The Life Coaching Certification Course allows students to learn and develop self-awareness through the study of neuroscience, psychology, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga and then transfer that knowledge into practical tools to help guide others through a personal development journey. Students are introduced to basic principles of neuroscience and will form an understanding of how the brain works. Students will also learn about self, stress, self care, self actualization, and positive psychology. Throughout the course students learn and practice the power of the mind, positive thinking, confidence, goal setting, and mindful communication. 

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 a Neuropsychoidiology (NPI, (pronouced neuro-psycho-idi-ology), 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 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.  


The course is a mixed-model design involving 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 applicant and the course.



  1. Introduction to Life Coaching
  2. Welcome to the Brain
  3. Self-Care to Self-Actualization
  4. The Power of the Mind
  5. Mindfulness & Intuition
  6. Action Planning, Goal Setting, & Visioning
  7. Business Development
  8. Community Development

The following components are covered:


Module I: Introduction

This first portion serves to introduce everyone to the main tenets of the course including what is life coaching and what is life coaching with the brain in mind. 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.

Module 2: Welcome to Your Brain: Brain Awareness & How the Brain Works

This module 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 III: Self Exploration: Self-Care to Self-Actualization 

This 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 IV: Mind-Body Connection & The Power of the Mind

This 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 V: Mindfulness & Intuition 

This 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 VI: Actions, & Goal-Setting

This 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 module is also where students showcase their independent projects, that have been worked on the whole term. 

Module VII: Business Development & Practice Management 

From the beginning of the course students are learning how to manage their clients and develop a life coaching practice. They also learn essentials of business including basic accounting, marketing, value propositions, and customer relations.

Module VIII: Community Development  

This module is a weekend event for all current students and past graduates. Students will learn community support for working as a coach through facilitated interactions with other CAN members. The content of the weekend changes from year to year and graduates are always encouraged to attend subsequent weekends. 


Certification through the Centre for Applied Neuroscience is available to students who complete the course successfully, pass the oral assessment, complete all practicum requirements, and demonstrate an ethical practice according to the ICF guidelines. CAN Certified Coaches also must hold a complementary undergraduate degree to receive certification.

Note: Life coaching is not a regulated profession in Canada or the US. Therefore, 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. 

Certified CAN Coach Credentials

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 but have related experience may be considered for a training spot. If accepted, they would complete all of the same requirements as Certified CAN Coaches and pay the same fees but would earn the credentials of CAN Coach, rather than 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).

  • full attendance and engagement in the life coaching course

  • all class assignments and homework

  • oral assessment
  • completion of in-class practicum homework
  • completion of 15 post-course practicum hours
  • practice & business mentorship sessions
  • a university degree (minimum of a bachelor's degree)


ICF Certification

CAN is not affiliated with the International Coaching Federation for Certification although at times we do provide CE credits for their coaches. Some students may seek additional certification through them and may use our training to serve as their 60 hrs of coach-specific training requirement in their portfolio path toward ICF certification: International Coaching Federation.


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.  There are many places where graduates use their skills, including as managers, teachers, therapists, counsellors, doctors, parents, etc.


The training is offered in 3 different formats:

All courses consist of lectures, group work, homework assignments, self reflection, yoga, meditation, peer coaching, private coaching, and various other exercises.  Each course is intensive but is designed to be manageable for people who are also busy working, parenting, (or retired!) full-time. Classes are small with lots of one-on-one time with teachers. A sense of community is an important element of training with the Centre for Applied Neuroscience and no matter which format students choose, we work hard to ensure that sense is maintained for everyone!

The course fees vary for each format so please visit our course fees page for more details. 


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

Centre for Applied Neuroscience, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas Street East, 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON.

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).

Upcoming Toronto Course:

  • Jan 11 - 13 (Weekend 1)

  • Feb 8 - 10 (Weekend 2)

  • Mar 8 - 10 (Weekend 3)

  • Apr 12 - 14 (Weekend 4)

  • May 10 - 12 (Weekend 5)

  • Jun 7 - 9 (Weekend 6)

  • June - September (Practicum)

  • October 19 - 20 (Level 2 Weekend) - Group Facilitation & Social Neuroscience. Notes: 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 CAN Coaches.

There are also additional monthly professional development sessions hosted online (see schedule below).


Online Course

The Online courses start in the Fall (October) and Winter (February).

The fall course starts in October and runs through until May of the following year, with a 3-week break mid December till early January.

The winter course starts in February and through until July of that year.

Students are expected to attend weekly discussion sessions (7:00 - 8:30 pm ET), attend professional development sessions (once a month - schedule is listed below), work with peer-coaching partners (once or twice a month), complete a coaching practicum (~1-2 hrs/month). Online students are also expected to attend a CAN Coaches Community Weekend in Toronto in June or Halifax in September. 

