Helping teens and adults navigate stress and uncertainty with more confidence | Training practitioners to join the mission

personal development coach

Erika Bugbee, M.A.

As a California native, I moved to the Pacific Northwest for school and fell in love with it. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Counseling Psychology from University of Oregon, and my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from City University in Seattle, Washington.

I spent 20 years at Pransky and Associates, a consulting and coaching practice in La Conner, Washington. As a mental health counselor, executive coach, and business consultant, I worked alongside my parents, George and Linda Pransky, my sister Kara Stamback, and 20+ of the most talented practitioners in our area of specialty collaborating, traveling, and teaching together.

As a partner at Pransky and Associates, I co-founded the Online Learning Division of the company and co-created a suite of online courses on personal development and relationships that have reached 42 countries around the globe.

In 2008 I was certified as a Three Principles Practitioner by the late Sydney Banks. In 2018 I branched off on my own and founded Erika Bugbee Coaching. I work with teens, individuals, couples, and train and mentor practitioners. I’m also a frequent international webinar and conference speaker.

When not working I’m hanging with Tim, my husband of 25 years, our two grown kids, and Walter, our giant mutt (see pic below). I love listening to my music really loud, road trips, day hikes, and binge-watching a good show.

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On a Personal Note...

Early in my career I discovered a talent and passion for working with teens. One of the reasons I love that age group so much is that those years are still so vivid and fresh in my mind somehow. And they weren’t great. I ended up becoming very unstable when I hit 13. Almost overnight I got very dark, angry and withdrawn. I was an emotional mess, hated everyone, myself included.

I was so easily irritated I could barely be around people, then felt ashamed and misunderstood for being so cold and hostile. I had a lot of bad elements around me and became hopeless and detached about my life and my future.

I started to scare myself, and eventually I reached out for help.

It took some time but I was able to get out from under the grips of my mind and get my life back. The experience stuck with me, and ultimately compelled me to help other people find stability and relief too.

If it hadn’t seen it happen for myself, I wouldn’t have believed people could turn around so much and so fast. That certainty in people, regardless of age or life experience, is what makes me love the work I do.

My ‘Official’ Background

My degrees and certifications:
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology, University of Oregon (1994)
Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling, City University, Seattle (1998)
Three Principles Practitioner Certification by Sydney Banks (2008)

Groups and organizations I’ve trained include:
University of Washington Counseling Center
Adams Outdoor Advertising (billboard company) sales and management teams
Empowered Wealth estate planners and clients
BAE Systems (international defense, aerospace, and security company) engineers, managers, and leadership teams
Island Hospital Surgical Nursing Staff
Kids4Kids Israeli teen victims of wartime violence
National-level investment services firm senior leadership team
Practitioner training groups including pediatricians, social workers, psychologists, therapists, teachers, and personal development coaches

personal development coach

Kara Stamback, M.S.

Kara Stamback, M.S. is the other member of my coaching team. Kara was my business partner for 20 years at Pransky and Associates, where we worked with families and young people as a team regularly. When I couldn’t get through to someone, I’d bring her in. We work seamlessly together and her clinical and listening skills are at the level of my own, if not beyond.

But maybe the biggest draw for me in collaborating with Kara is that she’s not just my colleague, she’s also my sister. Which means that when I went over to the dark side as a teen myself, Kara, 2 years older than me, was my anchor. For almost two years she was the only person I was willing to be open with and talk to.

She wasn’t scared of my moods or instability, she didn’t react to my storms of crying, rage, intensity, or sullenness. She saw a sane person in me when I looked unhinged to myself and everyone else. And that kept me grounded. She brings that calm and certainty into her work with parents and teens and has pretty much seen it all.

Today Kara runs her own full-time coaching practice and has three teens of her own alongside her husband of 22 years.

Kara earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside, and her M.S. in Psychology from Western Washington University. 

She co-founded the Online Learning Division with me at Pransky and Associates and spent 20 years there working with families, business leaders, and organizations that include Chihuly Studios, BAE Systems, and Alaska Distributors Co., and Leadership Skagit.

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Neely Yakucho

California mom, USA