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What does IFS and Somatic-informed Life Coaching mean?

I offer Integral Development Coaching informed by a combination of: Internal Family Systems model; present moment somatic enquiry; and contemplative practices with roots in Buddhism and meditation.

What is Integral Development coaching?

My friend and colleague in coaching Ava Osbiston wrote this description, accompanied by beautiful images she carved and printed herself.  Website -

What is Integral Development Coching

The word integral relates to thing being integrated and having integrity. It gestures towards the welcome of all parts of us to make up our wholeness and situate ourselves in context- in time, space and in relationship. We live in challenging times. 


This kind of coaching draws on many different wisdoms, and remains un- dogmatic in it's flexible approach to lead us towards ever more inclusion of the parts of us that have been forgotten or rejected. Every part of you is welcome.

Development is a journey, in this methodology it means an expanding or deepening. As we develop we increase our capacity, our understanding and our ability to respond.  


Developmental coaching welcomes us to be in touch with how change is made in each present moment and the inevitability of our own growth as our lives unfold as a series of moments.

This kind of Coaching is non directive, client lead and supportive. 

Engaging in a coaching relationship is like taking on an accomplice in your own development.  A friend, who is working alongside you to facilitate change, to hold space and to offer reflections and insight into what is happening for you. 

Coaching offers a committed space to put getting curious about yourself as priority.

Thank you Ava

How does Internal Family Systems fit into all of this?

IFS is an evidence-based model of psychotherapy developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, which has been gaining popularity in recent years. The goal of IFS coaching is not only to help clients gain understanding of themselves but also to help them find greater peace and harmony in their lives. 

IFS is based on the belief that the natural state of the mind is multiple. Each person consists of different inner parts which contain important qualities and have different roles. They are embedded within the bigger structure of our core Self - the wise, spacious, unchanging essence that knows how to heal and allows us to become more integrated and whole. 

According to IFS there are no bad parts and all parts are welcome. 

The IFS approach compliments Integral Development Coaching really beautifully. It provides a way for us to explore in detail our different parts within the integral view of a person. The developmental process of coaching provides a wider structure and holding, and both coaching and IFS greatly benefit from curiosity, kindness, and attention. 

... and how does somatic enquiry and meditation fit in?

Somatic enquiry is important because everything we sense and experience in our journey is felt and sensed through the body. Change and healing happens through our attention and contact with our process. So it's really important that we have the skills to sense our experience and identify what's happening so that we can work with it consciously.

"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - Dr Carl Jung 

The teachings of Buddhism are concerned with the release of unnecessary suffering. The teachings say it's possible to suffer a lot less. By going deeper into meditation, one of the things we begin to realise more clearly is that we participate in suffering. We build suffering. So, how and why do we do that? And how can we create less suffering? 

There are many well established practices in Buddhism aimed at developing a range of capacities that support the release of unnecessary suffering. It's a treasure trove of resources for people interested in developing qualities like kindness, awareness, compassion for self and others, creativity… The list goes on and on.

How would it work?

I work online

At the moment my work is online, unless you live in the South Devon area and would like in-person meetings.

A brief chat 

To begin with, we would have an initial conversation of about 20-30 minutes on the phone or Zoom (free of charge) to get to know each other a little. This is an opportunity to say hello and sense into whether it feels right for us to continue.

First session

If after our initial call we both choose to continue, then we would organise a first session. This session would be a chance for us to explore in more detail the issues you are bringing and for me to get more of a sense of your life. I will ask many questions in order to gather a comprehensive view of you and your life circumstances. This conversation will usually be between 60 and 75 minutes. 

Second session 

After the first session I will prepare some offerings in the form of story or metaphor ~ ways I perceive your life at this point and new ways of looking at things. This is a way of really getting to understand your situation and what you're struggling with or wanting to develop.


The journey we take ​

From the third session onwards we would begin to explore your experience deeply ~ looking to:

  • develop your capacity to meet your experience with choice, spaciousness and kindness. 

  • reduce the hold that the inner critic and reactive parts have on your life ~ including doubt, negative self-views, self-loathing, etc…

Over the course of our time together, I will offer you practices to do during the week, including journaling and contemplative practices. We will meet regularly, stand together when things feel difficult and celebrate your joys and developments.

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I offer my coaching for £45 per session (between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 mins) as standard.

If a bursary place would support you then please enquire. I would love to hear from you.

For those with more financial means I ask you to consider paying more to support bursary places for those with low income. Let's have a conversation about it. 

You are welcome to pay for each session as we go. Another option is to pay for a block of 5, which can support commitment to the process. 

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