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"One of the most ambitious coaching programs for women in the country." Holistic Life coach Sara Sharpe launched the ARETE INSTITUTE in 2013. The INSTITUTE is founded on the principal that all people deserve an opportunity to live up to their full potential. 

SHARPE COMMUNICATION:Coaching for women/Coaching for litigators

SHARPE Communication offers communication and presentation skills to women in a safe and nurturing environment, with the express purpose of encouraging women to strengthen their voices, speak truth to power, and tell the stories that inspire them to take action on behalf of thier own lives or someone else's. As well Sara has been teaching client-centered representation to litigators, individually and in a workshop setting, for over twenty years. 



From Sara's B. REAL interview (spring, 2013 issue)


"More and more, all aspects of my life bear the same witness, as the Quakers say. The world needs healthy, energetic, fully realized citizens to tackle the many challenges we now face as a country and world. My book, along with the work I do as a Holistic Life Coach, address the healthy, energetic, fully realized part of the equation; all of the work I do as an artist and activist seeks to address those challenges in specific ways...


Coaching is extraordinarily satisfying work. Most of the people I work with are intensely creative, and all of them are relentlessly capable; they come to me because they need some help in jump starting the process of forward momentum. I take the work very seriously. We can move mountains together when we move forward, steadily and with purpose. For folks who have stalled out, even a little and for whatever reason – low energy, self-doubt, lack of clarity – it can be life changing to work with a coach. And on my end, it’s like watching flowers bloom. 


To read the interview in its entirety, click HERE.


THE ARETE INSTITUTE: Human Excellence. Global Transformation. 

Arete ærətiː/; Greek: ἀρετή excellence of any kind; fulfillment of purpose or function: the act of living up to one's full potential.



*Radiant Health Academy

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"Sara, actor, writer, Holistic Life Coach and Social Entrepreneur,reminds us, gently and often, that personal and planetary transformation (in that order) are within our grasp. Relentlessly creative herself, Sara has tremendous faith in the power of art to illicit such change. This faith, along with her infectious enthusiasm for the burgeoning worldwide women’s movement, makes her a perfect fit for women's groups everywhere. If you have a chance to work with her or hear her speak professionally, don’t miss it."

Dez Stephens, Radiant Health Institute


"...this is a necessary and deeply meaningful gift to give yourself. It's so easy to get caught up in taking care of everyone else -- and there's nothing wrong with that -- but to give back to yourself by learning how to nurture YOU, and to honor commitments YOU make to YOURSELF..."


Kimberly Durso, Arete Initiative participant


"Participating in Arete is a transformational experience.  Often programs will focus on one area; health or just life plan or spiritual practice; Arete throws it all on the table... The program focuses on the whole person so that we can show up as our whole selves and our best selves in the world. I feel more calm, organized and am living on purpose.  My husband has commented how great I am doing and look...participating in Arete has even enhanced our relationship and how I connect with him and my girls.  I now prioritize my self care."


Elisa Parker, Arete Initiative participant

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In the inaugural ARETE Initiative class, four women made a  six month commitment to: 


  • Observe a “rugged and regular,” daily spiritual discipline 

  • Work out regularly

  • Eat a clean diet

  • Get every aspect of their lives organized

  • Identify and shift the habits and patterns that have kept them from reaching their highest potential up to this point

  • Define their purpose/passion and identify (and take!) the necessary action steps to get where they want to go 

Admittedly, that’s a lot to take on at once. But as participants in the Arete Initiative for Women, all four women experienced 100% follow through. Imagine setting all of those resolutions at one time—and keeping them! 


Top L to R: Julie MariaKimberly D'UrsoElisa Henderson ParkerJanet Ivey-Duensing, Elisa Parker

For more information about the ARETE Initiative, please contact Sara directly at


Sara is doing very little communication coaching these days. If you're interested,  please contact Sara directly at

SHARPE Communication offers communication and presentation skills to women in a safe and nurturing environment, with the express purpose of encouraging women to strengthen their voices, speak truth to power, and tell the stories that inspire them to take action on behalf of thier own lives or someone else's. As well Sara has been teaching client-centered representation to litigators, individually and in a workshop setting, for over twenty years. 



