Dr. Daryl Cioffi, LMHC, Ed.D is the innovative and modern-day wellness doyenne who is reshaping corporate and institutional visions of wellness. As co-founder of her private practice, Polaris Counseling & Consulting, Dr. Cioffi has harnessed the vision to empower individuals in becoming “well beings” into a practice and company that inspires purposeful changes in revolutionary ways.
In her consulting work Dr. Cioffi specializes in challenging leaders, audiences, and organizations to redefine their values and views of success, wellness, and work-life balance. Her viewpoints and teachings on wellness have reshaped the way we think and practice well-being both in and out of work.
Dr. Cioffi has undoubtedly made her mark, appearing on national radio and print as an expert on wellness in the Huffington Post, Medical Daily and Social Work Today. Her first book "Be Freud" made the Amazon bestsellers list in 2016. A professor of neuropsychology and psychotherapy, Dr. Cioffi teaches and special lectures at many colleges in the New England area when she is not counseling and consulting across the country.
How did you get your idea or concept for your business?
I’ve worked in the field of mental health for over 10 years and have found that while there are an abundance of resources available for individuals in crisis, the same often cannot be said for individuals who fall under the umbrella of something I call “well-ish”. The “well-ish” person is perceivably OK - that is, they don’t have any glaring issues, and they are able to function normally for all intents and purposes. But they aren’t fully satisfied; they possess a deep desire to better themselves and, in a sense, “elevate” their lives. Psychotherapy is often a wonderful option for these individuals, as it is a safe and supportive environment which lends itself to self-reflection, unexpected challenges and important insights.
My business partner and I designed POLARIS (www.polarisri.com) as a boutique private practice with the vision of creating a haven for the “well-ish” to become whole. By seamlessly combining innovative clinical treatments with the ideals and values of holistic healthcare, we are proud to have cultivated an environment where unbridled wellness is becoming a reality in our client’s lives each and every day.
As I grow and change, the work that I do is always evolving with me. As part of my doctoral thesis I conducted research on perceptions and practices of wellness among high-ranking executives. It immediately became clear to me that the relationship between wellness and success is a complex one, which is how I started my consulting firm (www.drdarylcioffi.com). It is my hope that by being a strong and steadfast advocate for integrating the concepts of wellness and success, leadership development as a whole will be redefined.
How do you define success?
Success for me is so multifaceted. For one, it is rooted in wellbeing, in the sense that I would not consider myself successful if my mental, spiritual or physical health were in a state of neglect. It is also freedom - the freedom to create, and plan, and make something happen without restraints. Perhaps most importantly, it is happiness and fulfillment. The second anything starts to feel like work, I know I need to re-evaluate what I am doing because I am not necessarily successful anymore.
How do you achieve work-life balance as a business owner?
I’ve always thought work-life balance was a strange paradox, especially for women. We instinctively want to problem solve, nurture, and see something succeed, yet eventually we end up resent having to give up our personal time (or at time work) to do so. So I am not sure there IS such a thing as work-life balance, especially as a business owner. For me, the goal is trying to master a work-life “sway”. I know that there will be times when my business demands more of my energy and attention, and others when I need to take a step back and dedicate myself to other aspects of my life. When I have a lot on my plate at work, establishing a concrete plan allows me to visualize my workflow and keeps the tasks from getting out of hand. It also helps me organize my time, and allows me to clearly communicate expectations to my family and loved ones. When I do take a break from business mode, I need to trust that my employees and partner can handle things in my absence. To be honest, this was extremely difficult for me at first but over the years I’ve come to realize that it is something that is essential to my own wellness and sanity. Other times, I need to devote my efforts to myself and own personal development. In these times work, family, and even just “life” in general have no place. This time for me is sacred- it’s reading a book, traveling, reflecting quietly, working out (also known as shopping), or taking time out to “recharge” myself. If I can’t be good to myself I can be good to anyone else at my office or in my home.
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