This course allows students to learn and develop self awareness through the study of neuroscience, psychology, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Some specific topics include how the brain works, self, self care, self actualization, stress & relaxation, the power of the mind, positive thinking, confidence, goal setting, and mindful communication. 

Both those interested in becoming a professional coach and those interested in the course material just for their own personal development are invited to apply. 

The curriculum is delivered through a combination of lectures, discussions, group work, experiential learning, practicums, readings, and independent study. The program allows students to sample many awareness-based techniques and modalities including yoga and meditation in conjunction with acquiring a basic understanding of Western psychology, neuroscience, and neuropsychoidiology. This course has also been designed to encourage, foster, and facilitate a unique path of self exploration that enables students to learn important skills in order to create more meaningful, rewarding, and happy lives, whether that is done professionally with others or for personal benefit.

The course is based on Neuropsychoidiology (NPI), a philosophical and life-coaching approach developed by Dr. Mandy Wintink, PhD in neuroscience and psychology. NPI is designed to draw awareness to how our own brain and mind work, by understanding thinking, emotional, and behavioural patterns. NPI literally refers to the study (ology) of our unique (idio) brain, or nervous system, (neuro) and the mind (psyche) including behavior, thoughts, and emotions. NPI (pronouced neuro-psycho-idi-ology is about how neuroscience and psychology relate to the individual and also about how the individual can study his/her own brain, behaviour, mind, thoughts, and emotions. A main component of NPI is to create awareness through self-reflection and awareness-based practices like yoga and meditation. Neuroscience and Psychology are rich disciplines of knowledge generally concerning how we (humans and other animals) interact with, function in, and participate in our internal and external environment. Both disciplines offer us insights into human cognition, emotion, behaviour, and social interaction; however, they can also offer insight into the personal experience resulting in a journey of self-exploration. NPI incorporates elements of neuroscience and psychology along with ancient philosophies and practices of yoga, mindfulness, and meditation to help invoke our self knowing, selfs understanding, and self awareness. 



The purpose of this course is ultimately to embark on a self-discovery journey and to learn concepts and techniques that can be used for our own continued personal growth journey and the journey of others through life coaching. The course samples a variety of topics within neuroscience, Western/modern psychology, Eastern/ancient psychologies (e.g., Yoga and Buddhism philosophy), and mindfulness. Throughout this course students are encouraged to explore and develop their own inner wisdom by thinking critically about the concepts in neuroscience and psychology, by cultivating awareness through meditation, yoga, and mindfulness, and by inspiring our intuitive sense of knowing through deep reflection and contemplation and through independent studies. Students of this course learn from a variety of perspectives including their own existing knowledge, the knowledge of the course facilitators, and knowledge of others who take part in the group.  

This course serves is for the NeuroPsychoidiology Life Coach Training Program, in which the contents of the course are transferred into usable coaching skills for work with others. However, some people choose to take this course simply for their own personal development purposes and because they enjoy studying from this perspective. Those students are also welcomed and encouraged to apply.


The course is a mix-model design involving both experiential learning, theory, discourse, readings, reflection, and physical practice. The course facilitators are there to facilitate a learning process through a variety of media including some “lecturing”, discussions, independent study, group work, and readings. Students learn from the instructors as much as they learn from themselves and from their peers through open discussions and the application of concepts in practical work (e.g., yoga, meditation, and coaching). The atmosphere of the course is one of openness, which includes an openness to describe differing opinions and ideas. Students are encouraged to learn in ways that suit them and to engage in discussion with the course facilitators to optimize learning. Sharing of experiences is also an important part of working as a group toward a higher level of understanding and experience with these concepts. The philosophy is learning-centric, as opposed to student-centric or teacher-centric.


The community and experiences of the people who take part in this course also form a valuable part of the course curriculum. Students learn with and from each other as well as share their own experiences with each other. This is an incredible part of the curriculum but one that differs from session to session depending on who takes part. As such, the interview portion of the application process is important for determining a fit between the application and the course.


The course takes place over 6 training weekends (see below for weekend summaries): 

  1. Welcome to the Brain
  2. Self-Care to Self-Actualization
  3. The Power of the Mind
  4. Mindfulness & Intuition
  5. Action Planning, Goal Setting, & Visioning

The following components are covered:


Module I: Welcome to Your Brain: Brain Awareness & How the Brain Works

Weekend 1

This first evening serves to introduce everyone to the main tenets of the course. It also serves to introduce everyone to each other in order to begin to set a foundation for openness, communication, and trust. We discuss each of our intentions for taking this program. We go over expectations for the course, debriefing protocols, confidentiality, the basics of self-care, and the logistics. We also cover the basics of the independent study project so everyone can begin to think about his/her project. This weekend also serves as an introduction to Neuroscience and Psychology as it relates to our thoughts, attention, mental health, learning & memory, and consciousness & unconsciousness. Students gain a basic understanding of neurochemistry, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neuroplasticity, and how the nervous system is organized during this module. This module primarily consists of lectures and discussions and will provide the basic foundation of knowledge for further modules. 


