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What, Exactly, Do You DO?!

I am often asked, “What exactly does a coach do, and why would I need one?” That’s a great question! I like to use the metaphor of a garden to explain coaching. On the one hand, I spend time helping people “remove the weeds” that block them from being their best self. These could be things like limiting beliefs, overwhelming emotions, and other unhealthy patterns that keep us feeling stuck. But it’s also really important that we work on “growing the good.” So we also focus our attention on things like acknowledging and appreciating successes, setting clear intentions of what we want to create (and using powerful processes to do so), and learning how to cultivate gratitude, mindfulness, and a connection with our Highest Authentic Self-- so that the soil of our garden can produce a life that is both fruitful and fulfilling. 

The second question I am asked is “What is your approach to coaching?” or “What tools do you use as a coach?” The most honest answer to this is, “It depends!” I always tailor my approach to the unique needs and goals of the client, so it really varies. I am trained as a Community Resiliency Model (CRM) skills facilitator, so often we will work with these tools--designed to help bring the nervous system back into balance after a traumatic or stressful event. I am also a Quantum Success Coach--this approach draws on positive psychology, using tools like visualization, meditation, and understanding principles of energy management to help create our desired life experience. Many times I will also bring in my background with Ayurveda and Reiki to help the client create optimal balance in body, mind, and spirit. I am an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor with two years of training in this ancient Indian system of holistic healing. I find that if we can bring the client’s dosha (or constitution) into alignment, many of the issues in the psyche start to balance out as well. This might involve the use of herbs, diet and lifestyle changes, five-sense therapy, and more. As a Level III Usui Reiki Master, I will often incorporate energy healing as a subtle, yet powerful tool to set the stage for deep healing to unfold. While many of the issues and challenges we face can be addressed using language and tools of the mind, others can not. At these times, it can be helpful to drop into wordlessness, to the level of the energy body and the chakras. In this realm, we are often amazed to discover that subtle shifts can create potent portals of healing for all aspects of our being. 

Finally, I have found it to be very supportive to bring in “Parts Work” and “Arts Work” as I connect with my clients. Parts Work is a term coined by Dr. Dick Schwartz, founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS). In a nutshell, IFS provides us with a framework to see how the wounded, protective parts of our psyche can act in unhelpful or misguided ways, and how to get those parts to become less extreme in their roles so that we can be “Self-led” more of the time. This model has been a game-changer for many, including me! “Arts Work” is a term I created, inspired by Julia Cameron, who wrote “The Artist’s Way.” When we tap into the realm of “Arts Work”, we honor and recognize the fact that creativity and play can be a doorway to incredible healing and growth. We connect with our “Magical Inner Child” through the cultivation of “Artist Dates” and “Morning Pages”--and we rediscover a renewed passion and zest for life that may have previously felt inaccessible.

Whatever approach we use, I see my role as a coach to be that of “Believing Mirror”--reflecting back to the client their own brilliance and potential at a time when they may have lost sight of these precious gifts. 

To learn more about coaching with me or to book a free Discovery Call, check out my website: or email me at

Wishing you balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit!


~Dr. Abby Ampuja

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