Coaching for Chronic Illness

Relieve symptoms of illogical illness by supporting your body to speak.

This is for you if...

You’ve been working hard to heal your body.

You’ve been striving to:

  1. Stabilise dysfunction in your digestion, skin or other systems
  2. Manage your moods, emotional highs and lows
  3. Release tension from your muscles but it always returns 
  4. Combat negative thought spirals 
  5. Reconnect to what brings you joy

And, while you have gained some stability, you feel like you’ve stalled. 

Now you’re looking to:

  1. Understand why the above is no longer working
  2. Be clear on what you need to do to move forward
  3. Make an empowered decision that’s right for you
  4. Feel equipped to manage flareups when they happen
Let’s start with why all your hard work is no longer working.

Why you've stalled

There is an emotional component to almost every chronic illness.

For the physical body to keep healing, the emotional (and sometimes mental and spiritual) elements need to be attended to.

There are two challenges to making that happen.

1. Every person is unique. Their illness is unique. (Even when they “look” the same.”)

Which means the way you need to release your hidden emotions and stories is different to every one else.


2. Your inner defence system (your ego) is wired to prevent you from releasing what’s hidden. 

It believes it’s unsafe and dangerous to let you become aware of what’s hidden. Again, the reasons for this will differ for each person.

So what do you do?


To move forward

Every illness has something specific it wants to say. A feeling, a thought, a story that screaming for release. 

But it’s not as easy as just saying that story out loud. We have to be able to feel it and release it in the way that makes sense to us, our ego and our illness. 

Without the right approach for you as a unique person, we tend to spin, stall or self-sabotage. Which can prolong or exacerbate our symptoms, depending on how much stress and pressure that adds to our system.

To move forward you need:

  • To recognise your ego’s patterns
  • Have an idea of what your body is trying to say
  • Know how to work with your ego
  • Have the right tools for your stage of healing
  • Create safe, supported environment to do the inner work

With those pieces in place, you can slowly do the work to build a new relationship with yourself, your body and your inner world. Which in turn makes it possible to work with your inner parts that are hurting with self-acceptance and self-compassion. 

Using a map as a framework to make empowered decisions about our health

“After living with ‘unexplainable illnesses’ for most of my life, Samantha’s Body Mapping Guide gave me unexpected insight into what might actually be the cause of the problem.

And through coaching with Samantha, for the first time in my life have been symptom free for over a month.”

Naomi, Sexual Nine

My Approach

I use counter-intuitive Enneagram coaching to identify and work with whatever your body needs to face. 

I recognise that what you and your body need constantly changes. 

I identify what you, your ego and your illness need, and pinpoint the support you need during the session and the practices you need between sessions, to ensure you are able to doing your inner healing in a way that relieves the pressure from your body so outer healing can happen. 


Samantha Mackay, personal development coach and certified Enneagram professional meets with a client

“Each session was expertly tailored to my needs and goals, and Sam wove a beautiful blend of compassion, insight and humour into all of our work together.” 

Kristin, Self-Preservation Four

Steps to Heal What's Hidden


Pinpoint the problem you can’t see


Face it in a safe space with support


Use the right practices to move forward


Develop skills you can use for life

Utilising the Enneagram

The Enneagram is a psycho-spiritual framework for adult development. 

It helps me quickly identify your ego’s general defensive patterns, so we can more quickly identify your ego’s personal version of that.

It provides guidance on the kinds of emotional wounds we are looking for and the kinds of practices that will work best for that person. 

From there, I use my experience, training and intuition to pinpoint what’s the best approach for you in each session and overall. 

Together, we use all of that to build you a toolkit of practices that effectively work between sessions, and you can use them whenever flareups arise. 

How we heal what's hidden

  1. Pinpoint what’s calling to be healed right now
  2. Identify the approach that will provide immediate relief 
  3. Create a safe space that supports you to do it
  4. Work with your resistance, not against it
  5. Build capacity and skills to use whenever a flareup happen

“My sessions with Samantha were a complete ‘a-ha’ experience explaining so much of my life…for the first time ever! 

Even countless past therapy sessions could not reveal what Samantha did. I’m so hopeful for my life path ahead, and I’m forever grateful to Samantha for it.”

Jomine, Social Four

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we embark on a coaching engagement together, it’s important to check that 1) I can help you and 2) what coaching approach would best suit you.

