Coaching with Spirit This transformational coach training program is an effective career trailblazer. Coaching with Spirit teaches you the skills to become an effective coach by learning a transformative way of being in relationship with others.

Coaching with Spirit Program Overview

This popular program teaches students how to become effective coaches by learning a transformative way of being while in relationship with others. Coaching with Spirit (CWS) is a client-centered coaching model that facilitates the unfolding of the client’s own inner strengths and potential. This program is offered through two levels.

At this time, both programs are being held in live virtual classrooms due to Covid-19 precautions.

Level 1

Level 1 is a unique 5-month program accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). The goal of CWS Level 1 is to integrate the adult developmental growth theories of transformative change with a robust coaching methodology and practice.

Level 1 is held over five 2-day weekends meeting from 8:45AM – 4:30 ET. For a downloadable overview and program dates for Level 1 click here

Coaching with Spirit level 1 is an ICF-Approved Coach Training Program

Level 2

Level 2 is for coaches who have completed CWS Level 1, have graduated from another ICF-Approved Coach Training Program of at least 60 hours, or have a current ICF credential. The program is also appropriate for psychotherapists, licensed counselors, and spiritual directors who want to incorporate this coaching model into their offering.

CWS Level 2 goes deeper into the skills of personal awareness and transformational coaching. The course begins with a review of the CWS model and then focuses on “Parts Work”, an adaptation of Internal Family Systems, a powerful healing model originated by Richard Schwartz.

CWS Level 2 is pending ICF accreditation for 48 hours of CCE.

Level 2 is held over four 2-day weekends from 8:45AM – 4:30PM ET. For a downloadable overview and program dates for Level 2 click here

Our Unique Philosophy

"Coaches facilitate transformation in others. Yet coaches, too, must find their own inner wisdom both for their own growth and also to more keenly help others. Coaching with Spirit trains coaches in finding their own natural way of helping others through lessons learned in their own personal transformation.

Coaching with Spirit takes coaches on a spiritual journey during which time the coach matures emotionally and evolves spiritually. The coach begins to heal pain or hurt; to grow and gain confidence in taking risks; and to wake up to more awareness and intuitive insight — so they are prepared to support others fully on their transformational journey.

Coaching with Spirit is both practical and profound. The program arms coaches with a map of the human psyche while teaching the skills and strategies to work effectively with clients.

At the heart of the model is Self, the divine core of every human being. This sacred essence of each human is more easily accessed than most spiritual traditions recognize.

This core in each of us is naturally whole, wise, loving, and good. Coaching with Spirit helps coaches access their Self energy so they can clients support their clients in gaining access to their own Self energy. Because the Self inside each of us is naturally resourceful, creative, and confident, once clients get even a taste of it, they can begin to more easily discover the solutions, directions and meaning they seek." - Guthrie Sayen, PhD, PCC


Guthrie Sayen, PhD, PCC

Guthrie is the Lead Trainer and the Coaching with Spirit creator.
He is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation.

Alumni Partial Tuition Waiver

An alumnus of any of The Graduate Institute's Master of Arts or Certificate programs qualifies for a partial tuition waiver of $300 for the coaching program.

Dual Program Tuition Waiver

If you are signing up for a Master of Arts or Certificate program or are already in a Master of Arts or Certificate program, and you sign up for the Coaching with Spirit Coach training program, you are eligible for a $300 tuition waiver (applied to whichever program finishes last). In addition, Masters students may use CWS to fulfill their program’s mentorship and/or internship requirements.

Focus on Career Goals

By taking a Master of Arts or Certificate program in combination with the coach training program, you can specialize in an area of coaching that is your passion.

  • Take the 36-credit MA in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology to specialize in Life or Spiritual Coaching.
  • Take the 36-credit MA in Organizational Leadership to specialize in Executive Coaching.

Program Administrator

Barti Bourgault, MA, PCC, CMT-P – Assistant CWS Trainer


Barti is a Life Coach, Mentor Coach and Mindfulness Teacher focused on facilitating transformation for her clients. She believes that when we can bring awareness to our experience -- to what is actually holding us back from realizing our potential -- we can begin to heal and head towards self-acceptance, self-compassion and self-leadership. We experience an expansion in perspective that allows us to see things differently and reveal more possibility. She is a graduate of both the Masters Program in Consciousness Studies as well as Coaching with Spirit at The Graduate Institute. She has trained with Guthrie Sayen, the lead CWS trainer, since 2015. Her website is

Her education and accreditations include:

  • BA Business Administration, Boston College
  • MA Consciousness Studies, The Graduate Institute
  • Mindfulness Meditation Teacher (CMT-P), Engaged Mindfulness Institute
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC) accredited through the International Coaching Federation


Guthrie Sayen, PhD, PCC - Lead CWS Trainer

Guthrie Sayen PhD PCCBiography​

Guthrie Sayen created and leads Coaching with Spirit, the ICF-accredited coach training program offered through The Graduate Institute; he also creates and leads advanced training programs for coaches and faculty at Leadership That Works, an ICF-accredited coaching school; and he co-created and offered an advanced training for coaches at the True Purpose Institute, dedicated to serving change agents, messengers, and visionaries. Guthrie mentors coaches at all levels of their careers from beginners to seasoned masters. In his private practice, he works with wounded healers, helping them do for themselves what they are called to do for others. He also helps seekers come into the presence of the Divine, so that they can live their soul's purpose. His mission is to end suffering on this planet. His website is

Curriculum - Level 1

The Coaching with Spirit Coach Training Program consists of seven modules of coach trainings as shown below.