"Sara empowers lawyers to reach their full potential.  Her comprehensive understanding of communications skills combined with her deep appreciation of the lawyer's function in the courtroom combine to make her the ideal coach.  Anytime spent with her will redound to the lawyer's benefit.  Her energy and passion will renew the flagging attorney.  Her insight will guide the budding advocate.  Her grasp of the difficulties encountered by advocates in the  courtroom give her the edge.  It was my honor to teach side-by-side with her for a week.  I give her the highest possible recommendation."

The Honorable Thomas More Donnelly
Associate Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County
Chicago, Ill.

"I recently participated in a trial training seminar in Albany.  Half the coaches were seasoned trial lawyers and the other half  were actors and or communications experts.  I had my doubts and reservations about the actors.  I was thinking that these actors had never been in a courtroom and they did not know what it is like to have a daunting criminal caseload.

I could not have been more mistaken.  The actors at the seminar, and Sara Sharpe in particular, were excellent.  Sara and her fellow acting coaches showed us how to stand out as lawyers, orators, and performers in the court room.  How to paint word pictures for juries and even how to communicate more effectively with our clients.  Her insight, dedication and advice have already proven to be invaluable to my practice as a public defender in Manhattan."

David Fisher, Esq.
Legal Aid Society
New York, N

"I called Bert Nieslanik (Alternate Defense Counsel , Denver, CO) last year to brainstorm a sex assault, kidnapping case that was headed for trial. I was very concerned for the client. Bert quickly figured out that my client's testimony was extremely important (he said/ she said case) and recommended that I work with Sara Sharpe. I wasn't sure what to expect working with a trained actor/ communications specialist.


I have been practicing for 10 years and feel like I have a pretty good grasp on how to handle clients and manage cases. But something unexpected happened the first day I worked with Sara. Sara started off by asking my client questions that I had stopped asking clients because I was so focused on rules of evidence, cross-examination, motions issues… Questions like, "How do you feel about going to trial? What do you think it will feel like to hear named victim testify?" Sara started a conversation with my client that had nothing to do with the facts of the case and everything to do with this individual as a person and the experience they faced of going through trial.


I know that a lot of lawyers would say that they don't have time for hand holding or that this fluffy emotional stuff is a waste of time. I would have said the same thing and never would have signed on for a CLE or training about this. But the result was that in trial when I touched my client's shoulder, it wasn't for show. It was because we actually had a good connection. And the jury could see that.


A major benefit I've seen from working with Sara on several cases now: Better client control--it's amazing what creating trust will do. These clients now trust me more. I don't spend as much time butting my head against a wall because they feel like I care about them and not just their case. Surprisingly, I have found that taking the time to establish relationships of trust initially saves time in the long run.


Sara mde my client feel more at ease about the process. She made my client feel like we really cared about him as a person and not just as a legal case. He said that he would rather have a lawyer who "got" him and was on his side rather than someone who was detached and good with the law. Sara gave my client the tools he needed to sit through tough witnesses and not react in a negative way that would have hurt him in trial."


Chelsea S. Reiss

Attorney at Law


"I had the pleasure of working along side Ms. Sharp at the the Basic Trial Skills program. Ms. Sharpe's skill and expertise as a Communications coach is unparalleled.


Each lawyer under the tutelage of Ms. Sharpe was able to awaken his and her own unique gift and talent for conveying their theory of the defense. It was amazing to watch the lawyers before Ms. Sharpe worked with them and to then witness these lawyers after she worked with them. The transformation was remarkable. Each lawyer's closing argument was a unique masterpiece. As a criminal defense trial attorney of 26 years, I learned so much that I am able to bring back to my practice to better advocate for the clients who have entrusted their freedom to me."

MaryEtta C. Marks, Esquire

LA, California

"My experience coaching young public defenders alongside Sara Sharpe could not have been more positive. I watched Sara assist young lawyers to better communicate with their clients and to make more effective presentations to juries. She has a great understanding of the difficulties faced by public defenders and their clients. I was greatly impressed with Sara's ability to connect with the participants and help them become more effective lawyers."

Richard W. Rich Jr.
New York, NY

​"As a criminal defense attorney it is very important that the individuals I represent be able to tell their story in a clear, effective, and believable manner. Most people have a fear of public speaking. Place that person in a court room full of strangers, a Judge, and a hostile district attorney and it is difficult for almost anyone to testify and communicate effectively. Sara has been invaluable in assisting me to prepare clients in teaching them how to be more effective communicators in the courtroom."


Brent Horst
Nashville, TN

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