The Upper Street Practice

BodyMind Gateway

Osteopathy | Life Coaching               
for Body & Mind               



Need help resolving an issue? A life coach could be just what you’re looking for! They’ll help you gain clarity in how to effectively achieve your personal goals.


What’s a life coach and how does it work? What problems does a life coach help with?

How Can A Life Coach Help You?

Striving for greater clarity towards positive change.

Life Coaching is a form of talking therapy that has recently become a popular option for many in the west. But have you found yourself wondering what the appeal is? 

Let’s take a moment to explore the fundamental principles and processes that make up this intriguing approach resolving a miriad of stress.  

What’s A Life Coach?

Life coaching supports self empowered change towards achieving future goals.

A certified life coach is someone who is trained to support individuals through life problems while addressing the self limiting thoughts and beliefs that hold people back from achieving their desired goal. This usually involves the coach listening to the clients hopes, dreams and goals, and the obstacles they’re facing, before guiding them towards finding clear actionable steps to making their goals a reality.

In fact, the life coach spends much of their time working with clients to move forwards in positive and meaningful ways. Past events will always be used as a context and springboard for looking at new refreshing ways for the client to understand themselves more deeply. It’s all about moving the client forwards with greater clarity, and efficiency.

Certified life coaches guide clients towards discovering insightful understanding and greater self awareness as a means to gaining a clearer sense of direction. The process intends to direct the client through, and beyond their limiting thoughts while encouraging them to take responsibility for the changes necessary for their personal growth (over simply telling the client what they must do!). This self exploratory approach is considered to be the key to triggering realisations and insights needed to bring about lasting change — it’s what makes their understanding more meaningful.

It’s important to understand that a certified life coach will not formally diagnose psychological conditions. This is a process that falls into the field of psychiatry and other fields of orthodox medical practice. This comes as a result of the differing  schools of thought behind their respective processes and intentions.

So what training should we expect from a coach?

What Training Does A Life Coach Require?

Currently, life coaching isn’t formally regulated, so finding a certified coach is advisable.

Since Life Coaching is currently unregulated, anybody can set themselves up as a life coach. However despite this fact, many professional life coaches have taken the time and expense to become fully accredited or certified through training and mentorship .

Certified coaches undergo varying depths and lengths of training. Typically, certifiable training courses span over a period of several months before being accredited (and some are conducted over a duration of 1– 2 years). Many training institutions require a specific number of practical (case study) training and assessment before being marked as complete.

However, being certified doesn’t automatically make a life coach world class! Ideally, a life coach would’ve encountered and overcome a variety of personal issues and life challenges themselves! This provides an important foundation from which to build a solid framework of clear, meaningful understanding and awareness – before becoming a leader to others! Valuable life experience, coupled with a sound knowledge base, is essential to a coach’s capacity to being effective in delivering their teachings in both a professional and transformative way.

Check the background of your chosen coach, or find reputable coaches through a third party directory, one that list certified life coaches (see below). Websites can also be helpful in gathering additional information surrounding the level of training, expertise and experience of a coach. They’ll often provide testimonials and comments that can be informative.

‘So what does the coaching process involve?’ I hear you ask!

What's Involved In The Life Coaching Process?

The process of coaching involves listening, questing and evaluating, before helping the client to expand on their idea of what’s possible.

The coach will start by taking the time to listen to the clients concerns and goals to gain a broad perspective of where they are currently in their lives, relative to where they’d like to be. They’ll also be looking for any potential blockages or obstacles that could be posing a problem for the clients progress. Obstacles can present in personality traits, habits and thought processes, all of which the coach will help the client work past. From there, they’ll find the most suitable starting point to begin coaching the client towards their chosen goal. Sessions will almost certainly be goal driven, while encouraging clients to explore new ways of thinking. 

Coaches will typically ask a series of probing questions as they establish greater levels of clarity, while exploring the clients mindset further. They’ll help clients address their issues and perceived limits, eventually helping them to discover and resolve any underlying forces that may be working against them. The ultimate intention will always be aimed at leading the client towards ‘breakthroughs’ in their thinking as a means to easily reaching their goals. Sometimes, coaching styles may include the use of visual aids, mental exercises and visualisations to facilitate the greatest degree of change.