The CWS Program offers 73 ICF-Approved Coach Specific Training Hours as follows:

  • 56 hours faculty/student observation/mentoring interactions (Including 7 hours of group mentoring)
  • 14 hours of homework/independent study
  • 3 hours of one-on-one sessions with a qualified Mentor Coach

Upon course completion, students will receive a Letter of Completion to be used in the ACSTH application process for an ICF credential.

To apply for an ICF ACC credential, ICF requires students to:

  • Submit their Letter of Completion from an ICF approved coach training (See above)
  • Acquire 100 hours of coaching experience
  • Submit a recorded and transcribed coaching session for an ICF performance evaluation
  • Earn a passing grade on the online, multiple-choice ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment exam


Module 1: Fundamentals: An Introduction to Coaching with Spirit

This course presents the ICF core competencies, the ICF code of ethics, the definition of coaching, and the four cornerstones of coaching. The four cornerstones are that people are naturally creative, all parts of a client are welcome, the client sets the agenda and coaching focuses on the client not the problem. The concept of the presenting agenda and deeper agenda are described.  The students learn and practice the three levels of listening and powerful questions. Lastly, the students learn the outline of a basic coaching session, including establishing the coaching agreement, establishing trust, maintaining presence, and direct communication, followed by coaching practice in dyads.

Module 2: Awakening: A Pathway to Transformation

After students learn the fundamentals, the coach trainer describes the four pathways of coaching. The first pathway is that of Awakening. Students learn the concept of fulfillment in life and how it relates to inner passion, vision, and overcoming challenges and obstacles. The steps in this process are to (1) connect clients to their vision; (2) set a resonant goal that draws the client into their vision, and making those steps resonant and accountable; and (3) help the client to welcome the inner protectors who have reservations about change, uncovering what is getting in the way of manifesting the vision. This course presents a visualization exercise showing the students how to connect with their vision and passion. Included in this course are the topics of designing action, planning and goal setting, managing progress and accountability, and asking powerful questions amongst others.

Module 3: Perspectives: A Pathway to Transformation

The core idea of this course is that we always are in a perspective, other perspectives are available, and we are always at choice in the perspective we decide upon. In this course, students learn how to work with their clients to explore multiple perspectives. Students learn definitions of perspective, how it relates to physical expression, emotion, worldview and energy. They learn how to work with a client to find the topic, explore at least three perspectives, chose a perspective to create from utilizing powerful questions, and brainstorm possible actions with a commitment to one, with accountability specified. The instructor demonstrates the use of a three by three grid for the client to physically move to a different geographic location when exploring a different perspective, generating new perspectives, asking powerful questions, leading to greater awareness. Students also begin to learn the design of actions and goals, and accountability.

Module 4: Now: A Pathway to Transformation

The core question in coaching with the Now pathway is what is true in the present moment; how can we accept ourselves as we are right now. In Now, the focus is on the client’s internal experience in the present moment. Students learn to create awareness by noticing and naming something in the client’s experience. With the client’s permission, the coach asks powerful questions to allow the client to fully experience what is arising in the moment. In this process, when the client fully accepts and experiences what is arising, and can accept that just as it is, a shift in energy and consciousness may occur. With this shift, the coach integrates this new experience with insight. Holding silence, awareness of the wisdom of the body, and connecting to source are a important components of this process.

Module 5: Final Review of the Principles and Pathways of Coaching

This course reviews all of the principles, competencies and pathways of coaching. Included is the decision point as to which path to take, and, by dancing in the moment, how to transition to a different pathway as the session evolves.  The students review Awakening, Perspectives, Now, and Parts Work as it relates to coaching.

Module 6: Group and Individual Mentoring

This course convenes on five separate weekends over at time period of 5-6 months. During class time, the students take turns coaching in front of a small group. After this coaching practice, the instructor first elicits feedback from the coach and then from a designated observer. Finally, the instructor provides feedback. In total, students receive over 7 hours of group mentor coaching – meeting the ICF ACSTH path mentoring requirement. After the final training weekend, students receive three 1:1 mentoring sessions. They first aquire approval from a client to record a coaching session. This recording is provided to the mentor coach for assessment according to the ICF Core Competencies. The student and mentor then meet online to review the assessment. All students benefit from the feedback offered during this course.

