May 24, 2017

Coaching vs Counselling – Which one is best for you?

You’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. You have too much on your plate and it’s driving you crazy! All this running around trying to make everyone around you happy is leaving you feeling miserable.

You want to make changes in your life because you know things can’t continue like this. So what are you to do?

Maybe you’re thinking of talking to your family doctor so you can get a referral for professional help.

And what about this thing called life coaching you’ve been hearing about. There’s got to be something to it if even Oprah is an advocate.

How do you figure out which one is best for you? Here is the major difference summed up in a beautiful analogy, according to post in Insight Life Coaching.

Counselling can be compared to archaeology.
A counsellor helps you look back, “digging” to see how you got here and where you are wounded. The counsellor works with you to bring understanding and healing from your past as you grasp and deal with your present.

Coaching can be compared to architecture.
You are in the place in your life where you are ready to move forward. A coach will draw from your wisdom and insight to begin drafting the “blueprints” for your future. You work together to process issues, tap into your dreams and passions, set goals, gain momentum where you feel stuck and create the framework for the design of your life.

Fascinating isn’t it? Here are some more differences:

Life Coaching Counselling/Therapy
Proactive model based on personal growth, professional development and life transitions Based on the medical model for diagnosing mental illness, syndromes, symptoms and emotional problems such as depression or anxiety
Empowering via insights, skill building, goal setting, identifying internal and exterior resources Medication-based with the goal to alleviate symptoms
Present and future-oriented. What matters most is where you are now and where you want to go Often focuses on the past, such as childhood trauma and significant adult events (i.e. death of a loved-one, loss of a job)
Coach is non-judgemental and provides an objective sounding board Therapist is the expert


Reason for seeking out Initiated because feel stuck, dissatisfied with status-quo, want more in life, want to move forward and create a better life.

Desire for greater life balance, better quality of life.

Accountability to keep on track with projects and goals

Difficulty coping with day to day functioning
Terminology Referred to as Client Referred to as Patient
Insurance Coverage Cost is incurred by the individual and usually not covered (although I have encountered a few exceptions to this) There are counselling services that are covered by employer or provincial/state health insurances
Delivery of services Flexible in that coaching can be provided by phone, email, in person, on skype In a hospital, medical building or clinical setting, attended in person
Type of relationship Coach-Client: Coach is non-biased, non-judgemental and provides an objective sounding board Therapist-Patient: Counsellor is an expert who dispenses advice
Motivation Self-initiated because the person wants to Person feels that she needs to; family and friends express concern; referral made by the family physician
Direction Practical SMART goals (specific, measurable, relevant, time sensitive Healing from illness, cure for a syndrome, symptom relief

What’s my take on this?

As a professional life coach, I work with women who are experiencing a lot of stress and overwhelm that comes along with juggling all the many roles and responsibilities they’ve taken on.

My clients tend to be heart-centered women who readily step in to help others. She carries on her shoulders the weight of the modern woman to be “superwoman”, feeling she needs to be on top of her game in all areas of life.

She admits having a hard time saying “no” when approached by others and feels guilty for putting herself on her own priority list.

Because she is so “other-focused” making sure everyone around her is taken care of, along the way, she’s essentially forgotten WHO she is.

Many of my clients describe tangible signs of burnout, such as chronic stress, feeling worn out and generally on overload.


At the bottom of the page, there is a place to tell me a little about yourself and some of the things that are going on in your life. If I feel that I could be of service to you, I’ll send you a personal invitation to set up a convenient time to connect.


Francine xo

The Enlightened Superwoman Manifesto

Most people have an idea of what a superwoman is. But what’s an enlightened superwoman?

Let me put it this way, instead of trying to figure out what she is or what she does or does not do, let’s take a look at WHO she is and more importantly WHAT SHE BELIEVES IN.