Module II: Self Exploration: Self-Care to Self-Actualization

Weekend 2 

The second module focuses on the Self, Self Care, and Self Actualization. It involves a process of coming to better understand ourselves and becoming honest with who we are - the “good” and the "bad". We practice openness, exposure, self-acceptance, self-respect, self-awareness, and self-kindness – all in the efforts of nurturing a better relationship with ourselves. The module includes presentations of “self”. During this module we are formally introduced to the psychology, physiology, and neuroscience of stress and relaxation, therein providing a scientific and intuitive foundation for self-care in the broad sense. We also explore self-actualization and the manifestation of natural talents and gift (both spiritual and genetic). We explore the idea that self-care is a necessary part of self-actualization. We also explore development of the individual and environmental influences on the self, self care, and self actualization. 


Module III: Mind-Body Connection & The Power of the Mind

Weekend 3

The third module focuses on how the human mind thinks. We explore the popular notion of positive thinking and the various ways thinking affects our mind, body, and spirit, including health. We explore how thinking cultivates a mind-body connection. We explore deeply the mind-body(-brain) connection. The field of positive psychology is introduced during this module. We also begin to formally explore the type of thinking that can lead to depression and unhappiness and begin the journey toward mindfulness, and awareness. 


Module IV: Mindfulness & Intuition

Weekend 4 

The fourth module focuses on the practices of mindfulness (both yoga and meditation) and intuition. We explore the concepts of being mindful in daily living and how to bring mindfulness into our relationships, including our coach-client relationships. We learn skills in mindful and active listening as a space from which to coach and work with others. We also formally explore the concepts of interconnectedness: the big picture of the interconnected among all being and the practical application of connecting with clients on a spiritual level to help them connect with themselves and develop intuition. We explore intuition and techniques to invoke intuition in relation to a mindfulness practice. Finally, we also examine the neuroscience of meditation, yoga, intuition, compassion, and empathy. 


Module V: Actions, & Goal-Setting

Module VI: Products of Passion

Weekend 5 

The fifth module primarily consists of goal setting and taking action from a point of deeply-routed interest. Value, resources, and direction is considered by using the Business Model YOU canvas to look at one’s goals and visions holistically.  

This showcasing each student’s passions by virtue of presenting pieces of the independent projects that students work on throughout the course. The in-person class conducts their presentations during weekend 5. The online class retreats to the Centre for Applied Neuroscience in Toronto for a Thursday - Sunday in-person session. Thursday & Friday will consist of in-person presentations. Saturday & Sunday will be part of the Community & Coaching Kickstarter Weekend.


Module VI: Community Weekend 

(for those accepted into the Coach-in-Training Program ONLY)

Weekend 6 

New and old graduates are both invited to this weekend, New graduates will kick-starting their coaching practices and past graduates will share their experiences and continue to develop their practices, as the greater coaching community comes together. The content of the weekend includes a variety of business and coaching practices such as establishing individual coaching styles, setting up intake forms and the first session, setting fees, marketing, establishing a coaching web presence, and acquiring clients.


Certification is NOT necessary to practice as a life coach in Canada or the US, at present. However, the training associated with becoming a professional coach is an important consideration for practicing as a life coach and for the integrity of the profession. 


CAN Coaching Certification

CAN Life Coaching Certification is reserved for students who have also earned an undergraduate degree, either in a related discipline or with related experience. Under special circumstances, students who have not earned an undergraduate degree may still participate in the coach training program and continue on as a non-certified CAN Coach. To know whether you qualify, please email for further information. 

CAN Certification components:

The completion of the following components are required to qualify for CAN Coaching credentials (certified or non-certified).

  • successful completion of the general life coaching course (5 weekends) + all class assignments, including full participation in the weekends.

  • weekend 6 training session
  • oral exam
  • practicum hours
  • practice & business mentorship sessions
  • complementary university degree (minimum of a bachelor's degree) for certifying coaches.

ICF Certification

Certification is also available through the International Coaching Federation for those who do not have an undergraduate degree and/or for those who want additional credentials. 



