Merry Schoch and Marion Gwizdala used the Greek word "kairos" as the name for their coaching, counseling and hypnosis center because it means "the right time."
For the "power couple," the right time is the present, when individuals can make positive change. The couple, married four years, hosted a grand opening reception Jan. 4 for Kairos Health & Wellness Center, 911 S. Parsons Ave., Suite K.
The two will work separately with clients as well as team up for classes based on "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" for adults, teens and families and prosperity preacher Joel Osteen's "Living Your Best Life Now."
"It's using positive spiritual verses to change," said Schoch, who met her blind, hypnotherapist husband at a guide-dog training class. "God wants great things for us. He is not punishing us when bad things happen."
Schoch, a registered social worker intern with some sight limitations, counsels individuals and families while Gwizdala uses hypnosis to help people quit smoking or achieve other goals.
She said the biggest challenge for parents is getting on the same page with their spouse and being consistent. She helps restore communication breakdowns in the family.
"You can't let your child run the show," she said. "Sometimes you have to do tough love. There is also consistency and talking with dignity and respect. I'm very strength-based – let's focus on the positive."
Gwizdala said people often use the new year as an excuse to change their lives, but they can change anytime. He said about 80 percent of his hypnosis clients want help to quit smoking.
"I direct people to look at the present and future rather than the past," he said. "A lot of people have been told nicotine is the problem, but the problem is the habit. Most of the smoking behavior is urges. It's the thought, the memory."
The Rev. Virginia Walsch, the founding minister of Unity North Tampa Church, said Gwizdala has helped several members of her congregation break longtime habits through hypnosis. Gwizdala also serves as the music director at the church.
"He has a very positive attitude," Walsch said. "He is always upbeat. We think very highly of him. He has been an inspiration because of his sight limitations. A lot of people don't know he is blind because he handles himself so well."
Sue Spensberger, a member of Unity North Tampa Church, said Gwizdala engages the entire congregation through music.
"He's the life of the party," said Spensberger, who uses the power of positive thinking in her own life. "He's a wonderful guy."
Jessica Price of Valrico, a licensed clinical social worker, works in a neighboring office space at the Brandon Business Center.
"They are a nice addition," said Price, who attended the reception. "I work with kids and families. Merry has been able to come in and work with me on a case with a 3-year-old. She brings her dog, Kappy, a black Labrador retriever. They are just wonderful."
For more information on Kairos Health & Wellness Center, call (813) 598-7161.