Buren’s career has been a journey that has evolved from a researcher in biochemistry in a Midwestern medical school
to a licensed psychologist. As a psychologist, she developed and managed programs and treated an underserved population of
severely mentally ill adults
and seriously disturbed children
and their families in a community mental health center for over twenty-five years. The center’s major funding derived
from state and federal grants which she was responsible for obtaining. She provided therapy and counseling to multiracial
young adults who were questioning who they were and where they fit in a society that was for the most part not welcoming.
As with most graduate
students, the process of writing her dissertation was fraught with setbacks and difficulties. She was a single parent of two
children and worked a full-time job, which created time management issues. One major difficulty was her disappearing dissertation
committee because her study (teaching African American students to be more assertive on a predominately white campus) was
considered radical and aroused some anxiety on the campus. The Dean, on his way to Europe, wanted to see a draft in twenty-four
hours to read on the plane. On his return he helped her form a new committee. She tapped into her signature strengths of perseverance,
fairness, and creativity by involving her support group in a way that had not been done on the campus before.
She is now a life coach
with real world experiences in dissertation and grant writing, and a grandmother of five multiracial children. As a coach, she draws on her experiences and commitment to helping others, using hers
and their signature strengths incorporating concepts of positive psychology to promote change.
She partners with her
clients to empower them to use the strengths, skills, and talents they already have, as well as develop new ones.
She encourages parents to explore ideas, themes, and issues of race,
ethnicity, racism, and the current racial environment with their children. Coaching
is a positive approach in helping parents as they encounter the complexities of nurturing their multiracial children.
addition, she encourages clients to work on acquiring new skills, complete a major project, such as a dissertation, build
confidence, or develop and live with more balance and more connection.
She works by telephone
with clients from wherever they may be and whenever they can talk without interruption for least thirty to forty-five minutes
two to four times a month.
"If nothing ever changed,there'd be no butterflies"(Anonymous)