The Science of Creating Client Breakthroughs

How to coach your clients to take more consistent action,

build new habits, and attain their goals – with the power of


The next cohort of the Certificate Program in Applied Neuroscience is scheduled to start in September 2024. To be the first to learn when enrolment opens, please join the waitlist here.

Why don’t clients do the things they know they should do?

That’s the million-dollar question for coaches, isn’t it?

In a lot of ways, coaches are fighting human nature. People are naturally resistant to change, even when they know what they should be doing.

But imagine how much more impactful (and satisfying!) your coaching engagements would be if there were a way to work with your clients’ brains instead of against them.

The reality is that there is a faster way to get your clients unstuck and moving in the right direction:


Coaches like April Scott are already integrating neuroscience principles into their practices… and they’re seeing dramatic changes in their clients.

  • April was able to help a short-tempered executive regulate his emotional reactions. He quickly learned to keep his cool, listen more carefully, and respond more thoughtfully –  at work and with his young son.
  • April helped a hyper-rational engineer who consistently upset colleagues by insisting their “emotional” decision-making was wrong. He learned how to adapt his communications style and create an environment of safety and respect.

Changes like these aren’t one-offs. They’re the result of applying neuroscience insights consistently throughout the coaching process.

April helps her clients understand why their brain works the way it does – so they can make the changes they need to make.

“When they learn why they don’t do the things they know they should [...] they feel more capable. We move to goal achievement more quickly.”

April now has a set of neuroscience-based tools and practices that help her clients move toward their goals with more intention and fewer setbacks.

That’s obviously great for her clients – they’re making the changes they desire in record time.

But coaching with neuroscience has also had a major impact on April's business.

Increase revenue by 25K ... with neuroscience?

When April added neuroscience into her coaching, she had recently been hired to coach three employees in a multinational company. So she applied a lot of what she was learning about neuroscience during those coaching sessions.

Here’s what she had to say about the experience:

They loved it. I mean, they loved it so much. [...] I did three people initially, and they're giving me 15 more people. And I honestly do believe that my introducing brain science concepts, helping the client to understand why they act the way they do, and how they can counteract those forces, did make a difference in the success of that program and did lead to the add-on program.

And that add-on program April mentioned? It was a contract worth $27,000.

That’s the power of neuroscience in coaching. It’s a game-changer for your clients, your practice, and your business.

Your must-have coaching competency for 2024

In the last decade, coaching has gone mainstream. 

Not so long ago, coaching was a niche industry. Few people understood how a good coach could help them – and there weren’t all that many coaches available.

Today, there are coaches who can help with any problem or goal under the sun – from sleep-training an infant to climbing the corporate ladder.

That’s great news for coaches – but it also comes with higher stakes and more responsibility.

The more widespread coaching becomes, the higher the expectations for outstanding results. And clients – especially corporate clients – are now demanding evidence-based coaching methods that are proven to work.

That makes neuroscience a perfect fit for this moment.

Research in neuroscience is advancing at lightning speed. With every day that passes, scientists learn more about how our brains work.

This helps us understand why people act the way they do – and it provides research-backed insights for how to make effective, permanent changes to thought patterns, behaviours, and even emotional reactions.

That’s a pretty powerful tool for coaches.

And in the coming years, the coaches who build thriving, profitable practices will be those who master the art of coaching with neuroscience.

How to unlock more transformation and success for your clients

My name is Dr. Irena O’Brien, and I’m a PhD-level cognitive neuroscientist.

When I started studying neuroscience, I felt like I’d been handed the keys to the universe.

Originally, I was an accountant. And in that career, I felt like I was always trying to fit things into someone else’s boxes.

But with neuroscience, the world expanded. I saw so much possibility and potential in everything I was learning.

And one of the most exciting things about brain science?

It’s so practical. Everything scientists are discovering can be applied to our lives right now, to make us better, healthier, happier people.

That’s why I’m so passionate about working with coaches.

Coaches like you are already doing the practical, in-the-trenches work of helping people make REAL changes in their lives.

And when you add neuroscience insights to the coaching skills you already possess – well, I think you’ll be blown away by how quickly you can help your clients achieve meaningful results.

Why "do it yourself" neuroscience training isn't enough 

But here’s the problem….

You can’t create those supercharged results by duct-taping together random techniques or grafting bits of neuroscience onto your current coaching practice.

And you definitely can’t do it if you’re relying on unproven, inaccurate, or outdated information about how humans think, learn, grow, and change.

Unfortunately, most of what you can find from books, articles, and internet searches falls into one of those categories.

