Andrea M. Winn, Founder and Heroic Leadership Coach
Andrea M. Winn, Founder and Heroic Leadership Coach

The presence, wisdom and skill I bring to Heroic Leadership Coaching come from a unique combination of over 40 years of training and experience, including:

  • A Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology (OISE, University of Toronto)
  • A Masters of Computer Science (DalTech/Dalhousie University)
  • A 6-month Mediation Certification Program (York University)
  • Three years of business training (Ontario Self-Employment Business Program, Your Planning Partners, the Abundance Project)
  • Four levels of Soul Art Guide Certification Training (Bodymapping, Chakras, Spirit Guides, and Shaman)
  • A five year apprenticeship with a Mi’kmaq Shaman
  • 25 years informal practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu
  • Bio-Energetic Emotional Access Method (BEAM) practitioner
  • A lifetime of mindfulness meditation, beginning with growing up in a Tibetan Buddhist community.


My story

So my story begins in the year 2001. I was working at IBM’s Toronto Software Development Lab. On the outside, things were going well. I had a dynamic first year, and I was even nominated Rookie of the Year. But on the inside… it was a different story.

On November 21st, 2001 that inner reality broke through. I returned home from a long day at work, put my dinner on to cook and popped in a video, The Horse Whisperer, starring Robert Redford.

Within a few minutes, things went tragically wrong in the movie. A girl riding her horse was hit by a semi truck. The girl was rushed to hospital with serious injuries. The next day a group went out searching in the woods for her horse. They eventually found him standing in a stream flowing under a bridge. He was badly injured, bleeding into the stream and deeply traumatized – to the point that they thought he should be put down.

Seeing this, hit me like a tidal wave. I stood up, walked over to the TV, clicked it off. I walked into the kitchen, turned off the oven and the stove. Then walked into my bedroom and collapsed on my bed.

That image of the horse was how I felt on the inside. I had been throwing my heart and soul into working for IBM, and somehow in the corporate environment my true capabilities were not able to develop. Not to mention, I was not having much fun working myself into the ground!

This was my turning point when I shifted out of the traditional work world. My doctor took me off work and I  propelled into a profound healing journey. I did three years of intensive therapy and energy healing and started to feel more whole.

Then I was ready to bring my new healing abilities to help others. I enrolled in an MEd Counseling Psychology degree. While doing my MEd I finally watched the whole Horse Whisperer movie.

I was impressed by what the horse whisperer did to save the horse. This man was like a shaman healer. He was powerful, wise and deeply compassionate. He reached the traumatized horse, that others said should be shot, and brought him back into being a vibrant and productive horse.

I was so drawn to the horse whisperer, that I wanted to be like him – I wanted to be able to work that way with people. So I put that intention into my MEd studies and focused each class on how to develop skill to work with people who had been through emotional trauma.

After graduating, I started working as a therapist, and quickly shifted into doing therapeutic style coaching with business executives. I learned from my clients that people are afraid to face their true desires in life, and those brave souls who peek their eyes open to glimpse their true desire, are usually afraid to take steps to make their desire a reality.

Responding to this, I honed expertise in helping people to identify their core life purpose and take heroic steps to fulfill it. Now I am much more than a therapist. As a Heroic Leadership Coach I use strategic and fun methods that incorporate compassion, deep insight, artistic expression, and play to liberate people’s ability to design their life with clear purpose.

So, now I’d like to bring all my experience into service of your journey today, specifically by breaking down some insidious myths about retirement to unleash your ability to design your awesome retirement. Click here to access the FREE master class.

Coaching vs Therapy

Some people ask, what is the difference between coaching and therapy? Therapy comes from a medical model and arose to treat mental and emotional dysfunction. Coaching is a more recent field which focuses on increasing capacity and reaching goals. I work as a coach, actively empowering my clients to move forward. Some of my clients work with a therapist at the same time as they are getting coaching, and they benefit from the gifts of both approaches.

The coaching process helps clients define their vision and achieve their goals faster and with more ease than would be possible through traditional psychotherapy.

In Heroic Leadership Coaching I draw on some strengths from the therapy model in order to empower my clients to move forward in reaching their goals in a full-hearted, integrated way. I use my clinical therapy training and experience to expertly guide my clients through emotional impasses, integrating the learning as part of achieving the goal. My clients fully embody achieving their goals, in a relatively short period of time.

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