This skills, knowledge, and philosophies explored during the class are meant to help each student personally, as well as prepare them to apply the tools and knowledge to helping others. Many people enrol in this course just for fun, to be among like minded people, and to enjoy the structure of learning in a group setting. Even those who apply with the intention of becoming a life coach gain more confidence, happiness, life satisfaction, wellness, and sense of purpose simply by being part of this course.  


Certification or Just for Fun?

Not sure if you want to take the course to become a coach or just for your own interest? Read about the Certification requirements and if you still aren't sure, you can hold off your decision till you complete the first 5 weekends. After that, together we can decide if becoming a professional coach is the right path for you. But in the meantime, you are meant to enjoy the process of life coaching in a group setting.


In-Person Course

The general course is a total of 80 hours of classroom study (5 weekends) consisting of lectures, group work, self reflection, yoga, meditation, peer coaching, private coaching, and various other exercises.  Those in the Coach-in-Training program have an additional 6th weekend (16 hrs) and must complete 25 practicum hours with clients. Although the course is intensive, it is designed to be taken by people who are working full-time.

Students in the in-person course meet for weekend intensives once a month from January - June. The class consists of a small group of about 10 - 15 students. The class meets Friday night, 6:30 - 9pm, and Saturday & Sunday, 10 am - 5pm.  Each Saturday and Sunday of the weekends begin with a asana (i.e., physical) yoga practice. The rest of the weekend involves a combination of lectures, discussion, group exercises, and independent reflection.

For information on the weekend summaries please see Curriculum.



Online Course

The general course is a combination of weekly online lectures (36 hrs), bi-weekly group work (18 hrs), peer coaching (10 hrs) scheduled with a coaching partner, and yoga videos (~10 hrs). Those in the Coach-in-Training program have an additional weekend of training in Toronto (or online if they cannot attend in-person) in June (16 hrs) and must complete 25 practicum hours with clients. Although the course is intensive, it is designed to be taken by people who are working full-time.

Students in the online course meet weekly from Oct through to May for 2hrs as a whole group and then arranges with their groups for separate meetings. Yoga is also a separate online piece required as participation in this course. The class is small (about 10-15 people).

For information on the weekend summaries please see Curriculum.



Applications for all courses are accepted on a rolling basis. Interviews are conducted with all suitable candidates until the course is filled to capacity. 

Toronto In-Person Course

The Toronto-based courses run one weekend a month from January through till June, including Friday nights (6:30 - 9pm), Saturdays (10am - 5pm), and Sundays (9am - 4pm). 

Winter 2018 DATES:

  • Jan 12 - 14 (Weekend 1)

  • Feb 9 - 11 (Weekend 2)

  • Mar 9 - 11 (Weekend 3)

  • Apr 6 - 8 (Weekend 4)

  • May 11 - 13  (Weekend 5) - last weekend of the General Course 

  • Jun 8-10 (Weekend 6). This weekend is for Coach-in-Training (CITs) students and past graduates only. 

  • June - September (Practicum for CITs)

  • October - Dates TBD (Level 2 Training) - this weekend is not covered by the fees of the general course of the CIT program fees. It is an additional optional weekend of training available to those who have completed the general course (i.e., Level 1 training). 


Toronto Training Location: 585 Dundas Street East, 3rd Floor.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and interviews requested for all suitable candidates until the course is filled to capacity. 


Other Cities

We continue to conduct training in Halifax and have a strong presence of CAN Coaches in the maritimes. We are also open to invitations to train in another city. If you are interested in hosting us, we require a minimum of 10 students. Hosts will receive discounted tuition. 

Online Course

The next online Life Coach Training Course will begin Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 and run through until May 23rd, 2018, with a 3-week break mid December till early January. Students are expected to attend weekly online lectures (Wednesdays, 7:00 - 9:00 pm ET), group debriefing sessions (~2 per month), and work with peer-coaching partners (~once a month). Those in the Coach-in-Training program also have a weekend of training in June.

Mom working online.JPG


Applications must be submitted in order to be considered for acceptance into this course. An undergraduate degree is required in order to earn life coaching certification (i.e., Certified CAN Coach) with the Centre for Applied Neuroscience. Those applicants without an undergraduate degree may submit a request to train as a non-certified coach providing they have demonstrated significant related experience. 


Applications are available here:

Along with the online form, applicants are required to submit a resume or CV directly to Official university transcripts should also be directed to:

Centre for Applied Neuroscience, c/o Mandy Wintink

585 Dundas Street East

3rd Floor

Toronto, ON, M5A 2B7


Candidates for course acceptance will be invited to an interview.


