Coaching with

Rachael Gilligan


Hi. I’m Rachael,

I help women reclaim their spark, so they can live a life they love.

I help women ditch the overwhelm and become who they want to be.

I listen a lot, ask hard questions, dig around in scary stuff, propose solutions, and lead you gently and kindly through the process of self-discovery.

You will change the way you think, lose some bad habits, gain some empowering behaviours and start enjoying life more.

The scary space of being uncomfortable

The first time we do things can be terrifying. New is hard. It feels really uncomfortable.   Being new at something makes you feel vulnerable. It is scary. You fear that other people might be judging you. You are going to look foolish, clumsy, like you are trying too hard, possibly incompetent. out of your …

Fun times

I often ask my clients “what do you do for fun?”. The response is sometimes a blank stare, a mumble about watching their kids play sport, or sometimes even tears. Mothers don’t make fun a priority in their lives. Many mothers put their leisure last, and reach for their to-do lists instead. And their lives …

Making memories

When you go to work and go home, go to work and go home, whole years (even decades) feel like they disappear into memory sinkholes. Time feels like it is speeding by. Family routines, work routines, even social routines can make life feel flat and blurred. Nothing stands out. When someone you haven’t seen for …

About me

Hi my name is Rachael, I am a life coach, a best friend, a wife and busy mum to two kids.

I am a good life coach. NOT because I have my life sorted. Not because the path I have taken through life has been seamless and simple. Not because I have achieved dazzling goals. But because I have learned a lot, because I have lived my own crises and down patches, and have worked my way through them, to be deeply contented in my life.

I have done a lot of coaching-by-accident. I have had women referred to me with ‘You need to talk to Rachael’. These strangers would ring me, and we would chat for a while and I would try to help them through what was on their mind. Looking back, I did a pretty poor job of it, I was relying purely on instinct and muddled my way through trying to make people feel better.

So then I went and studied to be a coach under the brilliant Martha Beck and learned the formal techniques to compliment my instincts.

Coaching With Me


A 3-month programme for the woman who is doing too much. Are you feeling overwhelmed, always rushing, but not getting what you need? Are you tired of living by your to-do list, and feeling directionless and uninspired?

Regular’s Package

For existing clients who want to follow a regular schedule, we meet and talk fortnightly or monthly. The only thing that is set is the timing, the content will follow what is happening in your life.

Single Appointments

If you have a specific issue you want to discuss as a single appointment. Or for a returning client who wants a follow-up session. Or if you want to ‘test the waters’ and see if coaching is for you, we can book a one-off session.


What is life coaching?

Coaching is a process that creates mental space. Space to take stock, to gain perspective, to ask questions, to answer them, and to rethink how you are living your life.

Often your life doesn’t need radical change. Sometimes it just needs a fresh perspective, a gentle nudge in the right direction, a subtle rethinking of sticky issues, and off you go – fresh and ready to take on the world. On other occasions it needs a fundamental shift in how you think about things,  in your behaviour, and your approach to life.

Life is a series of phases, and every so often our perspective needs a shake-up. Just because we have always done something one way, doesn’t mean that is the best way to do it now.

Coaching helps you update your toolbox of life skills as you move through different phases of life.


Who needs coaching? I am doing fine…

‘I’m fine’ is usually a red flag that sends my antennae up and sparks great interest.

It is the refrain of harried parents everywhere. And it’s true, you are doing fine. You have a job, you are well-ish, the family seems OK and everything is ticking along. But why are things not good? Or great? What is missing? Why are you OK with letting this wonderful, precious gift of life pass by ‘just fine’?

Why not make life great? When you get down to it, living well is simply about better knowledge, some life skills and good behaviour patterns. And we can all learn better skills. Making positive, constructive change, you can feel more satisfied, and less stuck in a rut of routine and mundane clutter.


What happens in a coaching session?

The coaching process is fluid, and changes for each client. Typically, however, we will talk together for around an hour. I will ask questions that provoke deep thought. We will identify problems, or limiting beliefs, and work through them to a resolution.

A coaching session can be part of a structured multi-session programme that is working towards a defined goal (for example managing unwanted change that has been forced upon you). Or it can be a one-off, seeking clarity on one specific issue.


What sort of people do you coach?

My clients tend to be


High functioning, hardworking, achieving and juggling

A bit dissatisfied, but not sure why

Going through some sort of change (new roles, new expectations, new identity, new things going on that have thrown them)


What is the difference between coaching and therapy?

Therapy is a past-focused discipline, in which the therapists identify the reasons why the client is feeling and behaving the way they are

In life coaching, we do not dwell on the reasons why we are as we are. Instead, we focus on the future and what comes next.

Coaching works with healthy clients who want to do better. It is akin to a personal trainer, but for your mind. You are not unwell, there is nothing major that is wrong, but you are not in great shape either. A coach will work with you to enhance the quality of your life.


What outcomes can I expect from coaching?