And even if you happen to have the scientific background to review the original studies and evaluate their quality…

…who has an extra 5, 10, or 15 hours a week to spend poring over academic journals??

You want to be coaching, not conducting a scientific literature review!

Who you learn from matters

That’s where I come in.

Poring over academic journals is a big part of my job – and I really kind of love it. :)

But I also want coaches like YOU to put these research findings to good use.

That means making sure neuroscience feels practical and applicable for your coaching practice. And it means making sure that what you’re learning is supported by robust research.

This can’t happen if you’re drowning in a sea of contradictory articles and videos, with no way to know which ones you can trust or how to apply them to real-life coaching situations.

You’re much better off learning from a credentialed neuroscientist, so you can trust the brain science training you're getting.

That’s why I created my own program – built from the ground up to uncomplicate neuroscience for coaches and other helping professionals. 


The Certificate Program in Applied Neuroscience

The Certificate Program is a 14-module evidence-based training that gives you the background, insights, and knowledge you need to successfully apply neuroscience principles to your own coaching practice.

So you can get better results for your clients – and stand out as an exceptionally good coach! 

With what you learn in the program, you can expect to:

  • Rapidly establish trust and rapport, so your clients open up faster and are more receptive to your interventions
  • Identify and resolve root issues more quickly by avoiding rabbit holes and keeping the conversation on track
  • Learn a persuasive new language to help clients understand own brains, release shame, let go of resistance, and take action on their goals
  • Acquire powerful new tools that help you intervene in the thoughts, emotions, and habits your clients present with
  • Ask more powerful questions, so you can more quickly uncover and resolve your clients’ blocks
  • Feel more confident in your coaching skills, knowing your practice is grounded in science and human neurobiology
  • Create bigger impacts in your clients’ lives by guiding them to make faster, longer-lasting changes to their behaviours, habits, and thought patterns

Neuroscience helps skilled coaches produce even better results for their clients – and often in much less time.

Those enhanced skills put you on a direct path to bigger engagements, higher fees, more referrals, and more robust, satisfying coaching business.

Level up your coaching and skills and revolutionize your coaching business

Remember April Scott, the coach I mentioned earlier?

April enrolled in the Certificate Program specifically to hone her neuroscience skills. She applied what she learned in the Certificate Program to a group of three – and turned her success with that group into a 15-person, $27,000 add-on coaching engagement.

Or take Jim Milner, a Certificate Program student who enhanced his ability to generate significant client outcomes in just one session.

The result? After a powerful introductory session, participants almost always commit to an ongoing coaching engagement. As Jim told me:

I used to go into a coaching session wondering if the person was going to actually hire me. Now I go into first-time coaching sessions wondering if I have time to work with them.

As April and Jim’s successes illustrate, the benefits of coaching with neuroscience extend beyond your clients’ successes.

Bringing neuroscience competency to your practice transforms how you coach… and that, in turn, transforms your business itself.

I feel I am a much more capable executive coach for having taken the Certificate Program, and best of all, my clients have really appreciated what I have been able to share. 

- Linda (Lynn) Saboe, Chair, BCC Community Practice

The knowledge I have accumulated this past year has helped me to train, connect and lead at higher levels of human ability. The more I know how the brain operates, the more I can guide my clients in all life areas to reach their full potential within their own personal and professional lives.

- Eva Jenkins, Executive Coach,

Potentially life changing for some clients. Valuable information provided within a blended and well-supported program. For coaches, trainers and HR professionals seeking to add value to their clients and their own understanding of what and how the brain's wiring can be a help or a hindrance to personal growth and change.

- Wendy Taylor, Taylored Consulting, Australia

Thanks to her insights, I’ve become a better coach who can explain more about the functions that neuroscientists have discovered about the brain.

- Germaine Rediger, Executive Coach,

Practical brain science that will transform your coaching practice

During 14-module, in-depth Certificate Program, you’ll also discover:

  • The sneaky way that clients train themselves for failure – and how to counteract it by working with the brain’s natural tendencies
  • The secret to skyrocketing your productivity, so work feels fun and effortless
  • An easy technique for activating instant motivation, so your clients don’t get sidetracked from their goals
  • The #1 source of employee motivation (warning - this is consistently overlooked by managers and leaders!)
  • The surprising secret to building rock-solid willpower (and it’s got nothing to do with resisting temptation)
  • The “body budget” system that fuels emotional wellbeing, so your clients can regulate their emotions and react appropriately to setbacks and hard times
  • How to maximize life-long learning and protect against cognitive decline, so you and your clients can grow and evolve at any age
  • How your brain hijacks rational thinking and decision-making… and 3 ways to prevent it from happening
  • The science of successful habit formation, so your clients can create new routines and behaviors they can stick to
  • 3 ways to spark sudden insights and big bursts of creativity, so your clients can solve bigger problems and experience more “aha” moments in their personal and professional lives
  • The right way and the wrong way to do visualization – and why doing it the wrong way saps energy and depletes motivation

Neuroscience insights you can apply directly to your coaching practice

The Certificate Program in Applied Neuroscience offers a robust learning experience that blends academic learning with practical application.

