What exactly does a life coach DO?*

A life coach creates safe space for you to explore, examine and excavate, experiment and create strategies that work for you

* This blog piece is a little out of the ordinary for me, but hey, this whole year has been out of the ordinary! And I have new things to announce that I’m excited about! I hope you’ll indulge me today. I plan to be back to more regular blogging on life, the universe and everything (including some coachy kinds of things too) shortly. xo Janine

What exactly does a life coach DO?

That’s a good question, and one I’ve been asked repeatedly as I’ve made public my desire to transition into certified coaching as a career.

As is often the case, in describing what a life coach begins with describing what a life coach DOESN’T do.

A life coach is not a therapist, counsellor, or consultant.

Therapists, counsellors and consultants are the experts in those relationships.

Therapists and counsellors diagnose and treat mental illness and severe trauma effects such as PTSD. When it appears that therapy or counselling might be the best option for you, a good coach will suggest an outside referral in your best interests. Therapists and counsellors often work alongside coaches in assisting people to find inner healing and ease.

Coaching is a co-creative process of equals that recognizes and honours you as the best expert at being you, even if at times that knowledge might be clouded, distorted or buried by the impacts of the systems, cultures and families we’re raised in, by traumatic events, and by the coping mechanisms we’ve developed to survive them.

When the beliefs and strategies you use to navigate life no longer serve you, you might begin to feel stuck, unhappy, depressed, helpless or hopeless about your place in the world and the ways of moving forward.

You might just be feeling a little off about something and want to set it right. Or you might want help with problem-solving or goal-setting.

A life coach assists you in uncovering the tools and strategies that work best for you.

A life coach works with you in the here and now, creating the safe, nurturing, confidential and non-judgmental space for exploring beliefs and values that might be standing in the way of accomplishing your goals and living your dreams.

Always in an atmosphere of sacred consent, permission, and safety.

A consultant is an expert who tells you what to do. A coach understands that you already have everything you need inside yourself to discover and decide what’s best for you.

A dear friend and mentor describes the coaching relationship using the metaphor (coaches love metaphor!) of mining underground for valuable treasure; the coach holds the lamp while you do the excavating.


A life coach is someone whose role is even more valuable in these uncertain times we find ourselves. I have experienced the great value of coaching before and during the pandemic, and knowing the benefit of service that coaches can provide is the reason I’ve become certified as a professional life coach.

While coaching is largely non-regulated, certification from an International Coach Federation (ICF) approved college ensures you service steeped in coaching ethics, standards, and core competencies, coupled with my deep compassion, empathy and wisdom of life experience.

With a few rare exceptions, the coaching relationship is entirely confidential, creating the safe space for you to explore, examine and excavate, experiment and create strategies that work for you. All sessions are currently delivered online using Zoom, so location is not a barrier. I am able to serve you wherever you are in the world, as long as you have a stable internet connection. If you’re reading this, you likely do!

It would be my deepest honour to work with you in coming home to yourself.

Contact me for more information or book a free 30 minute consultation call here.