Client Stories

Jay's Story Image

Jay's Story

Your wife or your life


Jay, the successful CEO of a Fortune 50 company, had it all. In his fifties, he had earned the means to retire in luxury, but his passion for building corporations kept him in the business world. He had been so immersed in work that he felt his children had grown up without his participation.

Though he experienced anxiety, Jay only knew that things were amiss because people close to him told him he was out of control. His doctor warned him that he had all the indications of an impending heart attack. Jay’s wife demanded that either he do something different to support their marriage, or she was filing for a divorce. This is the situation that prompted Jay to make his first appointment with Jody Michael Associates.


A no-nonsense person, Jay found coaching more attractive than psychotherapy. He valued the multidisciplined approach Jody Michael Associates employed in their coaching practice. Further, he appreciated Ms. Michael’s corporate experience and her understanding of the need for confidentiality when working with a corporate executive. His work colleagues needn’t know that he kept weekly appointments by phone to work on his own issues. And due to its convenience, the meetings did not raise suspicion.

Within the first few sessions, JMA found that Jay regularly ignored his own body’s feedback. Stress, anxiety and personal loss indicated that he spent too many of his resources working. Indeed, he enjoyed the rest of his life, but work didn’t leave much time for pleasure. With this information, Ms. Michael helped Jay observe his own feedback. She asked him questions that encouraged self-reflection and developed insight. 

After an initial breakthrough, JMA demonstrated how he could find more time in the hours he had, and prioritize to even the balance between family, self and work.


Jay developed a schedule that included more time with his wife, his children and a new exercise regimen. JMA pointed out his habitual, avoidant behavior, which no one else had been willing to do. He received coaching around reducing the time pressure he had assumed was a part of corporate life. In coordination with his doctor, a nutritionist and a travel agent, JMA implemented a program that included regular exercise, heart-healthy meals and frequent, long vacations.

As he observed how recreation improved his health, his relationships and his effectiveness at work, Jay discovered that finding the time for leisure was not the zero-sum game he had previously imagined. The biggest reward he walked away with was a rekindled relationship with his wife and kids. Near the end of our work, Jay’s wife called and left the following message: “I don’t know what you’ve done or how you’ve done it, but I just wanted to call and thank you. I feel like I got my husband back and the kids got their father back. We’ve actually scheduled our first two-week family vacation instead of our usual long weekend getaway. Thank you.”


Please note: The names of clients, their employers and certain identifying details have been changed to respect their privacy and maintain confidentiality.


The biggest failure you can have in life is not trying at all."

-- Emil Motycka
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