A (Brief) History of Animas


Animas Centre for Coaching was established in 2008 by Nick Bolton.

However, it didn’t start off life as Animas.  It was originally called The Smart School – yes, we know, not the best name!  This was because in 2008, Nick was still very much a classic performance coach working predominantly with goal-oriented coaching.

As Nick’s own coaching matured over the years, he became increasingly disaffected by the traditional approach to coaching that was predicated on goal setting, decision-making and action.

He still valued these but he recognised that, for most people seeking coaching, these areas of focus represented the latter stages of the journey.  The early stage of coaching was often an intense process of soul-searching and becoming more aware of what someone truly wanted.

It was clear that most people come to coaching beset by confusion, doubt, ambivalence and questions and what is often needed the courage to face what is before one looks ahead and what might be.

The Birth of Animas

And so, in 2013, the butterfly of Animas burst forth from the caterpillar that was The Smart School and spread its wings.

The focus moved away from pure performance coaching and towards transformative coaching that took in psychological approaches, personal philosophical inquiry and the deep process of transformation in which clients would explore the paradigms they held that shaped their experience of life.

Animas quickly become one of the UK’s leading coach training schools expanding from in-person training in London to Edinburgh and Berlin.

In 2020, of course, the pandemic struck and Animas moved to virtual training in March of that year.  The power of virtual training was apparent immediately as we suddenly found we could create groups of learners from across the world in a way that was barely possible beforehand. Indeed, being based in juts three locations previously, we had found our student base to be naturally concentrated on those areas.  You were as likely to train at Animas if you were from Plymouth, Devon as it from Plymouth, Massachusetts!

With the arrival and normalisation of virtual training, we were able to reach many more parts of the world.

Animas has trained over 3500 coaches across the world as of 2022 and graduates coach in every area of life and work, including life coaching, executive coaching and employed internal coaching. Our coaches work across every conceivable sector including education, health and wellness, corporate improvement and organisational development, parenting and youth, charity and third sector, creative fields and more.

It is truly inspirational to see how our graduate coaches are using their news skills.

If you’d like to explore our coach training programme, we’d love to connect.  Book a call or attend a free Introduction to Transformative Coaching.