Contextual Coaching: 8 Week Online Course

Facilitated by Gareth Holman and Rachel Collis

Use cutting edge behavioural science to increase your impact moment to moment

Become more present, courageous and compassionate in your coaching

Learn powerful tools to create fundamental and lasting shifts in behaviour

Extraordinary coaches help their clients change in fundamental, lasting ways. They have a reputation not only for achieving results – but also for the spirit and integrity with which they approach their work.

Among the most powerful tools for enacting such deep shifts is the coach’s immediate presence, embodying awareness, courage, and compassion in the moment of a coaching session.

This 8 week intensive on-line training will draw on cutting edge behavioural science to teach you the high level coaching skills that differentiate good coaches from extraordinary coaches. We are going to focus on helping you to consistently relate to your clients, in the moment, with deep and powerful authenticity, courage, and compassion. Your capacity to relate powerfully in the moment are SKILLS that can be honed with practice. And they are skills that can’t be faked. You must bring your whole self to these skills. They must be built, therefore, on a strong foundation of self-awareness and personal practice.

For instance, when you relate more compassionately and courageously, you become more able to offer the crucial feedback that the rest of the world avoids giving to your coaching clients. Similarly, to the extent you can walk with your clients into their experience – rather than merely talking about things from a safe distance – you will together find a path forward more grounded in the reality of the struggle. And when your client’s challenges happen in the moment with you – for example, a client who avoids conflict, who then struggles to raise a difficult issue with you or a client whose peers complain he is distant, who comes across as closed off in interactions with you – it is hugely valuable to boldly approach the moment as an example of exactly what you’re working on together.

In all these situations, you must have the perspective and presence to speak the truth in a way that communicates acceptance and unwavering support for the client and their development.

In this group, we will balance didactic and experiential learning to deepen your ability to work boldly in the moment.

This course is strictly limited to only eight participants, to ensure that you get the support needed for you to build these challenging skills.

This 8 week intensive program includes:

  • Weekly online meetings led by the two facilitators, Rachel and Gareth, where you will practice the skills together and the theory will be demonstrated in real time.
  • Two 60 minute individual coaching sessions for each participant with either Rachel or Gareth.
  • Weekly coaching dyads where you will be paired with one of the other participants so that you can practice the skills and give each other meaningful feedback.
  • Weekly readings to build your understanding of the theory and how it applies in practice
  • Activities to do during the week that have been designed to build your own self-awareness, courage and compassion.

Please note this is an advanced coaching skills training for coaches who have already mastered basic coaching techniques.

Also please be aware that this training may at times be challenging – we will invite you to take the same risks and demonstrate the same level of commitment that you will want to encourage in your clients, however you will never be pressured to do any activities that you don’t feel are right for you.

Dates The next 8 week course is TBA (please contact Rachel to register your interest)

Early Bird Price for this 8 week intensive course including two 1:1 coaching sessions – $AU 2500

Strictly limited to 8 participants.

Your Facilitators

Rachel Collis has been described as Australia’s leading authority on the use of ACT in workplace coaching. She has extensive experience providing coaching to leaders, from CEOs to team leaders, in a wide range of industries.  For the last 8 years, she has also taught on the MBA and Executive MBA program in the Graduate School of Business at QUT.

Rachel has presented at both national and international Contextual Behavioural Science (CBS) conferences on a range of topics relating to applying CBS to organisational settings. She co-authors a blog on applying CBS to the workplace ( which was named one of the top 20 positive psychology blogs by

Gareth Holman, PhD, is a psychologist in Seattle USA and a trainer/consultant/coach on Functional Analytic Psychotherapy – a contextual psychology approach to interpersonal relationships and behavior change. He is lead author of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy Made Simple (New Harbinger Press). He runs a psychotherapy practice as well as an executive and team coaching consultancy (

I cannot recommend this course highly enough! Rachel Collis and Gareth Holman’s  8-week contextual coaching course advertises that it will take your coaching skills to the next level and IT DOES DELIVER! Through interactive and experiential processes, which are modeled masterfully by Gareth and Rachel, participants are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and step into this new level of coaching. Rachel and Gareth showed us first hand what it looks like to be fully present and aware, to match this with courage and to ensure compassion is guiding the way. Learning how to weave ACT and FAP into an already established coaching process was transformative in more ways than one. This course had equal impact on my personal life and my coaching practice. Living a life more closely aligned to my values is not always an easy path but feels more rich, more meaningful and fulfilling. Thank you Rachel and Gareth.

Rae Rafferty MBA, BHSc, RN

I feel so fortunate for having trained with Rachel and Gareth these past several weeks.  It was something I had been wanting to do for years and hadn’t had the opportunity so grabbed at the first online training they offered.  This training, based in FAP (Functional Analytic Psychology) changed my way of being, coaching and counseling forever.  Through it, I came to see mindfulness as a deep part of living compassionately and deepening contact with others.  FAP techniques allow one to develop deep, close and safe bonding with others in what feels like a very sacred way.  From that place, it is possible to explore the client’s and one’s own shared space in safety and trust.  This leads to a deeply emotional and quiet space in which all things become possible.  With its focus on compassion, courage, awareness, and love, FAP allows for the exploration of one’s values, the creation of one’s desired life, and provides the gentle enabling conditions to examine how one has been getting in one’s own way—so deep exploration of one’s toward and away moves.   Both Rachel and Gareth embody all of these qualities and make this training a profound transitional experience.  Gaining the ability to bring this work into organizations is a priceless gift. Coaching organizations into places of psychological safety and growth is a goal worth having.

Donna Read, MA

Founding and Managing Partner, Managing Systems for Wellness

The 8-Week Intensive On-Line course is for those who are serious about upping their leadership coaching game in a supportive and challenging environment. Rachel and Gareth create an upbeat on-line learning experience that has real-time applicability. With the focus squarely on practicing skills and debriefing real-world cases, you will learn things each week you can immediately start using to make your coaching higher impact. And, you will meet some amazingly talented peers into the bargain.
Kathleen Grace

Executive Coach, Canada

A few months ago I completed an eight week Contextual Coaching Course with Rachel Collis and Gareth Holman.  I have some coaching experience but I am not a professional coach so I was somewhat nervous as all the other participants were experienced coaches. I had a strong feeling that this course would be of great benefit to my Real Estate business and to my personal relationships so I took the challenge. Prior to this course I thought I was a very good listener and open in my interactions with others. Rachel and Gareth showed me, in the most gentle and kind way, that I had so much further I could go.  I learnt that there was another level on which I could to connect to others.  Advice giving became deep listening. The need to protect myself diminished and made way for compassionate, truly authentic interactions. As an unexpected bonus, participating in this course increased my resilience.  I have become stronger, more confident and so much less fearful of intimacy. It is difficult to put into words the extent to which those eight weeks have changed and invigorated my life. Many of my friends, family and clients have noticed and commented on my increased enthusiasm and connectedness. I have been actively involved in Business and Personal Development for over 15 years. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars and as many hours attempting to become a more skilful communicator, leader and salesperson. This Contextual Coaching Course of just eight weeks brought more transformation than all those hours and expenditure put together. I would sincerely encourage coaches or business people wishing to truly empower others as well as those who desire more authentic interactions to sign up for this course. Do it before it is booked out. It is a rare opportunity for personal growth and I am so thrilled that I took the risk.

Kellie O’Connor, B.Com. Grad DipEd

Get in Touch Today

Do feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions about the course. As numbers are strictly limited we do encourage you to register your interest early. We can then have a chat to check that this program is likely to be of benefit to you.