Module 7: Independent Study – Mastering the Core Competencies

Students are required to engage in 14 hours of independent self-study. To fulfill this requirement, students are to read and study documents on core competencies. Examples are:

  1. Reading Books:
    1. Happier, Tal Ben-Shamar, Ph.D.
    2. Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model by Richard C. Schwartz.
  2. Listening to ICF Core Competency conference calls – links will be provided.

Students are also required to develop their own guidelines for a coaching session that includes the core competencies, and self-analyze a coaching session utilizing the self-created guidelines.

Curriculum - Level 2

The Coaching with Spirit Level 2 Coach Training Program provides 48 hours of study over four weekends.

The curriculum incorporates the ICF Core Competencies and goes deeper than Level 1. The course begins with a review of the CWS model and then focuses on Parts Work, an adaptation of Internal Family Systems, a powerful healing model originated by Richard Schwartz. Parts Work is a strategy for accessing and coaching from Self: our divine core, which is naturally awake, aware, whole, calm, confident, compassionate, creative, and wise. This core is accessed most easily by inviting parts of the mind, like the Critic, the Approval Seeker, and various Distractors to step back. When they do, our true nature, here called Self, begins to emerge like the sun from behind clouds. Facilitating this in clients allows them to move into a place of grounded centeredness from which they can respond creatively to their circumstances rather than react unconsciously from old habits.

The Coaching with Spirit: Level 2 provides:

  • A coaching model that honors and leverages the client’s inner wisdom
  • A collaborative, non-pathologizing method of working with clients’ protective parts, like the inner critic, the achiever, the pleaser, and the distractor
  • Accessing and coaching from a deep core of calm, clarity, and confidence
  • Creating a safe coaching environment for doing courageous work
  • Getting a contract for every coaching session
  • Building an honest and trusting relationship with the client’s protective parts
  • Holding the client’s vulnerable parts as sacred
  • Helping vulnerable parts unburden painful feelings and limiting beliefs
  • Helping protective parts find new strategies for helping the client
  • Applying systems thinking and complexity theory to the inner world
  • Accessing spiritual guides and using their wisdom
  • Integrating learning through deepening awareness, designing actions, and setting up accountability


Module 1: Parts Work
  • Agreements: Four cornerstones for creating a safe and courageous coaching container for deep transformation.
  • Model: The CWS map of the theory and practice; a compass for working with clients.
  • Six Tenets: The foundational ideas on which this work rests.
  • Abbreviated Glossary: Explanation of key terms for easier understanding of the model.
  • Parts Work Process: A step-by-step guide for unblending, befriending, and helping parts of the psyche escape old patterns of behavior and transform.
  • Two Methods of Parts Work: Two ways to safely enter clients’ inner realm and build compassionate relationships with parts of their psyche.
  • Parts: A deeper examination at the innumerable subpersonalities the live inside all humans. Each has a full-range personality that longs for safety and connection.
  • Protectors: These are the workhorses of the inner world; these are the parts that we tend to think are us; and they are the ones who usually stop change. We need to befriend them so they can begin to trust that change will serve the client.
  • Messages for Protectors: The three key things we can say to protectors to help them relax and permit the change the client longs for.
  • First Steps: How to unblend and befriend protectors.
Module 2: World of Parts
  • Exiles: These are the young parts of ourselves that need loving attention so that protectors, who interfere with our living creative and fulfilling lives, can relax.
  • Safety: Practices and attitudes that ensure that this process is safe and respectful, following the pace of the client’s own inner system.
  • World of Parts: An in-depth exploration of the innumerable parts that populate our inner worlds.
  • Three-Group System: Our parts relate to each other in patterned ways. By learning how they interact, we can help them move from a stance of conflict and competition to one of harmony and collaboration.
  • Addressing Fears: Each of us is like a parliament with two major parties, the party of growth and transformation and the party of the status quo. The transformers hire the coach and set the agenda, but those who wish to stick with the tried and true object. With this module we learn how to respectfully address the concerns of those who fear change and gain their permission to make change.
  • Self-Confidence Technique: This is a simple technique to build confidence before dealing with a challenging situation. With this technique, the parts of us that are scared learn that we can actually handle things and they relax.
Module 3: Parts and Complexity Theory
  • Systems Thinking explains the four major principles that govern all human systems, internal and external: harmony, balance, leadership, and development. The focus will be on the internal system of the individual, but there will be ripple effects into external systems, like family, community, and society.
  • Complexity Theory: This builds on systems thinking and explains how stability, without rigidity, and fluidity, without chaos, can lead to rapid transformation in human systems.
  • Holons: Provides a model first developed by Arthur Koestler that supports both systems thinking and complexity theory by showing how in a system everything is both a whole and a part. A human is both whole and has parts; those parts are also whole and have parts; and we humans are parts of ever larger systems.
  • Legacy Burdens: Explains how we inherit limiting beliefs from our ancestors and our culture and provides a technique for releasing those burdens.
  • Guides: Depending on a client’s spiritual or religious beliefs, spiritual guides can be a tremendous resource and support for growth and transformation.
  • Past Lives: Some clients have memories of past lives. Those past lives can participate in those clients’ growth and transformation.