The coaching process can continue over varying amounts of time, at varying intervals before reaching a point of resolution. Time frames will depend on the depth and breadth of the issues presented. It’ll also reflect the level of readiness and attitude of the client to embracing change. 

Some people connect with their life coach once every few months, some have weekly sessions. Usually, it’s up to the client to choose to have as many or few sessions as they feel they need, and whether or not to continue being coached. The life coach will typically recommend a set number of sessions as a starting point.

Coach — Client Interfaces

Life coaches are flexible in their modes of communication — using face to face, online and other methods to great advantage.

Life coaches can be found within various establishments — from health and wellness centres, to their homes — making themselves available for face to face consultations. These Sessions can last anywhere from 45 – 60 minutes, or more.

Many coaches take an integrative coaching approach, blending multiple disciplines together. The most common approaches that you’ll find life coaches incorporating into knowledge base and skill set include; NLP, CBT and counselling as they readily compliment the coaching process. There are several other disciplines that lend themselves equally to the process. It’s best to check the training and specialisms of Individual coaches before signing up.

Some coaches may choose to conduct all or some of their services remotely, using Skype, Zoom or video calling online platforms. This will depend on the personal preferences, and locations of both the client and coach. Some coaches may choose to follow up sessions via telephone or email (between sessions), maintaining the ease of reach, frequency, and convenience of communication. 

It’s likely that you’ll find life coaching being offered in groups in the form of workshops and classes. This can be an opportunity for potential clients to familiarise themselves with the breadth and scope of life coaching, as well as providing an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the style and persona of the coach. It can also be a great opportunity to access reduced priced or free coach’d sessions!

So what kinds of issues do people approach a coach with?

What Problems Can A Life Coach Help With?

Life coaching can help with virtually all aspects of a person’s life, be it personal or professionally related.


The problems that people bring to a life coach are about as varied as you might imagine them to be. Here’s a list of just some of the more common problems that can bring a person to seek life coaching: 

  • Dealing with stress
  • Tackling depression
  • Overcoming Anxiety issues
  • Raising your self esteem
  • Finding your self worth 
  • Breaking bad habits
  • Tackling addictions
  • Finding your life purpose 
  • Understanding more about yourself
  • Better managing your anger
  • Learning to forgive 
  • Finding contentment & inner peace
  • Dealing with overwhelment 
  • Reducing psychosomatic pain
  • Becoming more efficient with our time
  • Supporting personal growth & development 

Sometimes our ability to overcome major problems, or recurring issues, can come down to our limited ability to find clarity in a given area. It might be that we need a skilled and impartial facilitator to help us explore our thought process, habits and perspective, before becoming clear on the next move. A certified life coach is someone who is trained to provide step by step guidance through these sticking points or difficult moments in life.


Client Responsibility

The life coach will guide clients towards creating actionable steps that they are willing to take towards achieving their goals. 

It will be made clear to clients that they need to take responsibility for engaging in the process change and shift towards achieving their goals. It’s up to them to do their best to complete any actionable steps which they’ve agreed on during previous coached sessions. The necessity for clients to remain active in their progression will be reinforced by the inherent nature of the coaching process.

The time between sessions is where many of the new concepts, ideas and perspectives become fully grounded in the client. It’s the time where they’re able to exercise new understanding, and see if it holds as true for them! It’s also an opportunity for clients to exercise their focus and drive towards following through on their action steps towards achieving their goals — it’s for the client to discover whether they are able to find new meaning in their changing Attitude and behaviour. 

The coach will usually begin follow up sessions discussing and listening to the clients reflections surrounding the experiences, progress and breakthroughs made during the time between coached sessions. It’s through adjustments in perspective, coupled with a willingness to embrace challenges and develop further that ultimately brings the client to reach new heights of awareness and achieve new goals.

The life coach is well aware that coaching successes are very much dependent on the clients desire and willingness to develop, change and grow. Coaches see their role as the catalyst to change, rather the sole reason for any positive shift.

Case Studies

Case studies can offer so much insight into the process and practice of coaching.

Case studies serve as helpful tools in illustrating how the process unfolds in real terms. They offer a more complete picture of what’s involved. I’ve listed a few below to illustrate a range of issues:

Lucy is a mother of three grown up children. Recently, she’s been involved in an ongoing conflict that’s triggered some of her old trauma’s and patterns of stress. She’s been reluctant to express her point of view for fear of upsetting other family members (who seem oblivious to the stress it’s causing her).