Outcomes depend on what topics we focus on. Depending on your commitment, you could expect some of the following outcomes:

You could get more done. Or less, if that’s what is needed.

You could have a greater self-awareness, and feel more confident and comfortable in who you are.

You could have clarity around your goals, your purpose, your priorities, your boundaries.

You could learn what is holding you back, and ways to move past your limiting beliefs.

Things may change for you: your mindset, your language, the choices you make, your habits, routines or behaviours.

You could feel like you are moving towards something (an exciting goal), rather than just treading water.

You could tap into your instincts, and reduce your dependence on other people’s advice and opinions.

As you change your perspective you may move toward better self-trust and compassion. As your self-reliance improves, your relationships tend to improve too.

You would spend less time in your head, and more time doing meaningful things that fill you up.

You would take care of yourself better, and stop waiting for someone else to do so.

And yes, sometimes you might end up with to-do lists and detailed action plans after our sessions. But most of our work would be around changing your mindset so that your days naturally fill with activities that move you forward toward something better and more fulfilling.


But can’t I work that out for myself? Or ask my friends?

A coach brings new eyes and ears to your situation and provides a safe non-judgemental space for you. Your coach has no agenda. Everyone in your peer group, your spouse, employer, friends and family have an agenda for you (often well-intentioned) but they always look at your life through their own filter, and how you affect them.

And it is so hard to work on yourself. Things are that blindingly obvious to a coach about you, may be hard for you to accept, let alone see for yourself. That’s why all good coaches, myself included, talk to a coach regularly.


Is there anything you don’t coach about?

Coaches do not treat clinical disorders such as anxiety, depression, addiction and phobias. If things like this come up in our sessions, I am happy to recommend you to a licenced professional and put our coaching on hold until appropriate.


How long does it take?

Introductory sessions are usually 90 minutes.

Then you would follow through with 60-minute sessions, ideally spaced around 2 weeks apart. Many clients then settle into a ‘check-in’ pattern with regular follow-ups (some around once a month, or every few months).

Some clients want to move quickly, focus deeply and bring about rapid change. Others want to think things through and take more measured gradual changes. Both work- it’s up to what suits your personality. So it can last anywhere from 3 months to an ongoing relationship.

The coaching relationship can continue as long as it’s bringing benefit to you. My goal is to teach you techniques where you can help yourself and to do myself out of a job.


Where do you coach?

Many clients like face to face coaching, so we meet in Mission Bay, Auckland.

Coaching by Skype or phone is also extremely effective (and saves considerable commute time). Many clients move to phone coaching after a few face to face sessions. Once you know how the process works, it is easy to work remotely.

Clients outside Auckland can start with phone sessions.


Is it confidential?

Yes, completely. I will not share your information with anybody, nor the fact that you are my client.


Do I have to commit to coaching long term?

No, I am happy to do one-off sessions if that works best for you.



Rachael's warm and insightful coaching style enabled me to trust in and engage openly with her from the beginning, which helped us make good progress.  Somewhere along the path of becoming a wife and mother I lost sight of my purpose in life.  I was operating in survival mode, feeling overwhelmed and constantly rushed as I reacted to the needs of everyone around me.  Rachael gave me specific tangible tools and exercises which empowered me to clarify and redefine my own needs - essentially she taught me how to put my own oxygen mask on first and set boundaries.   I would highly recommend Rachael to anyone considering life coaching - it's worth it!!"  
Julia, Auckland
A certain realisation crept up on me that life was becoming increasingly unworkable. My life wasn’t broken, but my kids were growing up, work was becoming increasingly important to me, I felt like I was changing, but I was always frustrated. Rachael enabled me to look at things from a different angle, and find a better way. The work we did together cross all my domains; my sense of self, work, home and family. It was so very subtle and life changing. My journey now continues and I am stronger, happier and gentler.  
Kate, Auckland
The fresh thinking was exactly what I needed. I was just feeling over everything and knew I could be happier than I was. Thanks, Rachael! I have sorted my head out, and it’s amazing how the rest of my life has magically fallen into place as a result!
Adele, Wellington
Rachael is born to coach. Smart, incisive and passionate about helping busy mothers balance their lives with energy and authenticity, she is making a real difference in the world in the way she is absolutely meant to do.
Louise Thompson
I have a busy, good life with a challenging job, but I often felt something was missing. I didn’t know how to get excited about life again. Rachael has given me a fresh perspective and helped me see where I have been holding myself back. Lots of little things have changed in my life, and I am so much happier. Doing coaching is kind of like a mental clean-up, you feel so good afterwards.
Dianne, Auckland.
So I went to Rachael, only knowing that I wanted to feel differently. From the first meeting, I was made to feel safe and trusted.  I was petrified that Rachael would tell me I had to do something I didn't want to do. That I would have to turn my life upside down before harmony ensued but that's just not the way it works.  I cannot recommend Rachael highly enough! P.S Do the homework. It's hard to fit in but it makes all the difference to the sessions!
Jess, Auckland