Get to Know: Teresa Vining

Tell us about yourself! Who are you, what’s your official ‘title’ if you have one, and fill us in on what you’re currently doing professionally.

I am a life and family coach, as well as a writer and speaker on topics relating to personal development, relationships, parenting, marriage, and faith. I love helping individuals and families overcome challenges, build strong relationships, and reach their goals!

As a life and family coach, I offer life coaching, marriage and relationship coaching, and parent coaching, as well as coaching regarding other relationships, such as relationships with extended family, parents, and siblings.

Often, an issue in one area of life can cause challenges in other areas. So, as a life and family coach, I approach coaching in a holistic way, exploring the full picture and all the contributing factors and relationship dynamics.

What inspired you to get into the field you’re in?

I have always been interested in learning how to solve problems, improve relationships, and live well—and I love helping others do the same.

For the first fifteen years of my career, I worked as a writer and speaker, and that was a great fit for me because it gave me the opportunity to research topics on personal development and relationships—two of my biggest interests—and share that information with others.

Through those years, I experienced many challenges as a wife, mom, adoptive mom, and foster mom. And during that time, I researched parenting and family topics, sought out professionals and mentors, attended trainings, and networked with other parents, foster parents, and adoptive parents.

Because of my speaking engagements and the challenges we had been through in our own family, some people began to come to me for one-on-one help in their family situations, and I found I loved working with people one-on-one even more than I loved speaking and writing because it gave me the opportunity to spend time with individuals to discuss their specific situations and challenges and help them in such a more personal and powerful way. Because of this, I decided to become trained as a life and family coach.

I have found that being a coach is a dream job for me because I am a very relational person who loves getting to know other people and helping others. I also love researching and continuing to learn new ways to do life and relationships better. Coaching allows me to help others with the information I am learning while also applying the information in my life to improve my own life and relationships.

During the struggles we went through as parents and foster parents, we worked with many professionals. To be honest, some we didn’t find very helpful. So, one of the values that motivates me as a coach is my desire to be the coach that I wish I would have had during all those years of challenges.

What’s your personal definition of health and wellness?

As a life and family coach, my personal definition of health and wellness is about living well in every way possible. It is about taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It encompasses emotional stability, positive relationships, healthy habits, and a sense of purpose in life.

What are some of the most effective strategies you recommend for achieving and maintaining good health and wellness as it relates to your specialty?

I believe that maintaining good health and wellness, as well as great relationships, begins with having a healthy mindset. How we think about things has a huge impact on our emotional health, the actions we take, and how we relate to the people in our lives.

Because of this, some of the most effective strategies for success in all areas of health and wellness begin with learning how to work through negative emotions, learning how to approach problems with creativity and hopefulness, learning how to clarify our priorities and values, and learning how to make decisions based on a big-picture perspective, not on a short-term outlook.

Can you tell us about a time when you overcame a health/wellness challenge or obstacle, and what you learned from that experience?

One of my hardest challenges was when one of our young children was acting out with violent, defiant, and unpredictable behavior. We weren’t sure what was causing the behavior, and we were receiving conflicting answers and diagnoses from the professionals and doctors we were seeking help from.

None of the medicines and therapies were helping. During this time, I really struggled with feelings of helplessness and discouragement. I could see my child was suffering, but I didn’t know how to help him. And, the things he was doing were hurting his relationships and making it difficult for everyone around him.

What I learned from that time was to hold onto hope and never give up! Keep taking the next steps, keep looking for answers, keep focused on the big picture, keep believing it is possible, and keep taking care of yourself so that you can take care of others.

In that situation, the answers didn’t come in one big ah-ha moment. They came from piecing together ideas from many different places and trying many different things with incremental improvements. It was a long road, but we got through it together and found the answers we needed.

He is now a successful adult, living a responsible life, and the relationship we have with him is even closer because of the struggles we went through together when he was a child. He often expresses appreciation for all we did for him during this time and for our continually believing in him and not giving up.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting on their health and wellness journey?

Don’t put off starting. Remember that if you continue doing the same thing, you will continue getting the same thing. So, get clear on where you want to be in comparison to where you are now and what challenges you need to overcome to get there. Really challenge yourself on what you think is possible because many times we limit ourselves in so many ways.

Then, start making a plan to take those first steps. They don’t have to be perfect steps or huge steps. They can be small steps that you adjust as you find out more about what works for you and what doesn’t.

I also think it is good to have support on your journey. If you are able to have someone to walk alongside you on your journey, it will help you go further and faster. And if you can surround yourself with people who have the same goals and values as you, that is a huge bonus.

Can you tell us about a health, wellness, or even personal goal you have for the future? Tell us about all 3 if you’d like!

I am a pretty driven person, so I have many health and wellness goals that probably sound somewhat generic—drink more water, exercise, eat better, manage my time better. . . But, the specifics of those goals can change from day to day as I adjust them.

What I find even more powerful in my life is keeping focused on my current priorities and intentions, reviewing them often, and then adjusting my goals when necessary to make sure I am keeping the big-picture perspective that I want in my life.

So, staying along the lines of family, one of my big priorities in this stage of life concerns my kids. My kids are all in the young adult stage of life, and I am blessed to have a good relationship with all of them. But, this stage of life has a lot of transitions and adjustments in relationships. So, one of my personal priorities is to really be proactive in those relationships and in the work I need to do in myself to transition to relating to my children as adults and to building healthy relationships with their significant others.

This includes having hard conversations when necessary and also sometimes staying quiet when that is what is needed, setting healthy boundaries for myself, and overcoming challenges, barriers, and relationship ruts. These are all things that are stretching me in this transitional stage of life—especially since one of my sons is living overseas.

What else should the world know about you?

My husband and I were licensed foster parents for over 20 years, caring for more than 50 children in our home during that time and adopting two of our kids through the foster care system.

This gave me the opportunity to personally work with kids with all different backgrounds, ethnicities, personalities, strengths, and challenges. I know from personal experience that many parenting issues are extremely difficult to understand if you haven’t lived with them yourself.

Where can people follow you?

You can find more information about me on my website at

and through the Cadre app!