Connections in Mind Coach Training

Supporting executive function skills development 1:1

Connections in Mind is committed to improving access to executive function coaching for children and young people from all backgrounds. We do this by providing world-class executive function coach training and accreditation.




Why Coaching?

Coaching uses powerful techniques to help people to reach their potential:

– Questioning
– Reflective Listening
– Empathy
– Paraphrasing
– Scaffolding

– Clear directions
– Genuine Specific Praise

Our approach gives professionals, working with people who face executive function challenges, the knowledge and skills to co-design and support the implementation of helpful new habits.

What are executive functions?

Executive functions are a family of important mental processes, housed in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Executive functions allow us to take time to think before acting; resist temptations; approach unanticipated challenges with flexibility, and stay focused.

Challenges with executive functions can impact every part of our lives and learning. Often mistaken for character flaws, such as laziness,  executive functions can impact our ability to regulate emotions, organise our belongings, plan and manage our time, prioritise what to work on first or collaborate with others.


Frequently Asked Questions


Executive function coaching is a client/student-led approach to behaviour change. It helps individuals to develop self-awareness and to form new habits, enhancing their lives and helping them become more successful at mastering the skills they need to flourish. Often the barrier to success for individuals struggling at school or the workplace has its roots in challenges with executive function skills. 

Most people have an array of executive function skills strengths and challenges. Identifying challenges can help in order to devise strategies to overcome these obstacles. Because of the malleable nature of the brain’s neural pathways, techniques to overcome executive function challenges can be learnt. 

Executive Function Coaching can be delivered as a bespoke intervention or integrated into an existing practice. 

– An overview of basic neuroscience and neuroplasticity

– What executive functions skills are and how to communicate their impact

– How the pre-frontal cortex operates

– How emotional processing relates to executive function skills

– Basic coaching and motivational interviewing skills

– Evaluating how ready a client is to make changes

– How to support clients to develop executive functions skill goals

– Supporting clients to develop new habits and strategies

– Supporting clients to maintain progress

– How to capture impact and support clients to evaluate their own progress

– The Connections in Mind Connect, Collaborate and Support model of coaching

Our training is based on the seminal book, ‘Coaching Students with Executive Function Deficits’ by Dr Peg Dawson and Dr Richard Guare and the authors of the book have helped us work on the content and accreditation. Based on our own professional expertise we have also integrated more of a focus on promoting and preserving student wellbeing and understanding of the UK education system. The course covers 22 core standards and skills needed to start practising as an executive function coach.

The training is aimed at professionals already working with children, young people, or adults. It is perfect for teachers, teaching assistants, learning support professionals SENCo’s, educators, psychologists, inclusion managers, support workers, mentors, and coaches. Bespoke training can also be arranged within your school, charity or organisation.

If you want to carry out this approach with children and young people you will need to provide evidence that you have a minimum of three years of work experience with children and young people and submit a copy of DBS and safeguarding training. 

It is important to note that this course is an additional skills training course and does not replace a life coaching certificate.

If you would like to progress on to the more advanced accreditation you will need to complete supervision with us, collect a portfolio of evidence, and complete further tasks.

Online sessions will consist of engaging discussions, group activities, triad practice sessions and opportunities to ask questions from our experienced trainers. We will cover neuroscience & neuroplasticity, EFs & behaviour, key concepts underpinning EF coaching, key coaching skills, the Connections in Mind Connect, Collaborate, Support model of coaching and session design.


Each week you will be provided with self-study videos and exercises to complete before the next session via our online platform. We have found that this hybrid model combining self-study and interactive online sessions is the most effective way of delivering the training online. Attendees can learn at their own pace and we come together for the practical elements of the training.

The training consists of:

– Pre-learning

– Videos

– Reading

– Presentations

– Small group conversation

– Group discussions and exercises

– Individual reflections and exercises

– Triad practice sessions

– Open book assessment

The course is run by facilitators who are all experienced Executive Function coaches and also have a background in teaching or therapeutic approaches.

“Executive Functions were a light bulb moment for me. Everything I have learn’t just makes sense.  I now  have the skills I need to really support my 1:1 students.“

Emma, Executive Function Coach Trainee, TA

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