More About Kim

About Kim Olver

Kim Olver, M.S., LCPC, NCC, BCC, sums up the goal of her work as helping people get along better with the important people in their lives, including themselves, at home and at work. Kim is a certified coach, trainer, counselor, speaker and author. Her career is an interesting one and has resulted in her bringing her unique skills, attributes and talents to work to help people get along better with the people in their lives. In addition, she serves as the Executive Director of The William Glasser Institute and of William Glasser International.

She is a licensed clinical professional counselor, certified in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy. Kim is the creator of the Choice Coaching program, and the founder and president of Coaching for Excellence. She founded the Academy of Choice in 2010 and developed the process of Choice Coaching, which she employs with her clients and teaches to fellow coaches.

In addition to coaching and counseling, Kim is an award winning, bestselling author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life, and has also contributed to Whole Living, Women’s World, Fitness Magazine, Law of Attraction Magazine and Counseling Today. She co-authored Leveraging Diversity at Work: How to Hire, Retain, and Inspire a Diverse Workforce for Peak Performance and Profit with Sylvester Baugh and co-authored a book with Ken Blanchard, Les Brown, Mark Victor Hansen and Byron Katie, entitled 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life.

Kim is an international speaker having worked in Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, as well as throughout the United States, addressing schools, counselors, therapists, social workers, military veterans, coaches, couples, parents and businesses on her transformational ideas.

Kim started her certification journey in Choice Theory/Reality Therapy (CT/RT) in 1987 and was certified in 1992. She became an instructor in 1993 and has been teaching Glasser’s concepts since that time.

Kim knew in 5th grade she wanted to be a helping professional when she grew up. How did she know so young? Many people in her class and older would come to her for advice. They came to her with their “boyfriend/girlfriend” problems or issues with teachers or parents. At an early age, Kim had a gift and passion for helping others.

She studied psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After graduating she worked at a residential program for chronic mental health clients for five years. Kim then worked for a specialized foster care agency for 17 years. She started as a case manager, then a counselor, a supervisor, a regional director, an assistant executive director, and the director of training & development. During her time with this agency, she worked with children, biological families, foster families and the staff and loved every minute of it.

This job enabled Kim to get her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Scranton in 1996 and provided her with her first exposure to Dr. William Glasser, his Reality Therapy, and Choice Theory.

In 1983, Kim married a man she went to high school with even though they only began dating after high school. She knew marrying him would mean they would be living in their hometown forever. She was all right with that since it was a great place to raise children. They had two sons and life was good . . . until her husband was diagnosed with leukemia in 1994 and died 4½ years later.

Choice Theory helped Kim get through that dark time, his death, the subsequent challenges of parenting two teenage sons alone, and managing the worry of her youngest son’s two deployments to Iraq. Now, her sons are married to wonderful women and they each have children of their own making. Kim is a very proud, very active grandmother!

After her children graduated and began their own lives, Kim knew she wanted to live somewhere else. While Honesdale, PA is a great place to raise children, it’s not a great place for a 40-year-old woman to start dating again. In 2004, the year her youngest child joined the Army National Guard, Kim packed her things and drove a U-Haul truck, towing her car behind, to the south suburbs of Chicago. Why Chicago? At that time, she was asking, “Why not Chicago?” She knew people there, one of whom was a close friend and colleague. It was the right move to make at the right time for her personal life.

Professionally, it was also challenging. She left the job she loved and began a business in a place where no one knew her. She decided to open a coaching practice. Kim had been counseling people for years but she wanted to transition to the field of coaching where there are a greater number of individuals more highly motivated to make the changes they seek. She also worked doing public speaking, training, and consulting. And she wanted to write a book.

In 2006, her colleague and friend, Sylvester Baugh, and Kim wrote the book, Leveraging Diversity at Work: How to Hire, Retain, and Inspire a Diverse Workforce for Peak Performance and Profit. This book is a compilation of best practice in the field of diversity combined with personal stories from interacting in each other’s environments that help illustrate the points in an entertaining way. They have done many diversity workshops, including a gig with the NBA.

In 2009, Kim began working with the military as a Military Family Life Consultant for returning veterans and their family members. She is currently a member of the Cadre Team of Speakers that speaks to veterans and their families at Yellow Ribbon events. This is very rewarding for her especially because of her son’s deployments.

When Kim turned 50 she had a phenomenal year! She authored her book, Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life. Kim wrote her book after seeing many people unhappy in their relationships, yet didn’t want to leave them and were clueless about how to improve them.  Having been in a challenging marriage, she was familiar with that situation. She knows the despair of being at a loss for how to repair a damaged relationship and now shares her insight into how to create a wonderful relationship. In 2011 each of her sons had a son, so she became a grandmother twice within two months. Kim says there is no greater miracle than watching her children parent and do it well.

With her knowledge of Choice Theory and the subsequent creation of the Choice Coaching process, Kim can help the unhappy person in the relationship make things better for him or herself, without ever speaking with their partner. That’s what makes what she does unique. She helps people improve their relationships, even when they don’t have participation from their partner or spouse.

Also in 2010, Kim created a Center for Credentialing & Education-approved board certified coaching program at Academy of Choice ( Kim and her team of coaches help others develop Choice Coaching skills for their own coaching practices. The programs are offered both in-person and online. Kim’s program has been twice translated now and is being used in Iran and Croatia.

In 2012, Kim was approached by Cook County Adult Probation in Chicago to create a 25-hour parenting curriculum for the court-mandated parents they teach parenting skills. This curriculum is also being used by Cook County Social Services and is available to anyone teaching court-mandated parents a better, safer way to parent their children.

If you would like to get your life back on track, get closer to the important people in your life, become a survivor rather than a victim, take responsibility for your happiness, and live the wonderful life you were meant to live, then Kim is for you!

Kim lives in Chicago and invites people to email her at


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