About Kate

I’m one of the first women to complete the Common Commissioning Course at RMAS “Sandhurst”… which means I did the same training as the men. That was in 1995.

I served for 9 years including an operational tour of Iraq, and several large-scale multinational overseas exercises. In my first role I commanded 50 people.

I went on to work in Human Resources in both commercial and public sectors, on large-scale outsourcing programs.

I became fascinated by what it is that makes some people thrive and shine, while others crumble in the face of pressure.

How boosting well-being can boost productivity.

How treating people well in a strong culture can improve behaviours.

How great team and individual behaviours produce healthy, high-performing teams.

I was seconded to the UK Cabinet Office where I worked in the Employee Engagement Team that led employee engagement analysis and insight for the whole Civil Service (400,000+ people worldwide).

I studied the science of high performance under pressure at MSc level, fascinated by learning the power of what is “right” with us (rather than what is wrong with us humans).

Moving Beyond Trauma

Yet it wasn’t in the Army that I experienced trauma, but some years later when our first daughter almost died while being born. I suffered mental and physical injuries that night.

It is my personal recovery from that time which set me on my current path.

When trauma informs executive coaching, magic happens

I blend the fields of high performance under pressure, traumatology, positive psychology, and neuroscience.

I help people understand and work with their ancient, natural human nervous system reactions in times of perceived threat.

It is my mission to help people prepare for and prevent mental injuries, in the same way that physical fitness can prevent physical injury.

It is my mission to ease suffering and get the fun back, bring up productivity and performance at the same time.

I bring you over 1000 client hours experience from clients across public sector, banking, finance, military (serving and veteran), first responders, IT marketing and sales, law, medicine, NHS management, entrepreneur and small business owners (to name a few).

Here’s some of what informs my work:

  • Somatic (body) based methods to learn from the wisdom of your past without you having to talk one word about it.

  • Internal-Family Systems- Inspired Coaching to help you re-build inner self trust, connection, and healing.

  • Trauma-Sensitive meditation and mindfulness to notice the joy in every day, and re-wire your brain to realise your body and mind are safe and whole again.

  • Havening Techniques ®, a gentle way to invite trauma release that de-links the emotional charge from the stored memory, so you can revisit the past without feeling the usual emotional belly punch.

  • Positive Psychology evidence-based techniques to help make your life better, and move from survival, to flourishing!

Work with me to unlock resilience, real-life, and results.

MSc with Distinction in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology (MAPPCP) from University of East London (course accredited by the European Coaching and Mentoring Council)


Published research “Can resilience training improve wellbeing for people in high-risk occupations? A systematic review through a multidimensional lens” Published in the Journal of Positive Psychology April 2020 – DO1: 10.1080/17439760.2020.1752783.


Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society (GMBPsS)

Certified Meaning and Purpose Practitioner (to verify click HERE

Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation (to verify click HERE)

Certified Havening Techniques® Practitioner (to verify click HERE)

Trauma-Informed Coaching Certificate (ICF-Accredited) (for more details click HERE)

Connected Kids ™ Mindfulness and Meditation tutor (to verify click HERE)

Adult Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (TSM™) Teacher

Accredited training in Internal Family Systems™-Inspired Coaching

Mental Health First Aider (MHFA England)

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (full L7 HRM qualified)

I operate under the International Coaching Federation Code of Ethics, and accordingly work under supervision. For more on how this protects you and me, please read here.

Professional insurance: LaLux.

Basic Police Check Luxembourg (reference number available on request).

Zest Coaching is registered under the trading name of Kate Brassington Zest Coaching & Consulting reg 10129770/0

Zest is defined as having physical and mental vigour which gives the courage and motivation to complete challenging tasks and situations[1], and this shows up as both the light, and the shadow side, of life. Kate uses evidence-based theories and techniques identified from rigorous research. Key influences at present are:

  • Somatic Coaching – working with the neuroscience of the body-mind connection using trauma-sensitive (not trauma-focussed) practices. Old patterns of stuckness may well have developed as protection or survival during a wide range of traumatic experiences – childbirth; aquired disability or illness; loss of a loved one; divorce; bullying;  harassment (on any protected grounds including caring responsibilities, gender, sexual preference, race, religion etc); events such as car crashes or on the battlefield; intense workplace stress and burnout (the list goes on). These gentle practices aim to work towards a new future within the ethical boundaries of coaching, and do not require therapy-style investigations of what happened in the past (Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Babette Rothschild, Franz Ruppert, David Treleaven, Deb Dana);
  • Applied theories of grit, resilience, growth mindset, and positive existential leadership to find your purpose and meaning in (and of) your life (Angela Duckworth, Yannick Jacob, Carol Dweck, Monica Hanaway, Tim Lomas, Itai Ivtzan, Richard Jacobs);
  • Connected Kids ™ meditation and mindfulness tutor using fun and creative meditation and mindfulness techniques to unfreeze anxious minds (exams, promotions, performance, relationship issues, life dilemmas) and regain your power no matter what life throws up (Lorraine Murray).

[1] Snyder, C. R.; Lopez, S. J. (2007). Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths. California: Sage.

I now offer my lifelong enthusiasm for bringing human flourishing to life, underpinned by the latest evidence-based science, and delivered in my own gritty, no-nonsense way!