Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.  Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist MFC32136

                                   Psychotherapy for Children, Teens, Adults, Couples, & Families, Consulting, & Training

          433 Estudillo Ave., #305, San Leandro, CA 94577-4915 - Office: (510) 614-5641 - Fax: (510) 889-6553 - e-mail: - website:

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Books by Ronald Mah


Calligraphy for "Learning" in





by Ronald Mah

on Children's Behavior,

Discipline, and Child

Development at



for Parents, Teachers, Educators, and Human Services Professionals



Parent Education,

& Staff Development Workshops

& Trainings




Workshops, Articles, & Consultation,

for Therapists


Therapy & Counseling

























































































































































































































































































































































































































(follow this link for description of differences between Therapy and Coaching)

Online Video Conferencing available (see below)


Life coaching

ADHD coaching

Business coaching

Project coaching

Executive coaching

Career coaching

Financial coaching


Relationship Issues


Self-growth issues


Interpersonal conflicts


Family of origin issues


Family conflicts


Couples Work




Foster Children


Cross Generational issues


Children & Teenagers

Adult children of Alcoholics




Addiction: Alcohol & Drug Abuse


Abuse Survivors


Multi-Cultural Issues


Hyperactivity & Temperament


Educational & Child Development Issues


Assessment of Behavior Issues & Challenges in Young Children

Personal coaching

Systemic coaching

Health coaching

Sports coaching

Dating coaching

Conflict coaching

Victimization coaching


Secure Confidential Encryption Technology for Online Client-Therapist Communication

(see below)*

Coaching is a training or development process where an individual is supported by a professional to achieve specific personal or professional goals. While this can be an informal relationship, in the professional relationship the coach has significant relevant education, experience, and expertise to offer to the client.  The client gains the coach's advice and guidance that facilitates a develomental and learning process.  While mentoring promotes overall development, coaching keeps the client focused on reaching greater specific competence and goals.  The coach often asks questions and promotes opportunities to find behaviors for change from his or her own values, preferences and unique perspectives, rather than the coach's.

Wikipedia offers this definition to distinguish among activities and roles. "Managing is making sure people do what they know how to do. Training is teaching people to do what they donít know how to do. Mentoring is showing people how the people who are really good at doing something do it. Counselling is helping people come to terms with issues they are facing. Coaching is none of these Ė it is helping to identify the skills and capabilities that are within the person, and enabling them to use them to the best of their ability."

As a coach, Ronald Mah will use a wide range of communication skills, including purposeful restatements of the client's words, active listening, challenging, questioning intent, seeking greater clarifying etc.  Such interactions assist the client who may be stuck and uncertain which way to go.  Once the client identifies his or her perspective and is able to consider alternative ways to see his or her life and choices, he or she may be able to see and try alternative solutions to achieve important goals. Such strategies are adapted by the coach to a variety of challenging life situations.

There can be many issues that can affect the course of affect coaching.  Each client may have different motivations, cultural background, priorities for goals, and offer varied levels of input to the coach. Coaching often focuses on client goals and the coach's  feedback. Coaching is often based on the premise that an individual tries to control the condition or outcome of some important life issue by making behavioral choices. The client is coached to how behavior change improves outcomes or achieves gains that move one towards important goals.

Business coaching 

provides positive support, feedback and advice to an individual to improve ones personal effectiveness in the business setting. Business coaching includes executive coaching, corporate coaching and leadership coaching.The financial coach is distinguished from financial counselors and educators, financial coaches.  Coaches are not experts in personal finance and do not give financial advice or information to clients.

The client's needs for business coaching varies individually.  It can involve personal support and feedback, while possibly including coaching for practical and structured business planning.  The coach and client relationship often provides an accountability that improves the client's self-discipline in working towards goals.  This form of coaching may focus on increasing profit in some balance with personal development.

Business coaching is not the same as mentoring, which involves a developmental relationship between a more experienced person acting as a mentor and the individual with less skills and experiences.  The mentor offers advice regularly.  While a business coach with sufficient expertise and experience m ay also be a mentor, mentoring is not a form of business coaching.

Executive coaching 

is designed to assist individuals responsible for executive roles in organizations and business.  Professional and personal development of the client is based on improving performance and contentment. The coach stimulates client self-discovery with challenging inquiries and/or giving homework assignments.  These become "thought experiments" if written or "field experiments" which are activities in the work situation to prompt experiential learning and development of alternative approaches to work situations. Coaching requires astute understanding of individual nuances in business situations to adjust coaching appropriately.  Identification and working with differences is critical to successful coaching.  Among the various executive or  business situations, the coach helps the client address varied motivations and cultural differences.  The executive coaches assists the client in achieving specific professional goals, such as career transition, interpersonal and professional communication, performance management, organizational effectiveness, managing career and personal changes, developing executive presence, enhancing strategic thinking, dealing effectively with conflict, and building an effective team within an organization. 


Career coaching

focuses on work and career or issues around the client's career, including career change. It is related to career counseling and certain aspects of psychotherapy. Career coaching is not life coaching with its emphasis on on personal development. A career guide may extend beyond coaching to include mentoring, advising, and consulting. 

