Joyce Dattner

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Joyce Dattner is a U.S. life coach and works and resides in San Francisco, California. Dattner was one of the six Vice Presidential candidates of the New Alliance Party and its candidate Lenora Fulani in the 1988 presidential election [1].


Joyce Dattner is a life performance coach who believes that emotional, social and intellectual development is key to succeeding in life and in work. For twenty years, she has been helping individuals and groups reinitiate their capacity to grow into new careers and leadership positions.

As a coach, Joyce Dattner takes “life performance” literally—helping people see living as an evolving, creative act, and themselves as performers of more effective and satisfying ways of being in the world. Her clients learn the skills of improvising to produce qualitative change in how they relate to themselves, their colleagues and loved ones. Specializing in personal and professional coaching in individual and group environments, Joyce helps clients grow to meet difficult career challenges—negotiating transitions from manager to executive or from employee to entrepreneur, navigating office politics, and handling diversity issues in the workplace.

Joyce Dattner founded and directs the West Coast Center for Life Performance Coaching. There she leads a training program for teachers, doctors, social workers, coaches, counselors and therapists in her performance-based approach to human development. In addition, she conducts long and short term training for community-based organizations throughout California.

She has never been satisfied with accepting things as they are. As a young teacher in the 1970s she left a career in the New York City Public Schools system to search for more innovative approaches to learning and development. What she found was the groundbreaking discoveries of Fred Newman, founder of social therapy, and Lois Holzman, developmental psychologist, who together created a unique performance-based approach to human development.

Driven by her commitment to helping people change themselves — and in the process, change the world — Joyce Dattner has become a leading practitioner of Newman and Holzman’s approach, now used in youth development programs, private and public mental health centers, alternative school initiatives, and agencies and organizations servicing diverse populations in varied settings—from New York City to Los Angeles to Johannesburg.

In addition to her coaching and training work in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joyce Dattner has traveled the globe serving as a faculty member of the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy and working with Fortune 500 companies as a senior trainer with the consulting firm, Performance of a Lifetime (POAL) in New York City. In Taiwan she trained the faculty and staff of non-governmental organizations, including community activists, trade union organizers, teachers, and sex workers. She’s coached psychologists, social workers, and teachers working with children and adults living in refugee centers in the former Yugoslavia. Most recently, in July 2006, Joyce Dattner travelled to Brazil and Argentina to work with teachers and students at the university-level to advance their work with youth utilizing the performance approach to development and building community.


Joyce Dattner is the founder and president of the Bay Area Center for Independent Culture (BACIC), is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting human development through the use of an innovative performance and development based model. The non profit creates outside of school, educational and performing arts activities for hundreds of young people living in some of the Bay Area's poorest communities. BACIC sponsors community and experimental theatre, develop leadership training and pursue volunteer initiatives that build and strengthen communities. Programs produced by BACIC include the Bay Area All Stars Talent Show Network and the Developing Community Theatre.


Joyce Dattner, co-founder and Chair of IndependentVoice, a political non-profit 501(c)(4) organization, has played a leading role in the creation of cultural, educational, therapeutic and political initiatives concerned with human growth, democracy and development for the past three decades, including the country’s largest anti-violence youth program, the All Stars Talent Show Network.

Joyce Dattner was one of the six Vice Presidential candidates of the New Alliance Party (NAP) in the 1988 presidential election. The vice presidential candidates varied from state to state, but all were the running mates of Lenora Fulani. As a life coach, Dattner believes in the approaches of Fred Newman and Lois Holzman, the former of whom was also the founder of the NAP. In 1985 she had been a midwest coordinator for the party and a member of Fulani and Newman's "Rainbow Alliance."

Dattner was the chair of the San Francisco, California chapter of the Reform Party of the United States of America. Also, a president of the New York City Unemployed and Welfare Council in the 1970s and had run unsuccessfully for the New York State Assembly.