Coaching is about having someone in your corner - plain and simple. As a coach, I stand shoulder to shoulder with you to engage the challenges you face and get the results that you want. Coaching works through relationship - an equal relationship designed to bring clarity, resourcefulness and energy for what you need to do. A base for authentic exploration and deep work, leading to real change.

 Photo by Rogier Coopmans

Photo by Rogier Coopmans

I am an academic and my clients are academics of all ranks, as well as  other talented people who want to make new strides in a sphere they care about. Some common challenges I can help with:

  • Wondering what’s next for you
  • Finding your feet in a new job or role
  • Wishing for ‘more’ than you've currently achieved
  • Struggling to find time for meaningful projects
  • Wanting greater ease and sense of purpose in what you do

We can work in partnership so you will become more resourceful at tackling these and other challenges  – on your own terms. 

I would be delighted to hear from you if you want to know more. A 30-min free sample session is the best way to experience what it would be like to work with me. I also enjoy being a resource for others, so if you have general questions about coaching and would like to hear my perspective, please connect.

About me as a coach

The freedom, the fun and the intellectual satisfaction I feel when doing research and teaching made me want to become an academic. I have studied and worked in different disciplinary and interdisciplinary university departments in the Netherlands, the UK, and Singapore.

It's been a great adventure and I have been successful in ways I did not expect - contributing in a deeply satisfying way to communities of practice and learning, and building a body of work I am proud of. I also faced many challenges along the way, including struggling to finish my thesis and not completing my tenure track. You can hear how coaching made a difference for me in the interview excerpts on this page. 

My passion for coaching dates back as far as I can remember. It has taken on a more distinct shape in recent years. I trained with the Coaches Training Institute, known for its industry-leading standards of rigour and quality, and became a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) in May 2018.  I am also a member of the International Coach Federation, and credentialled by this organization as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC).

I am not a career coach who gives advice; as a Co-Active Coach, I support and champion people in finding their own way forward. Aside from academics and PhD students, I have coached professionals in the creative and tech industries, and other coaches/consultants.

I coach both in person and via video or audio call.

The audio fragments come from an hour-long interview about my experiences with coaching in higher education, conducted by David E. Goldberg for bigbeacon radio.

For a visual expression of what I am about as a coach, check out the "magia" print by Spanish artist Eva Armisén - which also hangs in my home office.


Catelijne is a super smart and trustful coach. I am so grateful that I simply started this as a fun experiment and gift for my 50th birthday, to reflect on and enrich my academic life after 20 years in academia. It was way beyond my original expectation that I learned so much about myself, developed so many useful skills for my academic life, and ended up with so much transformation and excitement for the next 15 years!

As a senior scholar and teacher, I have done a lot of advising for students and junior scholars. Still, after working with Catelijne, I must say that professional coaching has its unique expertise and contribution that differs from other ways of seeking advice or reflection. It has been an amazing journey.
— Chia-Ling Wu, Professor, Department of Sociology, National Taiwan University & Former editor-in-chief of EASTS

Catelijne Coopmans’ coaching sessions helped me to connect with a part of myself that I thought was lost for a long time. Her coaching techniques provided me with the tools to allow the self-assured, confident and powerful side of me to resurface. As an entrepreneur I need to be able to make important and company-defining decisions on a regular basis and after several months of coaching I know that I can confidently make these decisions without doubting myself. Her coaching has given me the tools to do this.

I had never been coached before and, initially, I had my doubts but after just one session Catelijne was able to help start uncovering deep-seated hidden issues within me that were blocking my path to success. I have never felt so mentally and emotionally strong in my life after getting coached by her.
— Abhi Kumar, ‎Chief Creative Director & Cofounder - ‎Warrior9

Writing my PhD thesis in the midst of all the other curveballs life was throwing at me was a daunting experience. In my final year, I felt I had lost focus. It was easy for me to produce more words but I was less and less sure that I was doing something meaningful.

Coaching with Catelijne allowed me to reconnect with what I value most about being a researcher, and to get a different perspective on what I was struggling with. This helped me write with greater focus and purpose, and gave me some wind in my back to finish my PhD. From our first meeting, Catelijne was warm and confident and allowed me to discuss my life without ever taking away my agency. This is what I think is the strength of her coaching: she enabled me to think through and articulate everything that I was going through while ensuring that it was I who always solved all my problems.
— Gayathri Haridas, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, Singapore University of Technology and Design

I gave coaching a try as I’ve always felt that academics (and others!) need coaching to get the best out of themselves. Coaching is like a touchstone of deep calmness and empowerment that I return to. It feels as if Catelijne, like a sports coach, is at the touchline cheering me on, correcting mental traps and mistakes, and helping bring out my best game.

As my coach, Catelijne has helped me to:
• Connect with the core of what really motivates me to fulfil my life calling, as a scholar
• Refocus away from things I can’t change, toward the things I can do to reach a place meaningful and satisfying at a deep level
• Find the courage to face, process and move on from struggles in the past
— YYX, Senior Lecturer, National University of Singapore