The Core Curriculum

The core Certificate Program curriculum consists of 14 pre-recorded learning modules introducing you to essential neuroscience concepts, insights, and principles.

These modules are each about one hour long. They’re packed with useful facts and ideas… but they are also highly accessible and easy to understand.  Plus each video includes transcripts and summary notes, for easy reference and review.

You don’t need a science background or any prerequisite knowledge for these classes. Each one distills a complex neuroscience topic to its most essential elements, so you can extract the key learnings, develop your own actions, and start applying what you learn right away.

Live Q & A Calls

We will meet bi-weekly throughout the program for live discussion and Q&A session. You’ll have a chance to share ideas, swap feedback, and learn from some of the most talented coaches in the business – and along the way, you’ll develop your own way of translating neuroscience research to your own coaching practice.

This co-learning community is one of the most powerful aspects of the Certificate Program – and one that receives a LOT of praise from participants.

Online Learning Community

Between live calls, you can continue the conversation in our private Facebook group. This group is always active and engaged and generous. You will get lots of insight and value from your fellow coaches… and I am active in the group and available to answer questions as they arise.

If you are seeking to understand the scientific reasons driving behaviours, and how to help your clients understand and manage their own, this is the course you want to take. Her program is well presented, thoroughly documented and enhanced by Q&A calls which all go for a deep dive on topics requiring more discussions. As a bonus, you will join a community of practicing coaches. I totally recommend it.

– Gisèle Aubin, President, ICF Quebec

I was just delighted with the course! [...]  The international class fellowship made for a rich experience.  I am very pleased with the course content and highly recommend it to executive coaches, organizational psychologists, and others wanting to gain a better understanding of how to engage others in a way that helps bring out the best in them.

– Deb Mohesky, CEO/Founder, HealthStar Partners

This is an incredible value for the investment. The work is beneficial regardless of current levels of expertise, from the novice to experienced. My cohort was diverse, including therapists, coaches, consultants, specialized practitioners, students and more. The professional collaboration and tool sharing experienced during cohort calls is invigorating and interesting. I find myself watching recordings to reinforce ideas I may have missed, a first for me. The benefit to me and my clients is significant. Thank you!

– Donna Schumell, CDO, The Disruptive Element

Dr Irena O'Brien has a gift for making the complexities of Neuroscience both interesting and practical! On the weekly calls she has created an environment that encourages us to ask clarifying questions and discuss articles she posts in the closed group. If you've wanted to understand the mysteries of Neuroscience, this is a great opportunity!

– Jean LaCour, PhD, President & CEO, NET Training Institute

A brain science curriculum designed just for coaches

Over 14 modules, you’ll develop a thorough understanding of how the human brain works and what the latest neuroscience research tells us about facilitating lifelong learning and growth.

The program is organized around a set of topics that enhance your coaching skills and enable you to get faster results for every client.

Together, we will explore the following subjects:

Module 1: Meet Your Brain

Discover how neurons speak to each other, how the brain is divided, and how the nervous system is organized. This is the foundational knowledge you’ll need before you can begin incorporating neuroscience principles into your coaching practice.

Module 2: Neuroplasticity

Behavioural change is brain change. Discover what it takes to change the structure and function of our brains, how to make change more permanent, how stress affects neuroplasticity, whether learnings are transferable to other skills, how our genes influence learning, and more.

Module 3: Focus and Decision-Making

Help your clients focus on what’s important and make better decisions. In this module, you'll learn how the brain chooses where we place our focus, discover the real truth about multitasking, and find out how decision-making, thinking, and emotion are related.

Module 4: Willpower and Motivation

How can you help clients get on track and stay there… even when willpower and motivation fade? That’s what you’ll learn in this module. Discover how to structure goals to increase the odds of success, how dopamine affects motivation, how to avoid training ourselves for failure, how visualization can lead to worse performance, how to overcome procrastination, how to ensure a constant supply of willpower, and much more.

Module 5: Make Progress Everyday

Tap into a coaching superpower by discovering neuroscience secrets to help your clients build strong habits – around their health, their relationships, or their business – that will serve them year round. You'll learn about what it takes to create lasting habits and what gets in the way.

