Meet Your New Life Coach: S. Tia Brown, Licensed Therapist

November 7, 2011  |  

Madame Noire is pleased to expand our life-enhancing content featuring black female experts with the latest addition to our roster: life and career coach, S. Tia Brown. Ms. Brown is delighted to be joining our team — which includes the Luv Coach Rebecca Brody and natural hair care expert Anu Prestonia — to focus on general life advice. A certified practitioner in this field, who is quite fabulous herself, S. Tia Brown has a wealth of tips and tricks to help you make make personal improvements. She will answer one user question every week to share personalized advice that can benefit all of us. As an introduction to our intelligent and engaged audience, Tia sat down with Madame Noire to share her background and vision of service for the site.

How did you get started as a career and life coach?
I always knew I had a passion — and knack — for helping people. Initially, I gave advice to family, friends and colleagues. I’m also an entertainment and lifestyle journalist, so that gave me a national platform to talk about issues. I’ve talked about everyone from Anna Nicole Smith and Brangelina to Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, and Alicia Keys. When I dished on celebs I always kept it honest, and helpful. I was more than a talking head; I dispensed life skills. A few years ago I decided to research life coaching certification programs to learn more techniques. I selected one I thought would complement my talk therapy style — and budget. I loved the program but knew I wanted more skills, so I enrolled in a degree program and eventually became a licensed therapist.

What kinds of questions can readers ask you?
I’m open to answering an array of questions about life skills, self-improvement and careers.

You are highly qualified to give life advice. Please describe the nature of your training.
I have a certification from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI); I have a masters degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University and a certification from the New York State Office of Mental Health in evidence-based practice.

When people receive answers to their life questions, how can they realistically apply your advice?
I’m a fan of cognitive behavioral therapy and my philosophy, “Do Better, Be Better,” ascribes to the theory’s core premise — small changes can radically transform your life. So if you’re overweight don’t focus on losing the whole 30 pounds — we focus on losing each ounce. One step at a time.

What general wisdom gained through your practice can be applied to everyone seeking to better themselves?
I believe that change is in the moment, so if you decide you want to make your life better, or different, you can begin whenever you decide. The perfect time is now.

What is the best piece of life advice you have ever received?
Don’t play small. There are times to be realistic and other instances when you want to take chances. I rarely miss an opportunity to go for what I want. Regret is worse than embarrassment.

What is the toughest coaching project you have taken on, and how did you help solve your client’s issues?
I’ve worked with clients who have severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia. That experience taught me the true meaning of celebrating small changes. Most important, I learned that all issues cannot be solved. Sometimes it’s about managing, or maintaining.

Share your hopes and goals for working with the Madame Noire audience.
I hope to be a resource. I’m a straight shooter, so don’t expect me to sugar coat responses. I am also an advocate of being strategic and prepared. That said, when it comes to careers I’d like to assist our audience with looking at the big picture, creating goals and life skills that can help them thrive.

Got questions? Send them to Be sure to include Madame Noire in the subject line. Visit and follow S. Stia Brown on Twitter: @tiabrowntalks

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