“I have seen some remarkable changes in families and individuals… and I have never had a poor evaluation of [Ryan] from patients that have been referred to his care.

He is kind and compassionate towards his clients and has been available to them for consultation when needed.  I give him my highest recommendation.”

—Matthew Harrison, M.D. Northgate Family Medicine.



As the founder, principal counselor, coach, and trainer of 1st Principle Group, Ryan, is a warm, insightful, trustworthy professional with over two decades of experience.  

He has worked with more than 2,700 clients (in individual, couple, family or group sessions). He has facilitated close to 100 groups, and delivered hundreds of workshops, training programs, and facilitations locally and nationally.

Recently we asked clients who’ve experienced home runs, in part through their sessions with Ryan, what was the most important thing he did to help them achieve their home run.

Their responses can be summed up in the following statement:

Ryan’s greatest attribute as a counselor or life coach, the thing he does best, is to get to the heart of the matter.


Real, lasting change in people must begin at the heart level and Ryan has a remarkable ability to do just that.


As I often say, “The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart.”


I know numerous people who have experienced lasting change through Ryan’s influence.


He is the best counselor and coach I know.

Rev. Al Baker, president of Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship (PEF) and former church planter


Whether he is counseling or coaching, Ryan loves getting quickly to the essence of his clients’ concerns, and applying the Gospel right at that heart level.


He doesn’t believe in Band-Aid solutions. He goes for true lasting change.




Practicing Bible-based counseling under GA State Law (GA Code Title 43-10A-7,b,11), Ryan uses a Gospel-centered counseling model that has proven to be highly effective…

  • For those who are in immediate crisis
  • For improving marital communication, resolving conflicts, and developing marital oneness
  • For families desiring to understand one another better, work together better, and even help each other heal
  • For those wanting distance from pornographic or sexual addictions
  • For helping those struggling with anxiety or depression
  • For healing those who have experienced traumas or abuse
  • For processing emotions surrounding infertility, bringing clarity, and considering next steps.


Ryan’s broad and varied personal and professional history allows him to connect with clients from many walks of life.   Raised in an ethnically diverse NYC neighborhood, Ryan’s bilingual language skills (Spanish) enabled him to serve as a missionary and help plant a Christian community development church in the Dominican Republic.


In 2004, Ryan earned a Master of Arts in Christian Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, completing both the Marriage & Family Therapy track and the Licensed Professional Counseling track.  He wrote every paper he could on porn/sex addiction recovery, the Gospel or both.


Afterwards, he completed Serge’s Sonship course and the Sonship Apprentice course.


He founded The Rivendell Center, a counseling, coaching, and training non-profit organization, which he oversaw for six years.  During that time he developed his unique brand of Christian counseling by partnering with clients to uncover the hidden, false beliefs that drive their behaviors, so that they can dismantle and replace them with life-giving faith, all through the power of the Gospel.


Having survived personal trauma as well, Ryan understands brokenness and the need to learn forgiveness and repentance. He perseveres with clients, fighting alongside them to discover the heart of their struggles and to repair it using the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a guide.


A former client explained her experience this way:

Ryan is exceptionally skillful at identifying what is at the root of a problem.


His line of questioning allows you to dig deeper and this is vital in helping you assess where the true problem lies.


Most importantly, Ryan’s biblical approach is sound and he offers immediate recommendations that align with the Word.


Because Ryan is extremely familiar with Myers-Briggs, he can enter in with a client on an empathetic level that is disarming and creates a level of deep trust that is needed in this particular counselor/client relationship.


I have always come away from our meetings encouraged and/or challenged. Ryan’s recommendations are on point and do not feel insurmountable.



Leadership Coaching


Through additional training, Ryan has further developed his gift for getting to the heart of the matter and is now a leadership coach.


After graduating from New York University’s Stern School of Business, he worked with start-up entrepreneurs and corporate executives.  


As a Merrill Lynch financial consultant, he counseled clients about long-term financial strategies.   He rose to be number one in his training class out of 2100 globally.  But as successful as he was in financial consulting, Ryan wanted to go deeper into people’s lives, to help them heal, get unstuck, and understand how to develop strong character and maturity.  


So in addition to the counseling degree, he completed both the Advanced Corporate Coaching and the Advanced Life Coaching programs from coachinc.com, the oldest coach-training school in the world.  


In the corporate world, he has coached Managers, Directors, Vice Presidents and a few Senior Vice Presidents from multi-billion dollar companies.  


Aside from the above-noted successful two-year stint as a financial consultant with Merrill Lynch, he has been self-employed for 27 years, which gives him a valuable affinity with those who run their own companies.


Ryan has coached numerous small to mid-size C-Suite officers, non-profit leaders, and pastors.


The former President & CEO of Carolinas MSDC wrote:

Ryan Bailey provides so much more than guidance and coaching. His work is transformational.


I have been a leader of numerous organizations and of varied teams. Just when you think the work is on “leading teams,” he first deals with your ability to authentically lead yourself.


