Biography of Colleen Murphy

My involvement with children and families has been an on-going part of my life from early on. It began in my teens as a baby sitter and camp counselor and has not stopped. I have never tired of the complex study of human relations and how to make the most effective, deeply-felt connections.


In 1988, I received my B.A. in Child Development at Chico State University, California with a minor in Psychology.


I honed my teaching skills as a Preschool Teacher for nearly 10 years. In that time I also was accepted into the Mentor Teacher State Program and trained early childhood education student teachers from the local community college in Santa Cruz, California.

Then I took the leap into the biggest journey of all – Parent. My two children hone my parenting skills daily and it is because of them that I am able to relate so intimately with the parents I work with. You tell me your story and I will most likely say, "I've been there."

In 2003, I became a Parent Educator working at a family resource center as well as a teacher at the Santa Cruz Adult School. I began facilitation toddler/preschooler playgroups and teaching part-time at a parent education preschool. I found I had a lot to say to the sleep-deprived, anxious, first-time parents who were full of questions. I was pulled to do more of this work.

I became a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator and now teach parenting classes and workshops at Live Oak Family Resource Center. The request from families for more one-on-one help led me to creating my own parent coaching service.

Additional Experience and Influences

In 2004, I found myself suddenly on the Single Parent journey. I walked myself and my children through the difficult path of divorce and continue to navigate the ups and downs of co-parenting with an ex-spouse.

I not only bring parenting skills and advice based on the Positive Discipline model, but I also bring life and communication skills and advice that I have studied throughout the years. Non-Violent Communication created by Marshall Rosenthal is a large influence, as well as Patty Wipfler's Parenting by Connection philosophy (check out their websites on my resource list).