What is coaching and what is your approach?

The Primary Pathways definition of coaching is this: Coaching is a developmental process based on a trusting partnership between coach and client. The purpose of this partnership is to support the client in closing the gaps between who and where they are, and who and where they want to be.

I am sometimes asked what the difference is between coaching and therapy. The standard explanation is that therapy supports the client in understanding and untangling their patterns and issues rooted in their history. Coaching supports the client’s progress by keeping the focus on the present and creating forward movement. However, I do not believe that this separation is always effective.

In my personal experience both as a client of coaching and therapy over the years, as well as a practicing coach, there are times when these two approaches can integrate well –  helping the client truly grow and then move forward with their lives. The focus in the coaching session is certainly what is going on in the present and how to help the client move forward – but from time to time there can be great value in helping the client disentangle a deep rooted issue or pattern, so that they can indeed move forward more easefully.

What makes you unique?

Two key things contribute to my uniqueness as a coach. The first is my extensive experience in coaching as well as other disciplines, such as group facilitation, leadership roles in different organizations, and formalized education and training in personal and organizational change. I have tools and skills that provide a uniquely focused coaching experience that gets result!

The second is my well developed attitude of studentship – toward myself, life in general, and leadership. In 1989 I first experienced coaching, then several years of in-depth therapy, followed by many years of reflection, self-inquiry, study and meditation. I have come to develop a laser-focused tenacity and a sincere compassion about the process of personal change that my clients experience consistently. This in turn supports my clients in staying true to who they really are in their hearts, and that they are moving toward outcomes that are the most important to them.

What is Primary Intention and how is it different from what I have heard about intention and purpose?


Why are your fees different depending on whether you are doing personal work vs work for an organization?

This is something you will widely see. The key difference is in who benefits from the coaching.
Leadership coaching for organizations


Do you require monthly contracts like most coaches seem to?

Usually, but not necessarily. For organizations that hire me to provide Executive Leadership Coaching to one or more of their executives (or even if the Executive is hiring me directly), contracts are standard practice. They both clarify the focus and desired outcomes of the coaching for the executive as well as the organization (since the organization is paying for the service), stipulate the term of the contract (i.e. specific dates of start and finish), as well as ensure that the specific budget the organization has set aside for the service is honoured.

For individual client work that is paid directly by the client, we typically have a simpler agreement that focuses on how frequently we will meet (usually 2-4 times per month), payment structure, and areas of focus the client would like to start with. Integrative Life Coaching tends to include more unknowns at the outset and often goes in different directions and explores unknown territory that are difficult to anticipate. Rarely do we stipulate an end point since the process can be more variable – depending on the working relationship, the goals of the client, and the progress we are able to make.