Laura Shepherd

About me

Trust your senses when looking for a coach. You are already using your innate intuition reading this. That’s how you will know if this feels OK, or not. We are all wonderfully different, unique in fact. When choosing a coach, ensure the relationship fits with your sense of Self.

Hello, I am Laura, and I work for my own Business, Spinnaker Coaching.

I specialise in Life Coaching and Facilitating drama-based Workshops.

Why Spinnaker? It is a metaphor for my coaching business.

Sailors use Spinnakers to express sailing boats towards their destination by capturing all the wind resources available.

In my early years, I was taken out in a sailing boat in the sea when the wind dropped. We knew where we wanted to go, but there wasn’t a whisper of wind moving us there. We kept switching our direction to catch the wind in the main-sail, and tacked from side to side but still couldn’t see our destination. I was beginning to doubt if we would make it to where we wanted to go by the end of the day.  My Dad replaced the mainsail with a spinnaker. It puffed up at the front of us towards the bow, and caught the breeze. The spinnaker billowed confidently in front. We were at last moving forwards, and for the first time on our journey, we were looking ahead whilst our destination was in sight.

The Life Coaching areas I have focused on are broad, and for this pitch, I have chosen dependent behaviours, personal and professional boundaries in relationships, and self-expression.

Please read on if this feels right for you, or if not, contact me.

Here is a glimpse of the coaching areas I specialise in.

Dependent behaviours

It is well known that the life course of our environment (everything we experience) affects our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, responses and behaviours.

I have heard in the media that it is possible for some people to inherit an addictive personality. I have also heard that our environment affects our DNA. There is also a saying that, “Alcohol is not the problem, it’s choosing what we use to cope with our lives that’s the problem.”

One of the ways Life coaching helps people recover, is when we develop better ways of coping. It’s wonderful to learn that when we do something positive that’s new to us for the first time, we create a new neurological internal pathway in our bodies, and when doing that, our new pathway will start to become more dominant, and this gives us the chance to choose what we want to do differently in our future.

Here are 3 essential requirements to achieve our personal goals: -

WANT TO = motivation - the belief that the goal is achievable

HOW TO = means -  Realistic knowledge of the physical and mental steps to achieve the goal

CHANCE TO = opportunity – Deal effectively with interference, blocks or resistance that slow us down on our journey to recovery.

Setting goals and taking new steps forwards, gets us to realise the what, when, where and with whom, we want in our futures.

Personal and professional boundaries in relationships

I have worked with many people who say they wish they could say “No” elegantly.

When we are taken by surprise, we can undermine ourselves by being unprepared for the “what if” XYZ says, or does something that doesn’t feel right in a potential, new, or current relationship (personal or professional) with someone.

In situations where we anticipate feeling vulnerable, think ahead of time (or set a boundary), and don’t risk ignoring your intuition if fearful of losing what might be a positive relationship. It takes time to notice and get to know someone. If we use a simple mental rehearsal of key phrases to XYZ that we might say out loud to a mirror on our own, we can practise. Once comfortable with the way we come across, we are more likely to create that new neural pathway, giving you more of a choice in your response to an unexpected “what if”.

Taking time out and using deep breathing, slows down our emotions, heart rate, and blood pressure, all are helpful if in a stressful situation. When Family relationships are complex it’s important that adults remember that we are not responsible for another person’s thoughts, feelings or actions. Sorting out who is responsible for what, and who isn’t, in any relationship is a good starting point.


Words alone miss out so much, however we have a huge repertoire of body language. NLP helps us to be in touch with our senses and emotions, and how best we can be aware of our personal state. Noticing our state helps us to gauge how much we want to express ourselves in a situation. We are more likely to learn how safe to feel and notice body language through picking up how others express themselves.  There are so many ways to express ourselves, for example, what we choose to wear, so that our impression of Self matches our personal identities.

When watching drama on TV or in a cinema, we can be surprised by our emotions. I have noticed more recently, how animated characters seem better at communicating their emotions better than the actors and actresses are!

I wonder if the animators are as animated as their characters, and what expressions they notice, so that the characters they create appear authentic to us humans. If we didn’t express ourselves, who is going to understand who we are?

Learning how to express ourselves safely can be learnt when acting “as if”, so that we can be ‘one step removed’ from ourselves psychologically. Shakespeare’s Quote from his Play ‘As you like it’ asserts that all the men and women are “merely players”and, that “one man in his time plays many parts.”

Over the course of our lives, we carry out scores if not hundreds, of roles. These are roles such as parent, son, daughter, sibling, worker, friend, cook, teacher, law breaker, cleaner, pedestrian, counsellor and innumerable others. (Moreno, 1993 and Blatner, 1997). Where we have no experience of a role that we require, role theory offers a means of identifying skills and roles we would benefit from developing.

For more about me, visit my website, and find out how you can start to try out some new roles which can be fun, challenging and memorable.

Training, qualifications & experience

I hold a Business & Life Coaching Diploma certified at Practitioner Level certified by the approved ILM Centre, The UK College of Personal Development (UKCPD) and am a Professional member of the Association of Coaching

I hold a certificate in the science and art of Neuro Linguistic programming (NLP) from UKCPD and am a professional member of the Association for NLP (ANLP)

I have attended a 4 hour CPD workshop on the subject of Dealing with Anxiety at UKCPD

I am  and currently studying to complete a certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), at the school of psychology and clinical Language Sciences,at the Charlie Waller Institute at Reading University, with a view to complete by the end of this year.(2018)

I hold a Post graduate Diploma in Management Studies from Wolverhampton University

I have completed the 3 day training course 'The other side of the wall', exploring drama-based groupwork with offenders, facilitated by Geese Theatre Company.

I hold a Certificate in the Management of Drug Misuse Part 1
from the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Member organisations


The Association for NLP

The Association for Neuro Linguistic Programming (ANLP) is a UK Association for NLP Professionals.

Other areas of coaching I deal with

Last year, I Invested in training in the role of Sessional Workshop Facilitator with the Hampton Trust, who deliver a range of programmes in domestic abuse training for both perpetrators and victims,  male and female. My expectation was, that I would be able to have the opportunity to take up the role, however due to lack of funding, they are offering a volunteer scheme which includes a project with young people. As I write I am waiting to hear from the Hampton Trust regarding when I can start in the role of volunteer for them.


Life Coaching and Addiction Counselling:-

First session is £65, and includes agreeing our coaching contract, no. of sessions and their duration.

2-4 sessions £45 each (I recommend 4 sessions)

Single session £65.

One off session for a specific issue £70

I offer a range of options for my practice sessions with individuals, groups and families and can be flexible to suit you.

Express Your Self Workshop - The minimum number of participants for a workshop is 6, the maximum is 15. Delegate costs to be confirmed.

I can offer discounts for a Workshop, or Coaching, or Addiction Counselling.
Don't hesitate to ring me to agree what would work best overall.

Further information

I have developed a workshop as part of my coaching business which acts as a starting point for people unsure of what area of coaching will help them. Take a look at my website on the link below for more details.


Type of session

In person
Home visits

Practical details

Sign language
Other languages English only


Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a life coach's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the life coach to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Wheelchair user access Unspecified

To be agreed on first contact

Laura Shepherd

Laura Shepherd

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