about us

L. Elena Hernandez and Sarra L. Ziari are life-long friends dating back to elementary school. They reconnected a few years ago, and remembered the fun they had together collaborating on projects. They also realized they were passionate about coaching, positive psychology, and helping others achieve their potential, and decided to combine forces to offer private coaching services. Their childhood spirit of creativity, collaboration, hard work, and positivity is the inspiration behind Berkeley Life Coaching. Elena and Sarra bring different, yet complimentary, strengths and focus to the art of coaching. Each is fiercely dedicated to philosophy of: "Never, ever, ever stop learning and growing, and have fun while you do it!" They are equally committed to supporting and encouraging others to embrace their own unique awesomeness.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” - Mary Oliver

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about sarra l. ziari, J.D. , B.C.C. 

Hello! My name is Sarra and it's nice to meet you. 

Embracing the concepts of genuine curiosity, questioning convention, and boldly facing fears, my brand of coaching revolves around helping you pursue those big (or small), scary, wild dreams I know you have. I bring a broad professional background in law, professional development, major gift fundraising, sports coaching and yoga. Each of these disciplines influences my coaching philosophy and approach. 

With over 12 years experience as both a practicing attorney and law school fundraising and career development professional, I focus my coaching practice on business performance, professional development, and career coaching, with particular expertise in the legal industry. I draw heavily on my own experience navigating a legal career, and later shifting to new roles in legal education focused on professional development, fundraising, and career counseling, to assist clients with similar pursuits. However, I also deeply enjoy working with clients in all industries and in all areas of life. A side niche for which I am particularly passionate is working with creatives, or those of you interested in incorporating more creativity into everyday life. 

Listening carefully to your words and the words you leave unsaid, I will reflect back to you key themes and connections that run through our conversations. There will definitely be moments of laughter and often some serious "ah-ha" epiphanies. In short, I aim to keep the process fun as we seek serious, tangible results. 

I thrive when I challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone, and want to help you do the same, whether its (literally) jumping off the high dive or having that intimidating conversation at work to ask for that stretch project. In my spare time, you'll find me swiping my passport as often as possible, chasing adventures in far off lands. I also love skiing and mountain time, extreme road tripping (please ask!), and embracing my inner soccer hooligan.   

Coaching Areas of Focus:

  • Career Transitions

  • Small Business Coaching

  • College and Career Planning

  • Networking and Business Plan Development

  • Interviewing and Telling Your Story

  • Personal and Professional Development

  • Legal Industry Career Performance / Planning

  • Alternative Legal Careers

  • Unlocking Creativity and Overcoming Creative Blocks

  • Energy Management


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B.C.C., Institute for Life Coach Training, 2018
CA Bar, Member #244655 (inactive)
J.D., UC Davis School of Law 2006
B.A., English & Spanish Literature, UC San Diego 2001
SCBA, Business Section Board/Chair (2009-2013)
PSIA Level 1 (ski instruction)(inactive)
AASI Level 1 (snowboard instruction)(inactive)



About L. elena hernandez, Psy.D., B.C.C.

Welcome! I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Board Certified Life Coach with a private practice based in Berkeley, CA. 

Life coaching has been described by some as, "applied positive psychology," which means that it's focused on helping clients create lives that are most worth living. In coaching, we work on clarifying and envisioning what you want your life to look like, and then create actionable steps to move in that direction.

Nobody needs coaching -- but most of us could use some support, and an accountability partner, to brainstorm ideas, and gather confidence to pursue our aspirations. 

My coaching style draws on the skills I have cultivated over the last 13 years as a therapist: compassion, empathy, engaged listening and reflection. Yet, as a coach I use these skills a bit differently. In coaching, the questions I ask intend not only to help you gain clarity into your own desires in life, but also break down those dreams into achievable goals. It is up to you to choose how far you will go outside of your comfort zone, and I will partner with you as you work toward your chosen goals. 

I believe in the strength of the human sprit, as well as our natural born human rights for joy and fulfillment. I am passionate about supporting others as they free themselves from perceived limitations, in order to create the lives they have always wanted. 

In my spare time, I like to read, listen to podcasts, do yoga, play soccer, go hiking, travel, garden, ponder the big questions, and laugh with my family and friends.

Coaching Areas of Focus:

  • Exploring, "Where do I want to take my life next?"

  • Balancing Parenting and Career Aspirations

  • Business and Career Coaching

  • Coaching for Entrepenuers

  • Discovering Meaningful Work and Life Engagement

  • Assertiveness Coaching

  • Time Management and Organization

  • ADHD Coaching

  • Increasing Vitality and Energy

  • Harnessing Motivation


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B.C.C., Institute for Life Coach Training, 2018
Psy.D., The Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA, 2010
B.A., Psychology, UC Davis, 2001