Here’s a fun alphabet list of I AM declaration statements that best summarizes the inner, enlightened superwoman in all of us. (My underlying premise, of course, is that every woman would want to believe this about herself)



Breathe that in. On the exhale, breathe out any limiting thoughts or beliefs. Simply release.

Breathe in. Re-read the list of I AM statements.

Which one makes you stand up and yell YES! I AM THAT!? (OK, maybe a little exaggeration on my part, but I think you get what I’m asking) Which one makes you want to rejoice and celebrate because it really feels good to say it out loud!

Which one reminds you how far you’ve come already?

Which one is hard to swallow? Maybe a shift in energy indicating that you are not fully aligned with it yet?

Going forward, which one would you like to believe or embrace even more?

Now, it’s your turn. Let me hear from you. Out of these or your own list, what I AM statement ignites and nourishes your soul?

Share your answers. Leave a comment.

3 Examples of Core Values – These give life meaning

There’s so much talk these days about living « an authentic life » and « being true to yourself ». I certainly agree with these and it’s part of the work I do with clients, but what do these expressions really mean?

One of the key principles of becoming an “enlightened super woman” is discovering who you are and what makes you unique. This exploration involves uncovering and aligning with your core values.

In this latest video, I talk about some of the signs that indicate whether you may or may not be fully aligned with your core values.

I also share 3 of my personal core values and how these give life meaning, purpose and direction.

Knowing your core values and keeping them at the forefront of your mind helps create clarity and simplicity in your life.

Honoring your values in thoughts and actions also helps reduce much of the second guessing that can come about around decisions and choices that need to be made.

I invite you to comment below and let me know how this information has been helpful to you.

I’d love to know whether you have suggestions of topics for future episodes of The Enlightened SuperWoman TV? What topics would you like to see covered?

Are your living with your priorities in order?

Let me ask you…

Which of these two scenarios best describes you?

a) You wake up each morning fired up with a clear sense of purpose and direction for your day.


b) You wake up each morning already feeling overwhelmed by the daunting tasks that will consume your day.

As a woman who has first hand experience with overwhelm and overload, I acknowledge that I’ve been guilty of feeling pulled in so many directions that I have a hard time thinking straight.

In today’s episode of The Enlightened Super Woman TV, I talk about what it’s like to live with your priorities in order.

When you know what it is that’s truly important to you IN THIS VERY MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE, and when you align your actions with these priorities, then life unfolds with ease and grace.

Here are a few questions that may help you get greater clarification and give you more meaning and fulfillment in your life:

1. When I think about everything going on in my life right now, what is my #1 top priority? i.e Career? Health? Family? Relationships? Spiritual Growth? Emotional Growth?

2. What is one simple action I can take today and every day that helps me align myself with this priority?

3. What benefits do I notice when I live with my priorities in order?

I’d love to hear your feedback on this.

Leave a comment below.

Are you being hard on yourself?

Just yesterday, I heard my husband echoing back to me words I often find myself telling my clients: “I think you’re being hard on yourself”. These words made me pause and smile.

Gosh, is it possible that despite practicing extreme self-care and self-love I can still find fault with myself for feeling under the weather and falling behind on some of the tasks I set out to do?

It’s not an easy habit to break!!

I am grateful for my husband for bringing me back to the lessons that I’ve learned through trial and error. Here are a few that come to mind:

– It’s ok, breathe deeply, everything is unfolding in its own timely manner.

– Who says you have to be immune to heart-breaking news and issues involving close ones. Embrace the spectrum of emotions, it’s what makes you a caring human being.

– You don’t have to take on the weight of the world. Doing your part for making this a better place is a choice you can make for yourself.

– Remember, this too shall pass.

– And finally, return to your own truth, which is “I’m amazing”.

So I ask you, dear sista superwoman, what things do you say to yourself to bring yourself back to a loving and accepting place, when you’ve been called out for being hard on yourself?

Please share your comments below. I have a suspicion someone needs to hear your wise words today.

How to deal with negative people?

