to clean your mind from rubbish, including worries about what could happen or not, or the feeling of being upset about what went wrong some time ago. I draw conclusions from the past, I experience the present moment and the future is a chance to start everything once again.

How people who would like to ask you for help may contact You?
I invite everyone to visit my internet and the webpage of the institute where I teach or to email me at [email protected] or to call at the number: 312 566 8026.

* Anna Barauskas – a personal development trainer, master life coach, NLP trainer, lecturer and journalist. Co-founder of the NLP Institute and the lecturer of the NeuroLinguistic Training Institute of Chicago, chairman of the Polish American Coach Federation.

Graduate of the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań and Wilbur Wright College in Chicago. She is fascinated with Gestalt therapy, which she has learnt at courses at the Stonebridge College in the United Kingdom.

She holds the following titles: Licensed Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Master in the Art of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Master Certified Coach and certificates: Personal and Business Life Coach Certification, Motivational Coach Certification, Weight Loss Master Coach Certification, Trauma&Grief Resolution Coach Certification as well as Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach Certification.

She is the first Polish woman in the USA who was a student of PhD Richard Bandler himself.

This- still alive- creator of neuroliguistic programming, personally awarded her with the title of Licensed Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, thanks to which she is able to conduct NLP couching courses and trainings, which are recognised by the international and the biggest organisation uniting NLP professionals in the world- Society of NLP based in the USA.

Anna has been studying with and has been certified by the most known and acknowledged specialists in life coaching and motivation. It included persons such as Richard Bandler, John La Valle, Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Louise Hay, Kathleen LaValle, Gregg Braden, Nicole Schneider, Scott Gallimore, Garth Fuerste, dr Muhammad Imran, PhD Ginamarie Pugliese Wells, PhD Wayne W. Dyer, PhD Robert Holden, Marianne Williamson, dr Brian L. Weiss, Doreen Virtue, Cheryl Richardson, Caroline Myss.

In 2002 she started co-operation with the monthly magazine Chicago Forum. In 2003 she started to work with Radio Chicago WPNA 1490, one year later, living already in the USA, she started to publish a motivation magazine for women, which started to be published and distributed in Poland under the title “Polish women in the world”.

In 2005 Anna was elected a Journalist of the Year and few months later she was awarded a prestigious price by the Authority of Chicago for Journalism and Publishing Activity Aimed at Imigrants to motivate and inspire them to adaptation and activity in their new country- USA.

In 2007 she performed a function of a foreign correspondent and prepared news from the USA for a Polish radio station TOK FM and Radio PIN based in Warsaw. Currently, she is a member of the Polish Association of Journalists and of the International Federation of Journalists. She is a producer and publisher of the radio programme ABC of Coaching, which is being created together with graduates and students of the Neurolinguistic Training Institute of Chicago and transmitted by the Chicago radio station WPNA 1490 AM.

She has published three books based on her own thoughts about life and human relations and now she is preparing an extensive publication about life coaching.

Her numerous passions, beside journalism, editing, personal development, include a longtime love for Alaska. Anna does not only spend holidays in this lovely corner of the world, but also she is fascinated with the seventeenth and eighteenth history of that territory.

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Beata Sekuła


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