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Life Performance Coaching

“Creating New Performances of Growing Older came along at just the right time for me. Feeling isolated by the COVID-19 quarantine, I was connected through Zoom with a group of people from around the U.S. who were in various stages of aging. Through performance techniques and thoughtful leadership, I found myself really caring for the others…and will never forget the two couples who were dealing with dementia. Both women who cared for their husbands told of how much love they each felt for each other even though their lives were greatly changed. It is inspiring and hopeful to realize that life can be rewarding even in troubling times.”

— Susan VanKuiken, Oakland, CA

“Group coaching with Randy and Helen has changed my life. I started weekly therapy in early 2018, looking for help with daily anxiety, an eating disorder and a fear of falling into another depression. Working with them and our group, I learned the power of not trying to live my life alone, keeping my worries and decisions in my head, but rather how to create my life with others rather than ‘doing’ something to make my shame and worries go away. It has not just softened the edges of my pain, it has made me feel more powerful and more free. And the group has connected me to a community that I love deeply.”

            — Sarah, 30, writer, Los Angeles, CA

“Joyce and Randy are an amazing co-coaching partnership! My partner and I have gotten closer, are more playful and loving thanks to our work with Joyce and Randy in their partner group series. It is so powerful to participate in building a group with other partners that is not about fixing problems in the relationship!  Joyce and Randy are so skilled at helping us broaden our views and getting out our own couple narratives.”

— Jennifer Bullock, 52, psychotherapist, Philadelphia, PA

“I am so glad that I was referred to work with Randy Wilson at Life Performance Coaching. Working with Randy in group, individuals, and partners’ groups has helped me challenge my assumptions around emotionality and explore new performances all while furthering my emotional development. I owe so much of my social and emotional development to Randy and LPC and I hope to continue working with them to build the social therapeutics community.”

 — William, 26, MD/PhD Graduate Student, Columbia University, New York, NY


Joyce Dattner is a life performance coach who has led groups and practiced social therapeutics for over 40 years. Joyce directs Life Performance Coaching and leads in-person and virtual social therapeutic coaching groups from coast to coast. While a NYC public school teacher in the 1970s, she joined East Side Institute founder Fred Newman and other educators and helping professionals in developing social therapeutics. A faculty member of the Institute’s Social Therapy and Emotional Development Department, Joyce is an accomplished teacher and facilitator who has travelled the globe to help advance social therapeutics. She is founding director of the All Stars Project (ASP) of the San Francisco/Bay Area and a former member of the ASP national board.


Helen Abel is a life performance coach who has practiced, and helped develop, the social therapeutic approach for over four decades. She co-leads short term groups on “Creating New Performances of Dementia, Memory Loss, and Growing Older.” Helen also leads the Playground series, which helps participants discover their capacity to create, perform and play. She has been instrumental in building Life Performance Coaching as a hub for performance activism and has led workshops in London, Greece, Serbia and the U.S. Helen received her MSW from New York University and has worked at a number of social service and health agencies, including Alameda County Behavioral Health for 23 years.

Jill Battalen coordinates community engagement at Life Performance Coaching. She was first introduced to social therapeutics over 30 years ago while working as a social worker in NYC-based agencies and mental health centers. A passionate advocate for creative aging, Jill is active in the San Francisco Bay Area aging and dementia community and is a founding member of Reimagining Dementia: A Creative Coalition for Justice, an international initiative. Jill also leads a weekly virtual senior support group for the National Council of Jewish Women New York. She worked with the All Stars Project (ASP) and Castillo Theatre in NYC for 15 years and currently volunteers for the ASP in the Bay Area.
Thecla Farrell is a long-term practitioner of social therapeutics who has dedicated her life to human development and community building. A recent graduate of the East Side Institute’s study program for group leaders, Thecla has started a practice at Life Performance Coaching where she co-leads groups with Joyce Dattner and Randy Wilson. The art of co-creating an environment with clients for growth and development excites her to tears. Thecla is on the board of the All Stars Project, Inc., whose mission is to transform the lives of youth and poor communities, and is known for her work producing and performing political theatre with the Castillo Theatre in NYC. 
Eileen-01Eileen Moncoeur is a strong advocate and leader in building developmental environments in her personal and professional life. She co-leads short-term groups on “Creating New Performances of Dementia, Memory Loss, and Growing Older” and completed training to become a life performance coach. As a non-profit leader over the last 25 years, Eileen has collaborated at all program, fundraising, executive and leadership levels with local leaders in South Asia to carry out successful education, health and economic empowerment initiatives within their communities. Eileen has a BA from Smith College, is Executive Director of HRDC | Sabal Foundation, serves on the board of Mae Tao Clinic in Thailand and is mother to Marcos.
fannysuarezFanny Suárez was born in Colombia and raised in New York City. She moved to San Francisco in 1991, where her lifelong criminal justice career began. Fanny’s passion for creating new opportunities for ordinary people has always guided her work. For 16 years, she worked as a court interpreter at the San Francisco Superior Court. During this time, Fanny fought for language access and exposed the injustices faced by limited-English proficient communities. Today, Fanny works as an investigator in the San Francisco Public Defender Office, telling the complex stories of those trapped in the criminal (in)justice system.
For the past 22 years, Fanny has been building social therapeutics as a group member, trainee at the East Side Institute, and newest member of the Performance Life Coaching team. She is excited to continue building a collective life and growing the community.

randywilson-1Randy Wilson (they/them/theirs) is an experienced life coach trained in social therapeutics who excels at creating intimate and philosophical environments that are both loving and challenging. Having lived with HIV – and faced other serious challenges – over the last four decades, Randy is passionate about helping clients become more creative choice makers and believes that participating in building communities of development helps to reshape and redefine their relationship to emotional and physical pain. As part of the East Side Institute’s Tech Production Team, they have helped lead an expansion of the Institute’s global offerings.