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I Feel Like A Fairy Godmother - By Cathy Garner, The Artist Coach

The Coaching Academy Blog

Posted: March 2018

What if the only thing that's really worth doing is the vision that comes from your heart? How do you find that vision? How do you express it? And how do you make it so compelling that you are suddenly able to overcome all the things that may have been stopping you from doing it and transform your life? As coaches, helping our clients do this is a challenge.

We recently sat down with our coach, Cathy Garner, who is running an incredibly fulfilling coaching practice, blending the power of relationship coaching, NLP with her passion – portraiture, for a quick Q&A session in this week’s Coaching Weekly. 

Cathy uses Vision Portraits to help clients transform their identity so that they quickly find themselves living the lives they long to lead. 

We asked Cathy how The Coaching Academy helped her create this unique niche. We hope you enjoy…

How did you become a coach?

In 2001, I rather serendipitously stumbled into coaching.  Almost as soon as I began a new job as Leadership and Management Development Adviser for the University of Bristol, I found myself coaching heads of departments and other professional managers and academics.

I quickly realised I needed some training and, alongside my MSc which included research into the barrier to effective communication, I undertook a diploma in coaching run by CIPD.  It was largely an academic exercise, back in the days when coaching was just emerging as a profession, so did not add much to my practical toolkit.

What was your experience being trained by The Coaching Academy?

By 2009, I felt it was time to upgrade my skills and I enrolled on the Coaching Academy’s NLP Practitioner Diploma, which was an incredibly affirming experience and ultimately life-changing. The course itself was brilliantly structured, alternating between theory and practical exercises, with each module building on the last.  The training was both dynamic and down to earth.  Our tutors were committed to helping us succeed and become confident practitioners.

The cohort that went through that programme became a very close-knit group and several of us met together after we graduated, to support each other in using and mastering NLP coaching skills.

How has coaching helped you?

Working in pairs and groups during, and after, the course enabled each of us to do our own deep work, overcoming barriers to change and self-sabotaging beliefs.  One of mine was a fear that I might end up single forever, but within days of finishing the programme, I met the man who became my husband less than a year later. 

As soon as our first child was born we left the UK for my husband to work in an International school in Hyderabad in India.  So, it wasn’t until 2013 when we were settle back home, that I really began using my qualification with coaching clients.

Our time in India gave me an opportunity to develop my portrait drawing skills and to follow my passion to understand what really made romantic relationships work.  I studied the leading experts around the world and synthesised all I learnt about the emerging science of love into a coaching system to help long-term relationships thrive. 

What difference has it made to your coaching practice?

Combining evidence-based relationship coaching with NLP and portraiture has enabled me to develop a powerful coaching process, helping people become clear on their vision and purpose in life and love and then drawing their own words into the lines and shadows of their faces.  

Using portraiture with relationship coaching and NLP has made me feel a little like a fairy godmother; it is magical to see people’s beliefs about themselves and their situations transform so quickly.  It has also enabled me to help people on a much deeper level and I have grown, in my personal and professional life, at least as much as my clients!

What would you say to people thinking of enrolling?

If you want a coaching qualification that is practical, dynamic and potentially life-changing, The Coaching Academy is a great place to learn. The journey I began in 2009, in particular, the NLP techniques I mastered through my Coaching Academy training, have helped me find a niche that perfectly matches my passions and expertise!  I now have an incredibly fulfilling coaching practice and would recommend The Coaching Academy to anyone.  


If Cathy's words have inspired you and you feel that Coaching could be a potential full or part time opportunity for you, or if you would just like to know a little more about what Coaching is and how it can benefit you and the lives of others, please contact our Specialist Course Advisor, Jamil on 0208 996 4830 or email: Jamil@the-coaching-academy.com

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