A Lifelong Interest in People
Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by people. What makes us tick? What lies below the surface? While other kids were splashing in the waves, I spent my summer vacations people watching on the Jersey boardwalk. I loved to imagine where they came from, what their lives were like, how they were feeling. I intuited that there was more going on inside than met the eye, and I was curious to learn and understand more.
As I matured, my educational and career choices reflected this passion for understanding human nature and behavior. As a Sociology major in college, I explored the roots of human behavior in group process and social forces. After college, I sought a helping profession in the law and specialized in employment law, which allowed me to focus on human issues at work. As an attorney and eventually as a partner in a major Boston law firm, I helped both individuals and companies to resolve workplace issues and offered trainings on avoiding workplace conflics, discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, and more.
Like many working women, I struggled to balance a demanding career with raising a family and a smattering of volunteer activities. Out of the need for sheer survival, I developed strong time management and organizational skills. I continue to have a deep interest in the skills, perspectives and techniques that foster personal effectiveness and am pleased to help my clients with these issues as requested.
Over time I became disillusioned by the growing legal trend to resolve employment disputes though excruciatingly expensive and time-consuming employment litigation. As an insider, I could see that many of these lawsuits resulted from poor human relations skills at work. I knew there had to be a better way and decided to transition to a career that would allow me to work more directly to resolve the root causes of these legal problems. This was an important turning point in my life.
To help me to clarify my vocational objectives, I sought out a counselor who could help me to discover my path forward. Lucky for me, my counselor was an expert in Focusing, a process that taps into the “felt sense”, the deep intuitive knowing in the body. You can read more about Focusing here.
Using Focusing as a vehicle for discernment and transformation, I found my way to my “second career”. I phased down my law practice and went back to graduate school for a Masters in Organizational Development. I established my own Organizational Development Company, Lennox & Associates, through which I consulted with a variety of companies on workplace issues and offered supervisory trainings, workplace investigations, and developmental coaching and mentoring for employees, supervisors, managers and key executives.
Back to my Roots
My initial plan was to go on to a doctorate in Organizational Development, but a funny thing happened on my graduate journey. I encountered again my deep fascination with the inner development of individual human beings. I followed my passion and embarked instead on a course of deep study of adult human development. I studied life stage development and transitions, psychological healing, and ways to facilitate transformative learning and positive change. I earned my PhD in Human Development in 2005.
In my doctoral research I explored the inner movements that lead to positive change in adults. I discovered that human change depends on a process that integrates both rational and extra-rational processes. Rational thinking helps to lay the groundwork for positive change, but the actual transformative leap calls for engagement of our intuitive and creative processes.
I wanted to apply this understanding to help others to transform their lives and optimize their personal and professional effectiveness. To that end, I pursued post-graduate training in coaching and became a Certified Professional Coach in 2006. I continued to have an interest in the business world and in developing healthy workplaces. I became an adjunct faculty member in Capella University’s MBA program where I taught courses on coaching, leadership, team development, negotiating, and business ethics. I also was extremely privileged to serve for nearly a decade as a Professional Effectiveness Coach for MBA students.
Synthesis & Continuing Development
During this period of my life, I continued to pursue my interest in Focusing, which I saw as a remarkable tool for integrating both rational and extra-rational human processes in the service of healing and growth. In 2000 I became certified as a Focusing Professional by The International Focusing Institute. I integrated Focusing into my coaching method and taught numerous workshops and individual trainings to share the benefits of Focusing as a personal life skill and tool for self-discernment and growth. In 2009 I became a Certifying Coordinator with the Institute and went on to train a number of people as certified Focusing Trainers and Professionals. From 2014-2016 I had the honor of serving on The Institute’s Board of Trustees and currently Chair its Membership Committee.
As I explored my own inner processes and guided others to do the same, I discovered that the inner world is complex yet patterned. I wanted to understand more about this fascinating terrain and recognized the opportunity to do so when I encountered Internal Family Systems (IFS), a powerful psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz at the Center for Self Leadership. The IFS model recognizes that every human being has a wise and compassionate core Self that possesses many strengths, but also a complex inner psychic system of multiple parts, which often conflict with one another or use extreme measures that are dysfunctional for the entire person. We see the symptoms of this inner conflict in such common difficulties as indecision, procrastination, action blocks, and addictions. I completed Levels I and II training from 2008-2010 and subsequently was approved as a Certified IFS Therapist.
Bringing it all Together
Today I bring together the fruits of my own life journey into my work as a Life and Business Coach, Focusing Professional and Psychotherapist. This breadth allows me to weave together a blend of approaches that fits my clients’ unique needs and preferences. My ideal clients are adults who want to grow in self-awareness and overcome the barriers to leading their most fulfilling, value-based, generative and contributing lives possible. Since many people find their work to be a primary source of meaning and contribution in their lives, I enjoy helping clients with workplace and vocational issues.
Based on my education in and passion for Human Development, I also especially enjoy working with adults who are facing life-altering transitions. These include transitions brought on by significant external changes, such as job loss, the passing of a loved one, retirement, serious illness, and marital separation and divorce, to name a few. It also includes transitions brought on by the aging process itself,.such as the “midlife crisis”, empty nest, and the unique challenges and opportunities that arise during “The Third Third”, the years leading up to and following retirement.
It is my firm conviction that we humans need never stop growing and can find joy and fulfillment throughout our entire lives.If you are ready to embark on an exploration of your growing edge, it would be my privilege to support you in your growth.
- Employment Law Attorney & Law Firm Partner, 1975-1999
- Organizational Development Consultant, Lennox & Associates 1997-2007
- MBA Professor & Personal Effectiveness Coach, Capella University School of Business & Technology, 2002-2009
- Principal, Growing Edge Coaching & Focusing, 2006-present
- Psychotherapist in Private Practice, 2017-present
- Douglass College, Rutgers University, BA Sociology 1970
- Harvard Law School, JD 1975
- Fielding Graduate University, MA Organizational Development 2002
- Fielding Graduate University, PhD Human Development 2005
- The International Focusing Institute, Certified Focusing Professional 2000
- College of Executive Coaching, Certified Professional Coach 2006
- Center for Self Leadership, Internal family Systems Levels I & II, 2009-2010
- Certified IFS Therapist, 2019
- Registered Psychotherapist, State of Colorado NLC 0108119 2017
- Alice Kahn Ladas Award for Outstanding Research in Advancing the Profession of Body Psychotherapy, 2010
Publications & Professional Papers
- Klagsbrun, J. & Lennox, S.L. (2012). Clearing a space: An evidence-based approach for enhancing quality of life in women with breast cancer. The Folio-A Journal for Focusing and Experiential Therapy 23 (1): 155-167.
- Klagsbrun, J., Lennox, S.L. & Summers, L. (2010). Effect of “Clearing a Space” on quality of life in women with breast cancer. USA Body Psychotherapy Journal, 9(2), 48-53.
- Lennox, S.L. (2005). Contemplating the self: Holistic approaches to transformative learning in higher education, Dissertation Abstracts International, 66 (07), (UMI No, 3184473)
- Lennox, S.L. (2005, October). Focusing: An approach to accessing presentational knowledge. Paper presented at the Sixth International Transformative Learning Conference, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI.
- Lennox, S.L. (2005). Conference report: New England Second Journey Visioning Council: Creating community in later life. Journal of Transformative Education 3: 92-5.
- Kass, J.D., & Lennox, S. (2004). Emerging models of spiritual development: A foundation for mature, moral, and health-promoting behavior. In W. R. Miller & H. D. Delaney (Eds.), Judeo-Christian perspectives on psychology: Human nature, motivation and change. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.