Who am I?
Hi, I am Tuula Saarela, Executive Advisor, Coach and Consultant. The combination of my global business experience and deeper understanding of human development has proven effective in counseling and advising leaders, managers and employees at work.
I have over 20 years work experience in human resources management, consulting and talent and leadership development roles in global companies. My interest towards the depths of human psyche and soul led me to therapy modalities. My studies have been varied and extensive, I have explored e.g. logotherapy, transpersonal, schema and solution-focused psychotherapy, Jungian psychology, emotional intelligence, transformational leadership, theories of consciousness as well as various ancient wisdom and healing practices.
How did I end up building Executive Advisor practice?
Many helping professionals are “wounded healers” – meaning that they have suffered and survived a crisis of some kind which they then turn to their vocation. For me it was encountering one too many narcissistic leaders. Working in global professional services and ICT companies I had seen highly ego-centric leaders that caused quite some turmoil in their organizations. I felt that this is a problem I really want to understand and even solve somehow. It has been a common view that you cannot change a narcissist, but I got a strong vision about helping not only people who have been abused by narcissistic leaders, but also leaders themselves.
On a larger scale, our culture is very much biased to the materialistic, external world. And narcissism is built into our Western culture: we admire power, wealth, fame, celebrities and individualism. My work is focused on exploring the inner world so that we would become more conscious, balanced and whole. By becoming aware of our own narcissistic traits, are we able to start making healthier choices for ourselves and for our organizations.
What is the mission of your Ba practice?
Indeed my practice is called Ba, which means in Japanese tradition ‘a space for learning and growth’ and in ancient Egypt it meant ‘soul’. At the most fundamental level, I am a soul healer, providing safe space for the other person to meet their soul. I have been given the gifts of joy, compassion and soulful presence that are healing per se.
I coach and counsel personnel and executives, and solve workplace conflicts. My deepest interest is narcissism in business organizations and politics.
I focused on corporate narcissism in my therapy studies and wrote a thesis “How to Help Highly Narcissistic Executives by Logotherapy”. I have gone through my own therapy process to become familiar with this subject, too. The more I study narcissism, the more hopeful I am that unhealthy narcissism is something you can turn to a healthier way of being. Actually, we all have to find a healthy level of narcissism – that is healthy self-esteem – and if you are a leader, it is even more important as your behavior has an impact on numerous others.
Corporate narcissism is affecting almost everyone: there is hardly any larger organization without a narcissistic person, who abuses others to maintain their own fragile self-esteem. My mission is to provide consulting, coaching and counseling for people in business – executives, managers and employees alike – when there are signs of narcissistic behavior or symptoms of narcissistic abuse.
Narcissism causes stress, uncertainty and conflicts between people. It is my principle that any crisis or conflict is an invitation to learn more about yourself. In Ba, I offer a space and process to become a conscious and responsible individual – whether one is perceived as abused or the abuser. My practice always aims to strengthen every client’s integrity and wellbeing.
Why am I passionate to help toxic workplaces?
Because millions of people suffer from psychologically unhealthy leadership and collegial behavior that so far has been deemed impossible to deal with integrity. I have seen too many situations where a narcissistic leader has continued their destructive theatre causing damage to themselves and the health of employees. And if you look this from economical point of view, direct and indirect costs of a toxic CEO to business and customers are quickly millions and millions of euros! Everyone suffers!
As advisor, I believe in human goodness: there are no evil people. There is always a valid reason for destructive human behavior. I also believe in human potential and higher consciousness. The Buddhist tradition states that we do not have a permanent self. The recent science of mind has proven this to be true. It is time to break free from the collective conditioning that a narcissist cannot be changed, and move towards a new paradigm of valuing each other as developing human beings. Treating narcissistic executives as ‘lost cases’ is outdated and unacceptable.
We do know that it is most difficult for a narcissistic person to show any signs of weakness and vulnerability, which has meant that they typically do not seek for help unless they suffer from severe depression or anxiety which are symptoms of their underlying emptiness. But an authentic and compassionate person that has enough of authority over the leader can use “tough love” and lead them to counseling.
I am passionate to help people to become more aware of themselves and make life-sustaining choices in order to live satisfying lives. When a narcissistic leader finds inner peace and security, they become more authentic and this has a positive impact on other people, too. Everyone wins!
“Tuula, you have great strength of soul, much practical wisdom, and effortless love that emanates from you.”
Do not hesitate to contact for advice if you find yourself working in a toxic team.
You may be the necessary part that turns the whole system for the better!
Contact me by email or text.
I will return soonest to schedule a first meeting which is free of charge.