Barefoot Coaching

The team around Barefoot Coaching will enable convenors of peer support groups to empower their group members, both individually and collectively, to become more capable and willing to engage with their communities. Based on outputs from the Hosting Empowerment project, we are developing an education program for those working with such groups: coach training, primarily for volunteers, as well as trainer training for professionals.

Invitation to the Barefoot Coaching Workshops

A pilot training program

Based on the Innertopia material, this training program is for you if you

* Would like to coach a group – an existing group, or one you convene – to work their way towards improved mental wellbeing

* Are an experienced educator and would like to train coaches in any of the ten languages in which the material is available

The program is in English. The material exists in 11 languages.

About Innertopia

The booklet consists of a set of practical exercises to promote self exploration and  empowerment, starting from the participants’ own situations. The exercises are organised in three stages, well backed by science: Clarity, Confidence, Making it real. (link)

About the training

Barefoot Coaching is a way to offer peer support using a ‘coaching approach’, assuming that members of the group are creative, resourceful, and in charge of their own decisions. Barefoot Coaching is not a professional coach training. A Barefoot Coach is not expected to offer advice or even impose a preordained structure. It is about holding space for self exploration and insight.

* We are offering two versions of pilot training as part of the Barefoot Coach project: one face-to-face, in Amsterdam, 20-24 May, and one online.
* For each of these pilots, we will offer two-tier training: you can be trained as a Barefoot Coach; or if you are an experienced educator you can choose to be trained as a Barefoot Coach trainer.
See schedule below

What does it cost?

There is no fee, since this is part of an EU Erasmus+ funded project.

Our ambition is that after the end of the project, these courses will continue to be offered (for a market-appropriate fee). This is the only planned subsidised opportunity.

If you can cover your own travel expenses for the event in Amsterdam, that’s excellent. 

If not, we have a limited budget to subsidise travel and accommodation expenses to a maximum set by the EU depending on the distance travelled.


APPLY HERE by 3 March:


In Amsterdam: Barefoot Coach trainingIn Amsterdam: Train the Trainer Online:Barefoot Coach trainingOnline:Train the Trainer
Arriving Monday 20 May or early Tuesday 21 MayArriving Monday 20 May in the morning5  weekly sessions, Thursday after- noons from 30  May5 sessions with the Barefoot Coach program, plus trainer questions
Course starts at 09:00 on Tuesday 21 MayCourse starts at 14:00  on Monday 20 May Homework between sessionsAdditional session on Thursday 4 July.
Course ends on Friday 24 May at 14:00Course ends on Friday 24 May at 18:00Homework between sessions
All information in a nutshell


Mila Gureyeva
Saskia Wenniger
Dóra Halàsz
Ursel Biester
Jutta Goldammer
Boris Goldammer
Marilyn Mehlmann
Anikó Kottes

Story of This Project

The Coach Training program will teach convenors of peer support groups, and other interested volunteers, to lead and coach such a peer group through a collective empowerment process.

The Trainer Training program will enable professional trainers to design and deliver the Coach Training program, thus creating the capacity to continue to train more coaches.

The main work will be conducted in English. However, the Innertopia booklet on which the work is based has been published not only in English but also in 10 other languages, and it is anticipated that some participants in Trainer Training programs will go on to deliver courses in one or more of those languages.


This project was generously funded by Erasmus+ Program of the European Union.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.