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About Arlyn

Whole Life & Leadership Coach

Whole Interpreter Enterprises

Arlyn crafted a fulfilling niche in the interpreting field that brought together her passions for mental health, ASL and appreciation for the Deaf community, and her belief in personal transformation. She worked in private practice as an interpreter - first, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and later in Minneapolis/St. Paul and beyond via video. She currently spends most of her time coaching, teaching, mentoring and learning to collaborate with the genius of her peers. 


Passion is Personal: Arlyn's passion for mental health was ignited as she began to heal from personal tragedy. When she was 11 years old, Arlyn's brother took his life - placing mental health front and center in her own life. Her lifelong interest in mental health has ultimately led to opportunities to study, practice, teach and otherwise engage with this fascinating topic.

Mental Health Interpreting: Arlyn's longest and most enduring professional passion remains interpreting in Mental Health environments. Since 2002, when she was first invited to present on the topic, Arlyn has examined best practices for successful mental health interpreting. She is drawn to working with a variety of subcultures and communities within the Deaf community: the Deafblind community, 'emergent' signers, people managing serious persistent mental illness,  and others whose value may be overlooked and not celebrated by mainstream society. She has sought opportunities to engage with professional interpreters and students in order to bring depth, compassion and meaningful collaboration to their mental health interpreting assignments.


Arlyn headshot.png
Arlyn Anderson

MA Human Development

RID Certified Sign Language Interpreter

ICF Certified Professional Coach

Compassion Fatigue Educator

Mental Health Interpreting Educator/Author




Early in her interpreting career, Arlyn's curiosity was sparked by the innovative work of a team of Deaf and hearing mental health professionals at Ross Hospital, in Kentfield, California. In that a beautiful setting, in the shade of Mt. Tamalpais, they served children, adolescents and adults in a unique inpatient psychiatric setting. It was there she learned that interpreters, like herself at the time, who had little understanding of the mental health environment, could unintentionally interfere with therapeutic processes in subtle, but important ways. Deaf therapists introduced her to the slight shifts in awareness that would help them be more effective in their work.


About Co-Active Coaching: As Arlyn's mental health interpreting consulting work evolved, she recognized the opportunity to broaden her knowledge and skill-set to encompass the vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and other personal challenges that often arose for her colleagues. She felt she needed a model for supporting and helping colleagues debrief the 'hard stuff' that would build on her intuition and compassion, and also give her a structure and ethical framework. Arlyn set out to see what there was to offer to interpreters who didn't feel the desire to do psychotherapy, and to the others who wanted to actualize the insights gained in therapy in a new way.


The Co-Active coaching model turned out to be such a startlingly powerful fit that Arlyn has since received her certification (2007) and received her PCC from the International Coach Federation (2013). She has embarked on an exciting study of the neuroscience of transformation. She has now expanded her coaching services to include coaching interpreters, therapists, clergy and other's who work with people and their emotions. Arlyn assesses coaches for compliance with the International Coach Federation standards -- all this beyond mental health settings -- simply for the sake of people's fuller, happier, more productive lives.


As the daughter of an inventor, Arlyn repeatedly witnessed how the spark of an idea, combined with creativity and resourcefulness could be carried through to produce tangible and useful creations. With this as her foundation, she set out to incorporate creativity, resourcefulness and heart into her work. All things being interconnected, Arlyn believes that happier, more fulfilled, self-aware interpreters still provide the best mental health interpreting, too!

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