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Meet Fausta Luchini

Today we’d like to introduce you to Fausta Luchini.

Hi Fausta, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My story starts with trauma. Not my own trauma, but my passion for working with trauma. That’s not everyone’s favorite topic, but I love to talk about how it affects us, what tools help us cope, and how to navigate the journey of healing and recovery.

In 1995, I started working as a therapist in a Community Mental Health Center in Louisville, Ky. Three things happened there that brought me to where I am today.

First, I worked primarily with people who experienced lots of trauma in childhood, or ACESs, Adverse Childhood Events. I learned ways to help my clients work through the lingering impact of trauma on their lives and my clients helped me understand their pathways to healing. I’m deeply grateful for my clients who shared their experiences with me. They showed me how strong and resilient people can be, even when facing the toughest circumstances

Second, I saw violence, particularly shootings, increase in the neighborhoods we served. I witnessed how the impact of a single homicide rippled through the community. From the victim to their family and friends, and then spreading through the schools and churches, until the entire community had been touched by it. I saw that those ripples also moved through the Community Mental Health Center, affecting us too, whether we realized it or not.

Third, I learned that vicarious trauma, or secondary trauma, is a real thing. When other people are experiencing trauma, and we see that happening, or we hear their stories, the trauma affects us too. I was surrounded by trauma and didn’t even realize that it was affecting me. It took a panic attack at the park to wake me up and realize how the work had changed my perspective on the world.

Since then, I’ve been exploring ways to deal with the impact of second-hand trauma, for myself and for my clients. In 2016, I followed my dream to live near the ocean and moved to Savannah. I expected to continue working remotely for a national non-profit and build a small therapy practice. When my therapy license wouldn’t easily transfer to my new state, I realized this was my chance to shift to life coaching and help other compassionate professionals work through the same challenges I had faced.

I became a Whole Person Certified Coach in December 2018. I love my work. And I love living near the ocean in a multi-generational household where we get to enjoy the warm weather of Savannah. When I’m not coaching, or blogging about it, I enjoy playing with my grandchildren, exploring new restaurants with my daughter, traveling with my life partner, Dennis, and walking on the beach by myself.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Changing career paths was a challenge.

I think that it would be a challenge under any circumstances. But doing it while moving to a new city, buying a house, settling into a multigenerational household, and surviving a pandemic with two young grandchildren was ridiculous.

Learning to market my services is still a challenge. As an introvert, I struggle with describing what I do and explaining why clients should work with me. But I believe that what I’m offering matters. Supporting others who are trying to make the world a better place matters.

So, I push through the discomfort and keep showing up.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a Trauma-Sensitive Consultant and Coach.

“Trauma Sensitive” means I understand the impact of all kinds of trauma –individual, second-hand, collective, or intergenerational. That doesn’t mean my clients have to talk about trauma, although they can.

I help people reconnect with their own deep wisdom to identify the tools they need to meet whatever goals they have for themselves.

I know that the answers don’t come in a box. There isn’t just one toolkit or one technique that works for everyone, no matter how helpful a tool or technique might be. Self-care isn’t enough, and meditation isn’t the best approach for everyone. Each person has to create their own, unique combination of ways that work. It’s your journey – no one else can give you your answers.

But I do know what questions to ask to help you get there. I have some maps, and I know how to get around some of the pitfalls and quagmires along the way.

When we feel like we’re drowning in other people’s pain, or overwhelmed by stress, we can’t think straight. We need to pause and take a step back. That’s why my logo is of a lily pad. When we’re drowning, we can pull ourselves onto the lily pad and pause to think.

I call my business “Fausta’s Place to Ponder” because when we stop treading water and take a moment, we can be present with ourselves and our situation. We can hold space for ourselves long enough to ask ourselves the question, “What do I need now? What do I really need?”

Trauma disconnects and isolates us. It disconnects us from ourselves, from other people, and from nature. In these challenging times, we all need to find ways to reconnect with our own deep wisdom and find the tools we need to live with joy.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
“Don’t give up.” That’s my most important advice. Starting a business is hard. Be flexible, be open to learning and trying new approaches, but don’t give up.

When I was just starting out, I wish I had known how to be kinder to myself, and how to motivate myself more gently – as a good coach would. I used to think I needed to be hard on myself, or I’d never get anything done. Learning Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) helped me recognize that’s not true.

I can be kind to myself and still do all the things. In fact, I can feel like I’ve failed and still keep going. That’s been such a helpful perspective for me that I trained to become a teacher of MSC so I could help others learn that too.

Life is hard. Being able to support ourselves compassionately, the same way we would support a good friend, helps us keep moving forward.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Melanie Goldey and Fausta Luchini

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