Upcoming Online courses:

Fall 2018 - Starts Tuesday, October 23rd. This course is now CLOSED for applications.

Winter 2019 - Starts Wednesday, February 6th, 7pm ET. This course is currently taking applications.

Fall 2019 - TBA.

Mom working online.JPG

Costa Rica

We are currently planning for a 2-week retreat-style course in Costa Rica for May 2020. If you are interested in learning more, please see Course Format and Fees and do email us if you want to be placed on an alert email to stay up-to-date.

Upcoming Costa Rica Course:

May 2020.

Online Professional Development Schedule for all Class of 2019 Students

All students, regardless of format, are expected to attend one of the monthly online professional development (PD) sessions offered. The PD sessions are meant to support students’ professional growth as a life coach and prepare them for the practicum, which starts at the end of the course. Students can choose between the options below listed for each PD session, which are lead by CAN Teachers Jeana Conalas and Vanessa Vella:

  • PD1: January 17 (Vanessa) OR January 20 (Jeana)

  • PD2: February 17 (Jeana) OR February 21 (Vanessa)

  • PD3: March 21 (Vanessa) OR March 24 (Jeana)

  • PD4: April 25 (Vanessa) OR April 28 (Jeana)

  • PD5: May 23 (Vanessa) OR May 26 (Jeana)

  • PD6: June 20 (Vanessa) OR June 23 (Jeana)


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 CAN 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, providing space is available. 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


Toronto Weekend Course

The full course fees are $3700+HST (13%). There is no application fee but upon successfully completing the application process and being offered a spot in the course, a non-refundable reservation fee of $500 CDN is requested to secure a spot in the course. In the event of cancellation by the student, the $500 shall be forfeited as liquidated damages to CAN. If the student participates in the course, the $500 will be applied against the tuition fees. 

Payment Plans

Students may pay their fees as 6 equal payments following the initial reservation fee or as one single payment with their reservation fee. The payments will begin the month that the course begins. 


Other Costs

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

  • Those travelling for the course are responsible for all their own expenses (e.g., accommodations, meals, etc.)

  • Light refreshments are provided during the course but meals are the responsibility and expense of each student.


Online Course

The full course fees are $3400+HST (13%). There is no application fee but upon successfully completing the application process and being offered a spot in the course, a non-refundable reservation fee of $500 CDN is requested to secure a spot in the course. In the event of cancellation by the student, the $500 shall be forfeited as liquidated damages to CAN. If the student participates in the course, the $500 will be applied against the tuition fees. 

Payment Plans

Students may pay their fees as 6 equal payments following the initial reservation fee or as one single payment with their reservation fee. The payments will begin the month that the course begins. 


Other Costs

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


Costa Rica Retreat Course Fees

The full course fees for the retreat course starts at $5400+HST and includes: tuition, accommodations at Bodhi Tree Resort, and meals (see below for details). There is no application fee but upon successfully completing the application process and being offered a spot in the course, a non-refundable reservation fee of $500 CDN is requested to secure a spot in the course. In the event of cancellation by the student, the $500 shall be forfeited as liquidated damages to CAN. If the student participates in the course, the $500 will be applied against the tuition fees. 

Course Fees Breakdown

  • Triple Shared Room (Triple lodging with shared bath with one other suite, air conditioning, study desk, personal closet, in-room safe):

  • $3400 (tuition) + $2000 (accommodations/meals) = $5400 +HST

  • Single Room (Single Queen lodging, en suite bathroom, air conditioning, study desk, closet, in-room safe):

  • $3400 (tuition) + $3000 (accommodations/meals) = $6400+HST

Additional room options and prices are coming soon... 

Early Bird Discount

Students who apply before the following deadlines will be eligible for an early bird discount upon acceptance into the course. 

  • Early Bird $500: Apply by January 31st, 2019

  • Early Bird $300: Apply between February 1st - April 30th, 2019

Payment Plans

Students may pay their fees as 6 equal payments following the initial reservation fee or as one single payment with their reservation fee. The payment plan schedule is as follows:

September 20th, 2019

October 20th, 2019

November 20th, 2019

January 20th, 2019

Final Payment: February 20th, 2019

Other Costs

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

  • Travel expenses including airfare to and from Liberia Airport (LIR) and shuttle service between the Liberia Airport and Bodhi Tree Resort.

  • Wine is available with dinner at an extra cost to the student.

  • Adventures/day trip excursions outside of the resort.


Theory & Practice Readings (required)  

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

Practice Management Readings (required)

*Only one of the editions of Becoming a Professional Life Coach Edition is required. Prices vary so feel free to chose whichever is cheaper.

Other Readings (optional)

Group Facilitation Course (Level 2 Course)

This course are only available to those who have complete the general course. 

October 12 - 14, 2018 

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.