I was well underway to chasing a corporate career and had a solid foot into my community as a respected leader. I thought I wanted Ryan to help me move to the next level and be more effective and intentional in my choices. He did just that. Not what “I” saw as my next level. He first guided me back to my God-centered purpose and vision. Made me realize how far off the path I was and gave me the courage to get back on track to that purpose and vision.


He is not going to just “coach” you and tell you what you “want to hear.” Ryan is not afraid to confront the fact that we are not who we are, and that we are not who we think we are.


He is magical in guiding you back from the lie of being the person “who other people think we are.”


Life changing.


A year later, I am living in a different city, have a stronger family, greater peace and working daily in my purpose toward work bigger than me. I have never been so happy. Take the journey. I promise you will be transformed.

—Robyn Hamilton, Director of Corporate and Sports Partnerships, Novant Health



Ryan helps business leaders understand themselves and their teams in a way they never have before.

He uses that in-depth knowledge to partner with business leaders to….

  • Advance excellence in their own leadership
  • Develop high performing teams
  • Increase engagement
  • Determine their best career path (For some this includes “Call & Design,” a proprietary program to help clients discover what they are called to do and how they are designed to do it.)
  • Prepare someone on their team to be promoted
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Enhance communication, especially among different personality types
  • Craft Professional Development Plans that invigorate
  • Create the right message for powerful presentations or internal team meetings
  • Develop systems to increase productivity that will work for individual personality types and more….


Ryan is all about authenticity.  He has helped me refine a genuine leadership approach that blends my strengths, passions, values, and integrity.


This has helped me pursue the flourishing of my team, resulting in material growth and commercial out-performance over successive years.


Because he understands me really well, Ryan’s questions are highly effective.


His coaching style has made a big difference in how I approach my work and calling. I now see a genuine integration with faith and work and clarity about what a Biblical definition of success looks like.


In the years we have worked together, I have always valued each coaching meeting.


My team has also benefited from the broad toolkit and experience Ryan brings to high performing teams.

Christian Hempell, VP Commercial Development and Corporate Partnerships, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®)


Life Coaching

Life coaching is about helping clients achieve goals.  

Examples would be:  

  • Determining what vocation to pursue
  • Mastering time management
  • Having consistent devotional times with Christ
  • Improving productivity
  • Losing weight


Since Ryan is a believer that everyone has areas in their life that need to be healed, and areas where they want to grow, he relishes the opportunity to combine counseling and coaching with any client who desires it.


What clients have found especially impressive are the laser coaching sessions he conducts.  These are fast-paced highly focused 30mins sessions.  


Laser Coaching

Many clients have shared that they get more from the 30mins coaching sessions than they used to get with the 60mins sessions.

Ryan’s life coaching helps me to align and develop my overall key life strategies and goals that I am pursuing for success in my personal, family, and business life.


He also provides laser coaching on specific short and long-term issues I encounter, which are causing immediate tension or conflict.


I find his insight and understanding on my issues very key in developing and executing planned responses and strategies to my problems.

—Robert Allen Hill, Giant Voice Mass Notification FSR, Engineering Tech 4



Ryan loves training and facilitating groups.  After delivering a seminar at the National Circe Conference he received the following note:

Dear Ryan,

I’m very sorry that I did not get the opportunity to spend time with you during the conference.  I feel as though I had been at your seminar, however.  The electric enthusiasm reported to me by all who participated made me regret my own choice of seminars during that hour.  Wow!  You were the talk of the conference!


Everyone has asked if we could do something here during the course of the year, where you address our school.  I’d like to explore that idea and see what possibility there is for that to happen.

—Bob Ingram, Headmaster, Geneva School

To see a list of topics go here.


Ryan is certified in:


He also uses StrengthsFinder.  His top five strengths are:

  1. Communicator
  2. Strategy
  3. Empathy
  4. Achiever
  5. Developer


Ryan is an active member of his church, serving as:

  • An elder
  • A facilitator of a weekly men’s fellowship group
  • A deliverer of workshops such as porn recovery and Gospel-centered counseling
  • An occasional adult Sunday school teacher
  • An occasional nursery volunteer


A fervent believer in staying connected to his heritage, he maintains memberships in the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.

Over the course of his life, Ryan has lived in 10 major cities in the U.S., Europe, and the Dominican Republic.  

He is married to the love of his life, Grace, with whom he has adopted three children: twin boys and a girl.  

They live in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

When not with his family, working, or at church, Ryan is avidly competing in Fitbit challenges (average 28k steps per day), cheering Rafael Nadal, binge listening to sermons (Tim Keller and Aaron Messner are his favorites), or grooving to Latin music (salsa and merengue are his favorite genres).


Now that you’ve gotten a feel for him, call Ryan at 404.421.8120, fill out the “Contact Me” section below, or email ryan@1stprinciplegroup.com and see if you are a good fit for each other.  

If he is not a good fit, know that he will help you find someone who is.


Contact Ryan