Being an Accountable Life Coach

by Myki Hones, published in the Sopris Sun on July 19, 2023

Read the Article on the Sopris Sun website HERE.



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Tom Karrel,

Tom Karrel has been making waves in the Roaring Fork Valley ever since he moved to Carbondale in August of 2022. He started making those waves in the community through his “Lost Art of Random Conversations” series (formerly hosted at The Carbondale Library). Lately, he’s been working with people who’d like a little extra support navigating some of life’s challenges.

Recently, Karrel has been building Tom Karrel Coaching, a life-coaching program providing strategic intervention while fostering the values of honesty, integrity, depth and, most importantly, connection. He offers one-on-one and group coaching sessions, as well as restorative justice and conflict resolution services.

“Connection is probably the biggest one of those values. Community building and connections are a big part of who I am and, more and more, I’m seeing the power of connection in my work,” Karrel explained. “I can go deeper with folks, and be able to go into some of the darkness they might be experiencing; but also really bring in some light and a lot of honesty and perspective.”

His inspiration for starting the coaching business came from his passion for community building and lessons from a mentor, who Karrel described as a catalyzing figure.

“Meeting someone like him that’s doing this sort of coaching work in a way that I didn’t know was possible, and is very much in line with my values, was a big inspiration,” Karrel shared.

Tom Karrel Coaching’s targeted demographic are men, boys and male-identifying individuals, ages 13 and older who are looking for support, mentorship and accountability.

“On a more core level, it’s much more about strategic intervention for me and working with people who are in a rough place … I’m pretty cognizant of folks with very extreme cases, referring them out or letting them know if I can or can’t take on cases which are particularly high risk,” he explained.

Karrel explained that he enjoys working with young people because of related experiences from the last decade of his own life. Particularly, when it comes to the work he’s been doing with Youthzone. While volunteering there, he expressed, he’s developed even more understanding and perspective.

He also wanted to recognize the critiques that come with life coaching as it is a lower barrier of entry, as opposed to a therapist. While there is a benefit in the life-coaching business because of the ease of entry, it has allowed problematic talking heads and messages that can be damaging.

“I think there’s a lot of benefits there. It gives people opportunities to coach, mentor and support in many different ways. But, it also opens the floodgates to many people who may abuse that power, abuse that trust,” he stated.  “So much of my approach right now is about trust and intimacy and building connection and community.”

As he builds his clientele, Karrel hopes to ensure a buy-in from both directions, where an agreement can be set that works within a client’s needs and so Karrel can address those accordingly.

“I think it’s sad that a lot of people are abusing these power dynamics. We all need people like this in our lives in different capacities,” he stated. “There’s so much power when people step into supporting roles for one another, especially in the mental health space. It’s saddening that it goes awry sometimes.”

Along with the goals he has for his business, Karrel hopes to partner and collaborate with different organizations and networks to create a ripple effect within the Roaring Fork Valley community.

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