“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter — often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter — in the eye.”                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                   — Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

life coaching

My approach to life coaching is client centered, action oriented, and focused on the present.  

thoughtful Asain young man

It is client centered because I start by listening to you, to what your issues are, to what you want to learn, to how you approach your relationships, your work, and most of all your inner life.

It is action oriented. We do not deal with far-off goals, too distant to grapple with. We deal with directions. Where is your soul telling you to go? How do you want to be different tomorrow?  

We figure out what you can do right now, this very minute, that will bring you a step closer to where you want to be. We constantly listen to what your inner voice—your soul—is telling you. We compare where you are going with your inner compass.

I am not interested in coaching your ego. Much “coaching” these days is about how to make yourself and others believe that you are hot stuff. You do not have to be hot stuff to be good. You do not have to be hot stuff to be competent. You do not have to be hot stuff to be great. All you have to be is yourself. If you are not yourself, you will always feel like a phony. Because you will be a phony. If you learn to listen to and follow your deepest voices, your most profound desires, your soul, you will become who you were intended to be. You will be whole.  

leadership coaching

If you are the head of an organization, or a department, or a team, whatever is happening in your life will impact not only you but the people you lead. You may never share the first detail of personal, private information with those whom you lead, but because you are affected by it, they will be too, though neither of you may ever be able to say just how.  

So the principle of leadership is to be conscious about what is happening to you, and to deal with it in ways that will lead you to greater integration, clearer direction, a deeper sense of your own truth, and a proper vision of your own role in your organization.  


Effective leaders know how to share their leadership throughout their organization. The result is that everyone, regardless of status or role, owns and celebrates what they do together. They share tasks, they listen to each other, they treat each other as they themselves are treated. Hence, leadership coaching focuses on the leader’s self-definition, and ways to act, to decide, and to relate in order to motivate and energize others.  

In leadership coaching, we deal with specific issues, taking into account where the leader’s soul is in relation to what needs to be done, whether it is hiring or laying people off, whether it is in giving a raise or firing someone, whether it is expanding a market or cutting back. Sometimes even more  soul work has to be done after a crisis than in leading through one.

The point of leadership coaching is to help leaders grow.  

somatic (body) coaching

Sometimes the body is the best tool for knowing the soul. 


Those who want to learn how to live less in their heads, to be more connected to their bodies, will find somatic coaching worth exploring.  

"I am more interested in the soul than in the body. But talking about the soul implies talking about its container, the body. While trying to understand the body, you may learn more about the soul."

— Jaume Plensa, Spanish sculptor, on his exhibit “Together,” 9 May - 22 November 2015, Curated by Clare Lilley, in the Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

What exactly is somatic coaching?  

Essentially it is learning how to be attuned to what is going on within us physically. Tension, for example, might express itself in tight shoulders, but also in flexed calves or feet. It can show up in our guts. Breathing can be shallow. Or when under stress, the body will try to relieve stress by involuntarily sighing.  

Methods we can learn by which to pay attention to the body and to learn what it is saying include balancing, breathwork, movement, postures, stretching, and exercises to track reactive movements (whether we turn and shrink from attack, or face and resist it, for example). Most of these methods are the tools of nearly all body-centered therapies, martial arts, and physical exercise. The difference between them and the somatic coaching that I do is that in my practice I coach you in using these various tools as ways to get in touch with your soul, your inner life. So somatic or body coaching is not essentially massage, chiropractic medicine, physical exercise or bodily control as much as it is about being in tune with your body. Your body is always expressing the dynamics and conditions of your interior life, your soul. It is the soul’s warehouse. It is always storing your truth.

specialized coaching

Read more about particular coaching for business leaders, non-profit executives, and clergy here.

     © Francis Gasque Dunn, DMin. • 1328 Park Road, NW, #32A • Washington, DC 20010 • 202.422.2329