Sometimes I think there are more unhappy people out there than happy ones!  But that’s no reason to join the unhappy bunch!

In today’s episode of The Enlightened Superwoman TV, I share my personal perspective to the question of how to stay positive if you are constantly surrounded by negative people?

Many times we get it all wrong.  So maybe it’s time for a new approach?

Check out what I mean!

Comment below and let me know how  you use today’s tip to stay positive!


The 3 A’s of Self-Care

The 3 A’s of self-care, by Francine Portelance, M.A.

In a recent article, Dr. Christine Northrop, a leader in women’s health, states:

“I’ve spent a lifetime studying self-care. And I’ve come to the conclusion that good self-care is the single most important aspect of our health, period. The programming of self-sacrifice leads ultimately to health-destroying sentiments, such as guilt, resentment, anger, and other emotions linked to high levels of stress hormones.” (Source:

Despite knowing how important it is to their well-being, many women put off making themselves a top priority. It seems so much easier to focus on supporting others and wanting those around us to be happy.

According to Wikipedia, Self care is defined as personal health maintenance. It is any activity of an individual, family or community, with the intention of improving or restoring health.

If self care is about improving or restoring health, why make it more complicated than it actually is. Self-care can be as simple as adopting one or all of the 3 A’s of Self-Care:

AAAAAHHHH   Choose an activity that helps you ground your energy and release built up stress: unplug and put your feet up; put on soft music and quiet your mind; take a walk in nature; meditate; take a soothing bath surrounded by scented candles; pull out an exercise mat and do a couple of gentle stretches.

AHA!!   Learning something new or taking up a new hobby has a way to shake us out out of stressful or mundane routines. Some people get a kick of learning a new word or picking up new piece of trivia. Others have a blast learning how to fence or taking a class in the art of glass blowing. Here the possibilities are endless and simply require a little thought and creativity. Go ahead, get outside of the “same ol” and try something new!!!

HAHAHA!!! So many studies point to the benefits of a full belly laugh. Have you ever noticed at how serious (and stressed) people are? The overly stressed nervous system has only 3 choices: fight, flight or freeze.

When was the last time you had a full hearted belly laugh?

When was the last time you had a full hearted belly laugh?

Laughter dispels stress and makes for real happy people. It also gets you in to a super contagious and magnetic energy. Everybody wants to hang around someone who makes them laugh.

Laughter is strong medicine for the mind, body and relationships.

Given all the choices, the hardest part is deciding on which one to begin with.

Stop making it complicated.

Call up a friend and go out and have fun!



Are your superpowers hiding in your closet?

Lately I’ve been posting a series of videos designed to bring more sunshine and smiles in your life.

It’s because I know how easy it is to get stuck in overwhelm.

Not only that, every where around me I notice how people are taking themselves and their current life circumstances too darn serious

This is your invitation to lighten up!

In this week’s video, I went to my closet
and found something that made me feel like a million bucks.
It also helped put a smile on the UPS guy’s face.

Check out what I mean!

Comment below with something you do for those times when you’re feeling blue that helps bring more sunshine into your day!

Look what I found in my “happy jar”

We all have those days!  And some of us more than others!

You know…. days when you have a hard time shaking off being in a grumpy mood.

In today’s episode, I reach into my « happy jar » and share with you another one of my tips that will help lift your bad mood and put a smile on your face.

Click here to watch:

Happy smiles!

Please comment below and share what YOU have in your “happy jar”!


Want to get rid of the “grumpies”?

Do you ever have of one of the days when you’d rather just crawl back into bed?

You look outside and it’s raining and gloomy. Yuk!!!

We all have days like those, even if we can’t necessarily blame it on the weather.

I have found a treasure chest of things to do to shift me out of the grumpies and I’m delighted to share one of those jewels today.

Click here to watch the video:

Comment below with something you do for those times when you’re feeling blue that helps bring more sunshine into your day!