I work with academics who want to succeed on their own terms.

Don’t find the best-practice guidance and well-intended advice that abound in academia all that helpful? It may be time to see what a personalized approach can do for you.

With spaciousness, curiosity, compassion and humour, my coaching is designed to increase your resolve and resourcefulness for directing your energy towards what really matters. 

Whether you are moving into a new project, role or phase, or are experiencing a sense of being stuck, I’m here for you.



An exploratory session will give you a sense of what coaching with me is like, and what it does and doesn't do.

It is designed to make a difference for you right away: you should come away with a helpful insight, a new perspective or simply some 'air'. 
There is no expectation on my part that you'll sign up for further work with me afterwards. I'm glad to be spending this time with you, an opportunity to listen, explore, fly the flag for coaching, and be 'me' :)

You can use my booking app to get a date in the diary, or just email me with a few dates and times that would work for you.

MORE 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).

As a life-, career- and leadership-coach for academics and others, I support and champion people in finding their own way forward through a respectful, creative partnership model. Aside from academics of all ranks (from PhD student to full professor), I have coached professionals in the creative and tech industries as well as other coaches and 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.


Before working with Catelijne, I had doubts about coaching. But when I hit a period of strong adversity in my career, I approached her, hoping for practical suggestions. I gradually learned that coaching is an affirming experience through which I could transform my worries into motivation. With Catelijne’s help, I was able to re-position myself and claim back my own space. Since we started coaching, I have completed a lot of work that I’m happy with. Making critical decisions about what to do and not do has also become easier.

Catelijne is a patient and understanding coach who from the very start believed in my potential. She is able to dig into the meanings behind what her client is experiencing and help find solutions. And these solutions are practical, not unrealistic.
— Harry Wu, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong

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

For the past three years I’ve wanted to get into the varsity team and play squash for NUS. After I got coaching and training overseas, I felt I had acquired the hard skills to do it, but somewhere in my mind there was still a barrier. I tried coaching with Catelijne and the experience was really good, above my expectations.

The resources Catelijne helped me create for myself have unlocked personal strength and depth of character that I have been able to use in my game. I am more confident than ever about who I am as a squash player, and, not long after completing the coaching, I made it into the NUS selection! Beyond that, the coaching also connected me with the full potential of who I can be as a person.
— Nicholas Ting, varsity athlete, National University of Singapore

As an analytical person, the experimental, non-linear element to Catelijne’s coaching initially took me by surprise, but it definitely brought valuable and actionable insights, perhaps as it took me away from my ‘normal’ approach to working things through.

The biggest change has come from my re-discovery of routines that really work for me. I also feel more skilled now at recognizing when I get stuck or overburdened, and how to address that. Looking closely at the challenging places in one’s life is difficult to do, but it’s easier in the long run than consciously ignoring those places, especially when you can trust that your coach sees and wants the best in you. I always felt that way with Catelijne.
— Craig E.