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Coach Training Programs

The Creativity Coaching Association's comprehensive certification program has been developed to answer the needs of a growing cadre of people desiring to learn the skills of creativity coaching.

Detailed Course Descriptions

Building the Coaching Relationship with Creative Clients

Taught by Rob Fortier


This class focuses on the coaching skills useful for working with artist clients and the particular accountability and relationship issues encountered. The elements and stages of creativity are paired with specific coaching skills whether your prior experience has been as an artist, coach, therapist, or none of the above. Exercises for practice between sessions can be adapted to your own coaching of individuals or groups, and in various formats (e-mail, telephone, video, live).


Session notes are uploaded into a personalized CCA Member's hub following each session and include reading and website resources. Participants do the exercises around their creative work as an artist or around creating a coaching practice. Interactive work is done with other class members.


How does this work online? Easier than you might think.

All class participants will receive their Zoom conference call login information. Once logged in, the coach guides the discussion. Each person simply says their name before they start talking. Generally, groups run between 5 and 10 people with the coach playing traffic director if participants all start talking at once. Before long, the normal pattern of people who are interested in the same things and excited about what they are doing takes over; laughter and sharing of setbacks and milestones weave through the material covered. E-mail is used to communicate with the coach and is encouraged among group members. A private class facebook group is also set up for students to share insights with each other or ask questions of the instructor or group. 


Course Description

The course consists of 8 sessions as follows:


Session 1. The Collaborative Relationship. Establishing trust and alliance is the first step to building a collaborative working relationship with clients. Coaching tools are introduced for deciding where coaching is to begin, distinguishing it from mentoring and therapy, and structuring the format of coaching sessions.


Session 2. Developing the Vision & Goals. Help your clients discover where they want to go. We will discuss when and how to help artists get specific about short-term goals. Several goal-setting models are presented and related to the coaching guideline of “don’t fix, don’t tell.” Best uses of open-ended and powerful questions are covered, as well as active listening skills for building confidence.


Session 3. Personality Types. This session presents different sensory styles (visual, auditory, etc.) and basic personality types (Myers-Briggs) as they affect an artist’s work. As coaches, you will learn your own styles, to heighten awareness of potential biases, and ways to adjust your styles to work with varied clients.


Session 4. Identifying and Maximizing Your Client’s Strengths. We look at using appreciative inquiry and reframing to help artists identify and build on their values and strengths, in both their general creativity and their specific medium. Resources from the field of positive psychology are considered as well as exceptions to this approach. Coaches’ styles of positive feedback are identified.


Session 5. Working with Resistance & Procrastination. Resistance is a common and normal part of the creative process but can lead to anxiety and paralysis. Learn how to recognize it in your client and help them move out of procrastination and into productivity. Adapting skills used by people with attention deficit disorder is discussed as well as when to refer clients on to others.


Session 6. Audiences and Critics, inner and outer. This session explores how artists can transform criticism and negative self-talk into resiliency and renewed motivation. We look at how rituals for both acceptance and rejection can smooth out artists’ reactions. How coaches can use challenges and “interruptions” to refocus clients is detailed. Coaches’ handling of confidentiality and boundaries is reviewed as a model for how clients set boundaries.


Session 7. Connections & Support. Three types of relationships (Heroes, Mirrors & Twins) are essential for the artist to continue to strive creatively. These types of connections help to provide support, strength and courage to continue to face challenges of the creative process and reduce isolation. We will also explore balancing the coaching client relationships by setting limits and boundaries.


Session 8. Renewing the Vision. The importance of evaluating progress and success during the Coaching/Client Relationship. This session focuses on supporting clients into the unknown and helping them launch. We will also explore helping artists access dreams, spiritual support, artists’ journals and other intuitive guidance as a form of self-coaching.




This class is taught by Rob Fortier, an internationally recognized writer and is the co-author of Pushing the Envelope: The Greeting Card Manufacturer’s Guide to Working with Sales Reps and Showtime! The Greeting Card and Gift Company’s Guide to Trade Show Success (Center Aisle Press).


As a Certified Creativity Coach and business coach, he’s all about helping his clients escape from the activities they think they’re supposed to do, and focus instead on what works for them and their unique goals.


Schedule: This class will take place for 8 weeks spread over a 9-week period.

Classes will be taught on Zoom at 12 pm EST


*Summer/Fall 2024 Dates: Coming Soon!

Class Fee: $700 (declared candidates) / $750 (others)

The above description of requirements for the Creativity Coaching Certification Program is subject to change as needed to accommodate expanded course offerings and schedule flexibility.

Detailed Building the Coaching Relationship with Creative Clients
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