Module 6: Creativity and Problem Solving

Empower your clients by helping them access more insight. Insight appears as a sudden solution to a long-vexing problem, a sudden recognition of a new idea, or a sudden understanding of a complex situation. The best part? Insight is available to everyone. Discover the five stages of insight – and how to engineer conditions so insight can appear.

Module 7: The Science of Flow

Help your clients access flow – the ultimate cheat code for productivity and creativity. Discover the key elements of flow, the conditions for creating flow, what happens if we take flow too far, and how we can bring more flow into our lives.

Module 8: The New Neuroscience of Emotion

Teach your clients how to reduce emotional reactivity and regulate their emotional state with the new theory of constructed emotion. Learn how the brain constructs emotion from incoming sensations and past experience, and find out what happens when it’s wrong. Plus, discover the “body budget” system that fuels your clients’ self-regulation, motivation, and ability to take action.

Module 9: The New Neuroscience of Stress

Discover how your clients can use stress to their advantage.  You'll learn how the brain responds to different kinds of stress, how beliefs impact the stress response, and little-known ways to relieve stress. Plus, you’ll learn how cardiac coherence can propel your clients into a more positive emotional state and even prolong their lives.

Module 10: The New Neuroscience of Resilience

Resilience is an essential success skill – and in this module, you’ll learn how to help your clients develop more of it. We’ll cover the behaviours, thoughts and actions that can help anyone recover from setbacks and become more resilient.

Module 11: The Neuroscience of Relationships

Lead your clients to deeper, more satisfying, more productive relationships. Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. In this module, we’ll explore how our neurobiology affects how we relate to others

Module 12: The Gut-Brain Connection

In this eye-opening module, you’ll discover how the gut-brain connection influences your clients’ cognitive function.  You'll learn how the gut communicates with the brain; the long-term effect of childhood trauma on the gut microbiome, behaviour, and the brain; the benefits of a healthy diet for depression, cognitive functioning, and brain structure; and the components of a healthy diet.

Module 13: Exercise and Brain Health

Exercise is a simple way for your clients to improve cognitive functioning, psychological well-being, and protect against cognitive decline. In this module, you'll learn how exercise affects children's attention and executive control. You'll discover how exercise influences healthy aging, plus its impact on cognitive functioning and psychological health.

Module 14: Sleep and Brain Health

Encouraging good sleep is another simple way to help your clients get the most from their coaching engagement. In this module, you’ll learn why getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect our mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. You'll discover why sleep is important for learning and memory, alertness, sustained attention and cognitive flexibility. And we’ll explore the dangers of insufficient sleep, including why you can’t really “catch up” on missed sleep.

I didn’t expect to find so many relevant topics and tools in one course. The course is presented in an easy to understand format for any level. [...] I loved this course and learned so many things that I am able to use with my coaching clients.

– Debbie Collard, Executive & Leadership Development Coach

Dr. Irena O'Brien has created one of the most efficient and effective neuroscience education programs in North America. I learned more about neuroscience in 16 weeks than I'd learned in 16 years--and I'm even a behavioral scientist!

– Russ Riendeau, PhD, Mayo Clinic Certified Wellness Coach

As a coach, I have gained information that I can offer to every single one of my clients. Dr. O'Brien has precisely selected topics highly relevant to coaching. In many ways, the program is an instruction manual for how to use our brain-body for optimal living. [...] The format for the program is brilliantly geared for working adult learners. Highly recommended.

– Linda Gooding, Leadership Coach

The information is useful in understanding how the brain works and how to help clients understand complex information in a simplified way. The information on motivation and creating habits, among other insights, is highly useful for coaching clients.

– Lisa Kneller, Reinvention Life Coach

Irena's material is current and cutting edge. [..] What I have learned has been immediately applicable to my coaching and motivated me to go deeper in certain areas. At some point, all coaches should plan to find a time to take this course, you just don't get this stuff on Youtube.

– Bruce Hostetter, ADHD certified life coach

I received a host of concepts and methodologies that I've used to assist myself as well as my clients in making lasting change. The Certificate Program [...]  is rich with up-to-date research on neuroscience and neuropsychology with tools to assist our clients in transforming from the inside out. It gave me new scientific language for some of the work that I do that in the past was thought of as woowoo. I highly recommend this program.

– Kamin Samuel, Rapid Transformation Business Coach

Earn 24 CCE units when you complete the Certificate Program

The Certificate Program is fully accredited by the International Coaching Federation. 

When you complete the program and a final assessment, you’ll be awarded 24 CCE (Continuing Coach Education) units. That includes 16 Core Competency  and 9 Resource Development units.

