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The Short Version: Before becoming a successful dating and relationship coach, Chelli Pumphrey lived through her own self-confidence and unhealthy attachment issues. Today, she uses those experiences to help a worldwide clientele base. She offers sessions in person or via Skype as well as intensive retreats and workshops that focus on the root cause of problems people struggle within relationships. In addition, Chelli’s Thrive Therapy office in Denver includes four therapists who work with individuals, families, and couples on a host of topics.
Most people go to a therapist with the impression that the person in the big chair hasn’t experienced the same problems and failures they have. Denver-based therapist and dating coach Chelli Pumphrey doesn’t operate on that notion.
She’s open about her past problems with relationships and attachment, which includes the end of a 10-year marriage and her hiding her true self from others with the fear that it wasn’t attractive to society. She uses her personal experiences as guideposts to better help her worldwide client base.
“I’ve been a therapist for over 20 years and, through my own struggles in relationships and dating, decided that I needed to do something to help myself and help others,” she told us. “I knew that what I struggled with was something my clients struggled with. There was definitely a personal motivation there to start my coaching business.”
Two decades of personal experiences and interactions with clients led her to become a Love Strategist. She works with men and women to overcome traumatic experiences and uncover what they’ve kept hidden from the world out of fear of rejection.
“I decided to take everything I knew about relationships from my psychology background and apply it to dating and create the dating and relationship coaching business,” she said. “I want to help people without having to go into in-depth therapy. We take many concepts from psychology that are very solid. There are foundational aspects of our personality that are really important for people to know within their relationships.”
From her Thrive Therapy office in Denver, Chelli meets with local clients in person or online via Skype. Personal packages start with one month of private therapy and extend to four months.
A series of online classes that focus on her personal Four Love Styles theory are also available to take at your own pace.
“We work a lot on attachments,” she said. “We teach a lot about that and how it works with dating. We work on understanding self-esteem and self-worth issues.”
Attachment is a big part of Chelli’s coaching approach. From self-sabotage to feeling smothered or consumed with thoughts of someone you’re dating, she says there are common links that intertwine and can be untangled to help decrease anxiety and insecurities.
She serves women and men with a personalized program catered to the needs of the individual.
“I’d say that about 80% of my clients are women,” she said. “I get a really big span in age from about 24 years old up to 65. My clients are from all over the globe. I definitely have a large United States following, but I do have clients from many other countries. They range from students to middle-aged career women, to retired or (someone who has) just left a marriage through divorce or being widowed.”
Along with her coaching and therapy practice, Chelli hosts retreats and workshops that dive deeper into topics while maintaining her personal approach.
The three-day Destination Love Retreat is typically held once a year and limited to around 10 attendees to keep the atmosphere intimate. Topics range from dealing with heartbreak to igniting a relationship and receiving love. Regular workshops are scheduled around the Denver area and, depending on the topic, can attract between 10 and 20 attendees looking to draw from Chelli’s proven approach.
“I’m a combination of direct and compassionate and nurturing,” she said. “I definitely want people to hear truth. I do work with a lot of people who struggle with their self-worth and self-esteem. I try to be direct but also respectful of where they may be in helping them hear the messages that they need to hear.”
Chelli’s experience not only makes her a competent dating coach, but it’s given her a broad exposure to different therapeutic options. It’s also grown her client base to a point where Thrive Therapy needs to expand.
“Right now, a lot of my energy is going into my therapy practice,” she said. “I’ve hired a few new therapists, and we’re building a very holistic practice based on helping people deal with trauma and attachment issues.”
“I am passionate about teaching people about the Four Love Styles, which is a concept I’ve created to help people have a simple way to understand the rather complex psychological theory of attachment.” — Chelli Pumphrey
Along with four other therapists, Chelli uses a host of specially designed programs to help clients with anxiety, depression, and trauma, among other emotional problems. One approach to treating trauma, for example, is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR therapy, which helps the brain learn to process stressful information in healthy ways. Another program, called Mind Full Nutrition, works in tandem with therapy to address how food choices affect a person’s mood. Through the practice’s blog, these and other topics are approached in-depth with a strong level of expertise.
Appointments are available for clients of all ages and include family and couples counseling with a goal of whole self therapy that heals emotional pain and guides everyone involved toward a healthier, happier lifestyle.
“We really want to approach therapy in a holistic way,” she said. “It’s not just about finding how you can solve a problem. It’s about finding the cause of it so that it can be resolved in a way that’s beneficial to your health and happiness.”
Whatever emotional or mental roadblocks you may be dealing with in your dating life, you’re not alone. Regardless of your age or approach to love and life, there are many people like you out there who are seeking the same solutions.
Whether through in-person coaching and therapy, online classes, workshops, or retreats, Chelli Pumphrey is equipped with the experience and expertise to help you uncover your true self without sacrificing the things you love. It’s a process she knows works because it worked for her.
“I know how healing it’s been for me to do this work, and I see the transformation that my clients have in their own lives when they start to understand it,” she said. “A lot of the people I work with come to me with the feeling that something is wrong with them or they’re broken and can’t get relationships right.”
“Once they understand more about attachment, they get that their brains are just wired in a certain way and that there’s nothing wrong with them,” she continued. “Once they learn to understand and manage that, they can be more successful in their relationships and better understand themselves.”
To further her reach and help more people struggling in their dating lives, Chelli is expanding upon her existing avenues and will be found on bookstore shelves in the future.
“Right now I’m working on a book,” she said. “I’ve been really pooling my energy toward that and focusing on writing a book that’ll speak to attachment and relationship issues.”
Chelli’s story is proof that we’re all human and suffer from similar challenges in love and life. But, with the proper help and dedication, any problem can be overcome and happiness achieved.