In the free introduction call we’ll discuss your challenges, aspirations and possible ways to move forward. And decide if the fit is right for both of us.

Every person has different has different needs, depending on where they are in their journey. As this is an individualised approach, every engagement differs. 

That said, I recommend meeting 3 times each month for the first 3 months. The fourth week is for integration and rest.

For months 4-6 (and thereafter) our pace will vary depending on, but every 2 weeks is often what works best.

Between sessions, I’ll email you relevant resources and will be available for support by email and text as needed. 

I am available for one-off sessions, which work best when you are certain of your Enneagram subtype and have a specific inner work question you are exploring.

The Enneagram is part of my way of seeing the world and the challenges a person is facing. It informs me constantly, in practice and in life. 

That said, the Enneagram provides the map to navigate the territory, but it does not provide all the tools needed to walk the journey. I bring a range of tools from other disciplines and practices to meet you where your inner work needs to go.

What it does provide is a range of short cuts and smart questions that help us ensure that whatever inner work we are doing, it is going to have the greatest impact for you. 

For some people working with the Enneagram framework is very important, and for others less so. I adapt how I explain patterns and insights to suit your level of interest, but I am always using the framework even if I am not talking about it in those terms. 

Each person’s Enneagram type is often revealed through the coaching process (although not always).

To provide more tailored coaching, I do appreciate if people know their Enneagram subtype (their core type pattern combined with the dominant instinct) but it’s not essential.

If you’re interested in taking a test, the two I recommend are: CP Enneagram Compass or the Integrative9 test.  

Please hold any results lightly, as other type patterns are often revealed through the coaching process, but these indicators provide a great starting point.

Yes. If you are committed to working with the Enneagram as part of your inner or outer work, I can support you. 

We’ll meet once a month to discuss what you’re observing in yourself, what you’re focusing on in your development plan, both personal and professional, and answer your questions about Enneagram. 

I can also provide activities to help stretch you and discuss assessment factors you might be overlooking. 

The counter-intuitive coaching approach can feel like therapy at times, given it’s commitment to finding the right balance between healing and growth for each individual in every session. 

However, I am not a therapist and work with you within the bounds of the coaching process. When a topic more suited to therapy arises, I will let you know.

We will talk about your past and childhood as a way to understand how that affected what’s happening today. You may find it useful to work with a therapist at the same time, as a number of my clients do. 

Also, while many of my clients have chronic health issues, our work together is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It often complements and supports other approaches.

I am currently based a few hours from Sydney, Australia, and I work with people in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  

However, I work with people across the globe, so regardless of where you are, we’ll meet virtually (e.g. via Zoom, Whats App, phone, etc).

In addition to our sessions, I recommend allocating 20-30 minutes per day for self-refection, self-awareness or other practices. 

This can include physical exercise, journaling, meditation or other grounding practices. It can also include observing your type patterns in action and making notes about what you’re observing. 

I will also give you weekly reflection questions, depending on which aspect of your personality you are exploring.

The three month coaching package is AUD$2500 (approximately USD$1650 depending on exchange rates.) This is payable upfront or in monthly installments.

Pay-as-you-go and single sessions are also available. Just ask me about them.

You’ll get the most out of your coaching when you:

~ come prepared to your sessions with things to talk about (eg; reflections, updates on experiments you’ve tried) 

~ are open to being challenged, stretched and leaning into discomfort so you can grow

~ are honest about what’s not working for you 

~ are willing to do the inner work between sessions

~ be open to experimenting and try new things 

~ ensure you’re in a distraction-free environment during your sessions so you can focus (including turning off your mobile device)

~ make sure you have a high-speed internet connection that can support video if we’re meeting on Zoom (we can use other video call apps if needed, such as What’s App or Signal)

~ commit to being on time and present for each session 

Of course, I understand that ‘life happens’ and you may not be able to make one of our scheduled sessions. In that case, I simply ask you give me as much notice as possible (at least 24 hours if you wish to reschedule).

  1. You don’t believe emotions can contribute to chronic dis-ease
  2. You don’t have the internal capacity to do inner work right now
  3. You don’t have the time to do practices between sessions
  4. You are struggling with suicidal ideation or other issue that require a specialist psychotherapist 
  5. You’re not open to working with the Enneagram 
  6. You’re in crisis and don’t have any stability in your life right now