As we looked more closely at ways in which Lucy could address the conflict, it became clear that she was holding a number of self limiting thoughts that were hindering her ability to express herself clearly, without becoming defensive and emotionally charged. But what was it that Lucy was defending?

Unresolved feelings of deep insecurity, low self worth and frustration were continuing to rule her world. These were not only affecting Lucy’s current ability to calmly and openly express herself, but had been negatively impacting the majority of her close family relationships, and limiting her sense of fulfilment. 

Once Lucy was able to more clearly differentiate the elements that were repeatedly causing so much disruption, she was able to take ownership of her responsibility in resolving her inner conflict and building up her self worth. 

After guiding Lucy through a series of exercises and action steps to positively build on her self image, she was able to begin letting go of her life long negative self view. Not only was Lucy then able to start enjoying improvements in her personal relationships in more meaningful ways, she was experiencing a growing sense of fulfilment.

Rico is an 11 year old boy. Over the last two years, he’s become actively involved in training and working as an actor. Although he has already seen a steady stream of successes through his budding career, Rico has not yet been able to fully appreciate the value of his achievements so far. Why?

As we explored his goal — to become a successful actor — we were able to make key connections between what he wanted, and what he already had.

Rico was eventually able to see that he was in fact already, well on his way towards reaching the success that he thought he didn’t yet have! 

He was able to recognise the achievements in: 

  • Being selected for the lead role in a school play (with no prior experience)
  • Being invited to join a successful agency after a short period of acting lessons 
  • Receiving callbacks for 99% of his auditions (with 100% positive feedback)
  • Landing the lead role in a commercial (despite going for the supporting role!)
  • Receiving lots of validating praise from family and friends 

Through the hour long process, we were able to uncover the low self worth that had been driving his invaliding thought process. 

Through subsequent sessions, Rico was able to easily overcome the self limiting belief through further exploring his self view — particularly in relation to his absent father.

Cliff is a 52 year old physical therapist. Although he had overcome many trials and tribulations, and experienced a great deal in his life, he was still unclear as to what his gift/life purpose was.

After a long discussion surrounding his day to day experiences, his life long journey of self discovery, and the skills that he’d cultivated along the way, we were able to clearly discern what it was that he wanted to share with the world. His life perspective!

It was clear that he had accumulated a wealth of knowledge and a unique way of seeing life, and he was really excited by the prospect of sharing it with others in an authentic and meaningful way.

He left our meeting with a clear intention to write about his story, as well as committing to video logging his daily thoughts and views. Within the week, I received a snippet of Cliffs first v-log. Two days later, I received an invitation to view his YouTube channel. Cliff was now clear on his gift, and was on his way to sharing it with the world.

Disclosure notice: 

Names and other identifying features have been altered to protect the anonymity of the individuals involved. All of the above case studies have been published with the expressed permissions of all parties.

Where Can I Find A Certified Coach?

Presently, there isn’t a one stop shop or service that offers a complete listing of life coaches. However, you can search the listings of several directories, these include:  


It’s always good to take into account the recommendations of those you know and trust (when available) and read the websites of potential coaches to find out more about their training, style and approach.

Interested In Taking A Life Coach Training Course?

It may be that you’re interested in becoming a life coach? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a body of information that can accelerate your own personal growth journey? Either way, there’s a course out there for you — attendance based and online.

Online courses can be found through individual the websites of training providers or directory based sites like Udemy. Some may feel that online training won’t provide the same level of value that an attendance based course might, this may or may not be true — it really depends on what your looking for, relative to your starting position. What’s deemed to be the most effective route will be different for everyone. Be honest with yourself about the life experience and roles you’ve played throughout your life and evaluate the degree to which these may pay forward. 

Look at the logistics, like the time that you have available to you along with other aspects relating to your personal circumstances to assess what’s viable. It may be that it’s near impossible for you to complete an attendance based course, so a high quality online training package might be the next best thing for you at this stage in your learning.

Life Coaching Training Directories:




This is by no means an exhaustive list, so please research further! Likewise, it’s advisable research any potential coaches to gain further insight. Take the time to read any reviews before parting with your money!

Common Questions & Answers

Still have unanswered questions? Read on…

Many enjoy the client centred approach of life coaching. It’s not about telling people what they should or shouldn’t do, or imparting their thoughts or opinions on your actions and choices!  It’s much more geared towards helping clients expand on their own understanding and perspectives, so they’re better able to uncover their own meaning and insight.