Early Admission & Final Application Deadline

Students are encouraged to apply early so there is adequate time to conduct the interviews and so that they, themselves, are well prepared for this course. The course is very time-intensive. The more time you have to devote, the more you will get out of it. Each student’s ability to commit will be assessed during the interview. It is recommended that students begin reading before the first session in order to be prepared for that first weekend. 

The final application deadline is one month prior to the course commencement. Students applying after that date will be placed on a waiting list for the following course.


This course is designed for serious students of life - people who are interested in exploring the nature of our existence and the nature of our happiness and purpose within this existence. This course is for people who believe there is much value to self-exploration and self-discovery and who enjoy the process of becoming their best self and would like to engage in this experience among like-minded peers. This course is for people who want to learn from themselves, from the course facilitators, from their peers, from theory and practice, and from their own experiences and experimentation with life. This course is also for people who may chose to apply the concepts and tools learned within this course to other aspects of their life, which may include pursuing a life coaching practice (i.e., through the credentialing route), as a complement to their existing practice (e.g., healthcare), as continuing education (e.g., managers and HR people), or some other professional endeavour.


People who typically take this course include:

  • healthcare practitioners (e.g., naturopathic doctors, chiropractor, massage therapists, yoga teachers)
  • counsellors and mental health workers (e.g., social workers, counsellors, psychologists)
  • academics (e.g., psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, philosophy, sociology)
  • managers and HR personnel 
  • spiritual teachers & practitioners (e.g., yoga, meditation)
  • educators (e.g., school teachers, graduate students)
  • financial advisors/accountants who coach clients 
  • designers & architecture graduates working in social change and community engagement
  • people seeking continuing education credits (e.g., RMTs, RYTs, NDs, DCs, or through corporate continuing education requirements - a letter can be written by the course facilitator as required).
  • people interested in studying among like-minded people.


To see some of our past graduates who are now practicing as CAN Coaches, please visit us at


General Life Coaching Course Fee (for coaches-to-be and general interest students):

  • Certification Course: $1750 (course fees) + $1650 (training fees) = $3400+HST
  • General Interest Student Fee (i.e., students who are taking this course purely for their own interest and not to become a coach): $1750+HST

There is an additional cost for books ($120 - 200), which are purchased separately here or on your own.


A deposit of $500 is due upon acceptance into the course. Payment plans are available as 6 equal monthly payments.


The remainder of the tuition is expected on the first day of class unless a payment plan has been requested and approved.

Required Reading for the Life Coaching Course  

(fun readings for anyone who wants to learn at home!)

Required Readings for Students Enrolled in the Life Coaching Course as Coaches in Training. 

Other Recommended Readings for the Life Coaching Course (not mandatory)

Level 2 Courses

In 2017 we begin our Level 2 series of courses. These courses are only available to those who have complete the general course. 

Social Neuroscience and Working With Groups

October 13 - 15, 2017

This course is as an opportunity to develop important group facilitation and public speaking skills using applied social neuroscience and psychology. Social neuroscience is the neuroscience of how we exist and behave in relation to others, including in groups. This course will use a neuroscience lens to cover topics like storytelling & experience-sharing, inclusiveness & community building, trust, motivation and inspiration, oral and visual communication skills, and anxiety in public speaking. The course is divided into 3 main components: The first focusses on facilitating the experience for the audience and will include skills in creating an atmosphere of inclusion, community, and trust using ice breakers and modelling openness and non-judgment. The second component focusses on the essentials of public speaking, including how to 1) design a presentation, 2) be motivating, inspiring, engaging, and entertaining as a speaker, 3) communicate with effective and memorable slides and body language, and 4) manage arousal levels and anxiety around public speaking. The third component is the practicum, which includes homework of creating, delivering, and recording a workshop/talk to at least 10 participants and submitting the video for review by a CAN trainer. The practicum will also involve a peer feedback component. 


Science Literacy & Critical Thinking In Coaching

October 2018 (exact dates TBD)


This course will provide specific training around information sourcing for life coaches. In an age where information is abundant, how do we sift through to find reliable and credible sources? How do we evaluate the legitimacy of claims made on the internet? How can we be sure about the information we are reading and consulting? Through science literacy and critical thinking we can learn to understand the quality of the information we are using and ultimately, serve our clients better when providing them with resources either directly or through our conversations in session. This course will provide all the necessary background to become scientifically literate and critical thinkers in the field of life coaching.