Financial coaching 

helps the client deal with struggles to attain specific financial goals and other personal goals. The financial coach is distinguished from financial counselors and educators, financial coaches.  Coaches are not experts in personal finance and do not give financial advice or information to clients. Financial coaching encourages and supports reaching financial plans. This includes dealing with obstacles to successful behavior change such as procrastination, focusing on short-term gains that compromise long-term benefits. The coach monitors the client's progress to promote accountability. Monitoring improves the individual's self-control and willpower. The client is more prone to follow when monitored by the coach versus only self-monitoring. 

Personal coaching 

is a relationships agreement between coach and client directed by the client's interests, goals, and objectives. The coach works with the client to uncover his or her goals: personal, business, or relationship goals.  The coach may inquire, reflect back, make requests, and engage in conversation to help the client work towards identified goals.  The coach helps the client work out plans of action, and tries to prompt active behavior.  Key to the relationship, is that the coach is not the leader or works harder than the client, but prompts the client's action. Coaching is not therapy which has different skills and strategies although there is overlap.

Systemic coaching 

is a form of counseling that employs constructivistic conversation.  It's aim is human problem resolution. Systemic coaching looks at the balance of a relationship as a system.  When one or more individuals engage in the social group, everyone is affected.  An individual, a sub-group, or sub-groups can be coached to re-balance the system in more productive balance.  The coach seeks to improve the equilibrium of the group through prompting  new alignments, roles, and relationships.  


ADHD coaching

is a focused version of life coaching that uses specific techniques directed to assisting dealing with the challenges of having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The coach works to assist the client improve time management, organization, set goals and complete projects. Helping the client understand the various ways ADHD impacts their lives is a key task for the coach.  This includes understanding how certain activities are inherently difficult because of ADHD while others can be managed. The coach helps the client develop compensations to deal with the specific challenges of ADHD and also to use inherent strengths from ADHD. 

Dating coaches 

guide, educate, and train the client to improve dating and relationship behaviors. This includes direction on meeting and attracting compatible long-term potential partners. There is significant emphasis on healthy and genuine communication. The dating coach may focus on various interpersonal skills, flirting, psychology, sociology, compatibility, fashion and recreational activities, theories of persuasion, history and evolutionary biology, body language, humor and street smarts.


Conflict coaching 

may be appropriate in a business or organization or with intimate partner relationships. The coach assists the client in learning how conflict is often necessary to develop relationships and an opportunity to improve relationships.  The coach assists the client to use conflict to resolve relationship problems and to reach positive outcomes despite interpersonal differences.

Victimization coaching 

is a type of life coaching that supports a client who identifies as a victim, may have been a victim of crim, or otherwise fears being victimized. The coach assists the client identify and deal with potentially victimizing (bullying) people and situations.


*Secure Confidential Encryption Technology for Online Client-Coaching Communication

powered by PrivateTree (patented)

Unencrypted e-mail that is used by most people, due to transmission over the open internet is not secure from various individuals or corporate and other entities.  Unethical persons may hack confidential information, while information technology businesses and other agencies parse online communication to gather data for internal uses, marketing, sale to other parties, and other uses. To secure against potential invasions of client-coach communication, Ronald Mah uses PrivateTree's technology to set up personal encrypted online confidential rooms for communication between himself as the coach and the client.  This technology meets or exceeds the confidentiality requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA),  the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, the  under California Telemedicine Act, professional association Ethical Standards, and professional Standard of Care.  Ronald Mah also uses PrivateTree technology for working with his therapy clients to maintain confidentiality in those relationships.

Link for additional information on confidentiality issues when using online technology.

Uses for Encrypted Confidential E-mail

Basic Communication for Scheduling Clinically Important Discussion Supportive of Coaching Transmission of Confidential Documents or Files Continuing Consultation

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Compliant Confidentiality Online Video Conferencing Available through V-See 

Clients  use free sign-up at

Ronald Mah does not use Skype technology because it is not HIPAA compliant and thus, risks the confidentiality of client and coach communication.


General Information and Consent & Notice of Privacy Practices

for Clients in the Coaching Practice of 

Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D. Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Authorization Documents Regarding Confidential Information

Authorization for one Professional to Release Confidential Information to Another Professional or Person


Uses include for giving permission for the therapist or another professional to give information about the client to another person such as a doctor, teacher, attorney, family member, or other person.

Authorization for Therapist and another Professional or Person to Exchange Confidential Information


Uses include for giving permission for the therapist and another professional share their respective information and mutually consult about the client.


     Map Link to Office              HOME      about Ronald      Articles     Therapy & Counseling     Workshops & Consulting     Handouts     for Therapists     Books     DVDs     Links     Contact       
433 Estudillo Ave., #305, San Leandro, CA 94577-4911 Office: (510) 614-5641 - Fax: (510) 889-6553 - E-mail: 
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Copyright © 2007 Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Last modified: June 09, 2015