Influences and Extras

A selection of the courses, teachers, and books that shape my work and my approach.

Professional Training

Co-Active Coaching courses: Fundamentals, Fulfillment, Balance, Process, and Synergy – 100 hours of training in the Co-Active coaching approach

Transpersonal Therapy Centre – graduated from a three year experiential program in Gestalt, Jungian, and Transpersonal therapy

Enneagram and Relationships – three-day workshop exploring the psychological-spiritual tool of the Enneagram in light of relationship

Making Our True Move – experiential training in women’s embodied leadership practices

St. Stephen’s Community House Interpersonal Mediation – certificate course in advanced interpersonal mediation

Group Facilitation – ICA Associates’ Focused Conversation and Consensus Building methods

Authentic Leadership in Action – four day program on personal leadership development, with a module on the Scenario Planning organizational visioning method

Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression Training – training offered through Toronto Hostels Training Centre


Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives – the Coaches Training Institute handbook, complete with theory, examples, coaching tools, and a CD of sample coaching conversations.

How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving – David Richo draws together the psychological and the spiritual to show how doing our own work prepares us for and enriches intimacy. “Most people think of love as a feeling, but love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present.”

The Complete Handbook of Coaching – Each chapter explores a different approach to coaching, including Transpersonal Coaching, Gestalt Coaching, Cognitive Behavioural Coaching, and many others.

The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types – The Enneagram continually impresses me with its accurate insights into each personality type’s tendencies, desires, fears, and motivations. I’ve learned and changed a significant amount through understanding my enneagram type’s tendencies.

Loving What Is – Byron Katie’s work gently unpeels the layers of stories we attach to the world around us, and leaves us with a clear mind that can embrace reality.

Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life – One of the first books to help me understand the impact of my word choice on my thoughts and my relationships, and a book with practical exercises to learn a new way of communicating.

When Things Fall Apart, Comfortable with Uncertainty, Practicing Peace in Times of War – three books by Buddhist nun and meditation teacher Pema Chödrön.

Leadership and the New Science – Margaret Wheatley’s examination of organizations and systems in light of quantum physics, biology, and chaos theory.

Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society – from the Society for Organizational Learning, an offshoot of MIT’s Center for Organizational Learning, Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers tell collective stories to describe what transformational change looks like.

The Courage to Lead: Transform Self, Transform Society – ICA’s textbook for exploring our roles individually, in our communities, and in our societies.

The Ursula Franklin Reader – Pacifism as a Map – a collection of speeches and writings from Ursula Franklin, feminist, educator, Quaker, and physicist.

The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion’s stunning account of the year following her husband’s death gives me faith in love and commitment.

Laura McGrath, CPCC, is a Toronto life coach who helps smart people to live from their hearts. Let's talk! You can subscribe to Ready for Change news to receive thoughtful notes on personal growth, and you can contact Laura to find out if coaching is right for you.