So you’ll keep your coaching certificate up to date, while you also:

  • Learn powerful neuroscience strategies that produce bigger, better, faster results
  • Develop more confidence in your coaching practice
  • Discover new tools to intervene in and redirect your clients’ thoughts and behaviors
  • Create bigger impacts in your clients’ lives

Not bad, eh?

The next cohort of the Certificate Program in Applied Neuroscience is scheduled to start in May 2024. To be the first to learn when enrolment opens, please join the waitlist here.

Check out with confidence

All payments are processed securely via Stripe

If you're not satisfied with the program after viewing Modules 1, 2, and 3, please email us before Module 4 is released for a complete refund.

Need help ordering or have questions?

Please contact me at

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have a science background. Will this course be too advanced for me?

Definitely not! One of my special skills is breaking scientific concepts down to the basics. 

This course is designed just for coaches – so we’ll cover only the most relevant information that you need to know. 

Plus, we’ll explore the real world takeaways from the latest neuroscience, so you can apply what you learn to your own practice. 

I see so many conflicting, over-hyped write-ups of “ground-breaking” discoveries. Will this course help me figure out what to trust?

YES! You’ll learn how to evaluate the quality of scientific studies. You’ll learn when to trust the research and apply it to your practice – and when there’s not enough evidence to warrant a change. 

This is one of the great benefits of this program. Past participants report feeling much more confident in evaluating scientific evidence and making recommendations based on their knowledge.

How will I apply what I learn to my coaching practice?

The program is set up to help you apply what you learn in two ways: 

  1. 1
    Between the course content and our Q&A sessions, you’ll easily develop a list of actionable ideas for applying what you’ve learned.
  2. 2
    You’ll also be part of a robust community of experienced coaches who are working to apply these learnings. This co-learning community is one of the most powerful aspects of the Certificate Program – and one that receives a LOT of praise from participants.

How many CCE (Continuing Coach Education) units will I get?

The Certificate Program in Neuroscience is worth 24 points (15 Core Competencies and 9 Resource Development).

What if I’m not a coach or don’t need CCE credit? Can I still take the course?

Certainly!  You’re invited to participate in the full Certificate Program, which includes community access and bi-weekly Q&A calls. But you may also wish to consider the self-paced course, which is limited to the instructional videos and supplemental course material.

What if I want more support?

With the Certificate+ Program, you’ll get everything included in the regular Certificate Program, plus 2 1x1 calls with me.

What if I join but decide the program isn’t for me?

You can participate in Modules 1, 2 and 3 of the program absolutely risk-free. If you’re not fully satisfied with the program at that point, just contact me before module 4 is released, and I’ll refund every penny you paid.

The modules were very easy to apply to my coaching. [...]  I have been able to incorporate my deeper understanding of neuroscience into my coaching practice resulting in a more informed and rich experience for my coachees.

– Matt Kersey, President, Transition States Coaching & Training

The Neuroscience School greatly assists in translating reputable research into how it can be applied in coaching, training, mentoring. This saves me time; there’s so much neuroscience research that is not necessarily relevant. You do the scouting work and we benefit!

– Dirk Nieuwoudt, Associate Coach, Metaco

If you want to deepen your knowledge by relying on a scientific approach which will help you support your clients in their endeavours: I recommend it.

– KN, Organizational Psychologist and Coach, Toronto, Canada

The course offers practical strategies designed to help move our coachees forward in such areas as changing behaviours and habits, improving focus and leadership skills. Dr. O'Brien has been able to boil down complex and cutting edge neuroscience concepts and research into a fascinating series of modules from neuroplasticity to motivation and resilience to name a few. A+ !

– Karen Lukanovich, MBA/PCC, Olympian

There are many tools that I have been already implementing with the people I work with in my practice. The material is very interesting and well presented making it very easy to follow it and learn. Everything is well explained with calm and a flow that helps you as a student.

– Guillermina Fernandez Pezzano, PCC, Coach/Psycho Bio Therapist, Miami, FL

I love the course. You explain very well and closely how to interpret scientific research and what conclusions can be drawn.

– Lino Pazó Pampillón, xherpa Director

Put your coaching practice on a path to more

impact, more clients, and more success

Become the coach you're meant to be

As a coach, your clients trust you to guide them through their most difficult, most significant, and most intimate challenges.

You owe them your absolute best.

And I truly believe that you can’t be your best self as a coach unless you know and understand the science of making long-term changes in our mindsets, behaviours, and emotional responses.

The Certificate Program in Applied Neuroscience gives you the insight and tools you need to change your clients’ lives.

I hope you’ll join me inside.

Dr. Irena O'Brien


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