Another aspect that often sets life coaching apart from other talking therapies is, it doesn’t focus on emotions surrounding past traumas. It only seeks to revisit the past  solely for the purpose of providing a context for the clients thought process and where they are today. 

Life coaching is a fundamentally positive experience, one that allows the client to feel clear and more capable directing their lives in productive ways.  

It’s common for life coaches to integrate other disciplines such as NLP, CBT and counselling into their coaching style. There’s so much overlap between these various psychological approaches towards triggering new ways of thinking in their clients, it’s understandable that a life coach would enjoy the additional benefits that each of the respective approaches have to offer.

The life coaching style will ultimately be determined by the experience and training of the individual coach. It’ll also be influenced by the nature of the client’s personality, needs and desired outcome. 

Some coaches like to specialise their focus in specific ways — perhaps inspired by aspects of their own personal and professional journey. The may choose to focus in areas such as:

  • Performance coaching – performance enhancement e.g. athletes, artists & musicians.
  • Mindfulness coaching – developing calmer, more mindful approach to business, parenting etc.
  • Solution focused coaching – concerned with the specific desired outcomes of the client.
  • Transformational coaching – geared towards big life changes.
  • Vision coaching –  visualising the achievement of goals (often used in sports coaching).
  • Holistic coaching – addressing mind, body and soul as a whole.
  • Intuitive coaching – using intuitive connection as a means to gaining personal and spiritual fulfilment.

It’s fair to say that each life coach will cultivate a style that is unique to them, but they’ll essentially ALL maintain an intention to be transformational, holistic, and solution-focused.

Life coaching aims to deal with improving or directing the client towards a greater degree of clarity in any aspect of the clients life. Whereas business coaching intends to develop a person in ways that are specifically beneficial to the efficiency and growth of their business or role in a professional capacity.

Business coaches will have gained a level of expertise in the business world and are therefore well placed to coach individuals looking to do the same. These types of coaches may even hone their expertise further by focusing on specific areas of business, such as:

  •  how to begin a successful business
  • How to develop as an entrepreneur
  • How to build upon the success of an existing company
  • How to excel in positions of employment

A business coach hones in on one aspect of a person, whereas a life coach considers all aspects of a person’s life in relation to the overall sense of fulfilment and wellbeing.

NLP is an abbreviation for neuro-linguistic programming. It’s considered to be one of the most effective, transformational approaches to be born out of modern psychology. It’s sole purpose is to reprogram the clients patterns and level of thinking and behaviour. It works by using a broad range of mental exercises and  challenges to explore the truth from a variety of perspectives. Essentially, an effective way to disrupt habitual or limited thinking.

Many life coaches incorporate the use of NLP into their practice.

Self help has received massive exposure over recent decades, from the explosion of self help books, mindfulness training, along with a broad variety of approaches that direct us towards attaining transformative change in our lives. Life coaching isn’t too far removed from self help. Although coaching is directive, life coaching supports the individuals own exploration of truth, freedom and contentment.

Life coaching doesn’t have a definitive point from which it was birthed, or a single figure head. Instead, life coaching has evolved organically from the inherent nature that we all have to develop ourselves on a personal level. The idea of self improvement is most definitely not a new one. 

So how did Life coaching become an industry within itself? It emerged as a distinct term in the 1980’s following new trends in sports and business coaching, steadily growing into the international, multi-million pound industry that it is today. 

Life coaching as a profession is currently unregulated here in the UK, so anyone can essentially call themselves a life coach! However, in July 2011, the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) put forward a Code of Conduct (for the EU only) to ensure a standardised set of industry principles. This means that individuals practising as life coaches are now expected to adhere to a set criteria.

Life coaching can be diverse in its approach. But what doesn’t change is the self empowering aspect of its principle nature. A life coach will encourage individuals to take responsibility for taking the necessary steps towards a brighter future.  


Life coach serving the central London area:

Upper Street Islington ▪️ Highbury ▪️ Holloway ▪️ Angel ▪️Clerkenwell ▪️Highgate ▪️Hackney ▪️Haringey ▪️Camden ▪️Online life coaching also available.

Kelly Mckay

Kelly Mckay

Registered Osteopath & Integrative Life Coach