Tillamook residents now have a new, creative option for their consulting and counseling needs: the Center for Personal Growth & Professional Development, located on Pacific Avenue. Owner and Director Sheila Walty opened the personal and business consulting company with the idea of providing privacy, a unique setting and local service to individuals, groups and businesses.

Walty was born in Tillamook and recently returned to the area from Pacific County in 1992.

She graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., with a bachelor's degree in business as well as a bachelor's in psychology. Walty then continued her education with a Master's degree in social work administration from Portland State University.

Her work experience in the field began in 1982 when Walty worked in inpatient psychiatric treatment. More recently, she worked for 16 years at the Tillamook County General Hospital as manager of rehabilitation services and social work for discharge planning and outpatient counseling services.

"My experience includes working with troubled youth, managing a domestic violence shelter, hospital and home health social work, and quality resource management," Walty noted.

The choice of what type of business Walty wanted to enter was obvious.

"I enjoy the mix of psychology and business and use both degrees to create growth and development for individuals, groups and organizations," Walty said. "I am excited to be doing all the activities I love while being privileged to make a difference in the lives of others."

What wasn't an easy decision, however, was when to enter the business world.

"There is a risk to face in moving out on our own, especially in an economy such as this," Walty elaborated. "The reward of taking this risk has been increased life satisfaction and the added joy of making a real difference in the lives of others."

The grand opening for the business was held Jan. 16. Walty said that since the opening, "Tillamook has welcomed the services I provide as a valuable addition to the community business needs."

The Center for Personal Growth & Professional Development offers many techniques different than that of other area counseling organizations, including body-centered coaching, an emphasis on life balance and a value on honesty, integrity and authenticity in life.

For clients interested in business consulting, Walty offers a variety of help including the People Map system, designed to develop better interpersonal relationships in the workplace and enhance team performance. She also offers the One Page Business Plan and executive coaching on leadership development.

Jeff Hunter owns the building which the business currently occupies. Some renovations were made to the space upon Walty's arrival, including painting and flooring. A lawyer currently occupies the adjacent suite.

In the future, Walty aims to be known as a quality provider of service for her personal and business clients. She said she also aims to "create a center of multiple providers meeting the needs people have for personal growth and professional development."

Walty said she has learned something from running the business.

"I am the creator of my success, which leaves me a lot of control, as well as responsibility."

Center for Personal Growth and Professional Development

Address: 110 Pacific Ave., Tillamook

Phone: (503) 842-7855

Hours: Vary. Call for appointment.

Web site: livelifeonpurpose.org

E-mail: coachswalty@yahoo.com

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