Why do I do what I do?

Years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease.  I realized that  I could no longer coast with my health, assuming that someday I would pay attention to it when I was ready. Part of it had already been taken from me.  Still, it took me 2 years before I ever took any action to face my health problems.

My first was to join a weight loss program and to try to lose some weight. Fairly vague planning, but at least the program gave me a goal- a number to aim for. And I was eventually successful losing over 100 pounds –eleven years ago, and it is still gone.

Somewhere in that process, my daughter challenged me to try a crazy event- a 50 mile charity walk. It was crazy, because at the time, I could not walk 3 miles. But having the goal of needing to walk 50 miles kept me plugging away at a rudimentary form of training. And I managed to finish the walk!

These slow but successful victories were more important to me on another level. The  small successes of each 5 pounds lost, of each extra mile I was able to walk, were confidence building. It reawakened in me a strength I had forgotten I had- what I used to call stubbornness but have since learned to call perseverance.

My successes led me to the Health coaching program at Duke Integrative Medicine, to learn what I hoped would be a skill that I could share with others who feel quite stuck and perhaps a little bit hopeless about ever succeeding at making changes in their lives and their health.

What matters to me as a person and as a coach? Why did I become interested in Positive Psychology? That’s an easy question to answer. As Christopher Peterson, a positive psychology pioneer, summed up in his definition of Positive Psychology, OTHER PEOPLE MATTER. I believe the marriage of coaching and applied positive psychology is an ideal way to reach your best self.”
— Katherine Mackintosh

Taking this training awakened another strength I had forgotten I had—love of learning. I went on to become certified by Duke Integrative Medicine as an Integrative Health Coach, then Certified in Applied Positive Psychology, and finally Certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners as a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach.

All of this education and skills I believe make for a perfect combination to help others create flourishing lives. 

The formula?

Nationally recognized coaching and motivational skills + the skills and knowledge of how to use the tools from the science of positive psychology = a unique coach who can partner with you for success in your life! 

And,  I can help you uncover and use your strengths in a much easier method!

What matters to me as a person and as a coach?

As a health and wellness coach, why did I become interested in Positive Psychology? That’s an easy question to answer. As Christopher Peterson, a positive psychology pioneer, summed up in his definition of Positive Psychology, OTHER PEOPLE MATTER.  In 2011, I became an Integrative Health and Wellness Coach (now National Board Certified), and more recently, a Positive Psychology Practitioner*, because I believe my life experiences and values could help others overcome roadblocks to their goals as I did. But everyone needs and deserves to find their own best route to success.

My Approach

Judgement free zone

There is a difference between being judged and being accepted but held accountable. My job is to help you see the why and the way to success. I do this through a lens of experience, struggling with health and life decisions myself.


A tremendous number of outcomes, good or bad, in our everyday lives come from our mindset. Learning to recognize your thought patterns  and replacing them when beneficial is crucial to change.

Deciding to Change because YOU want to

Doing things because you want to, not because you should is an essential part of lasting change. Motivation from within is essential. If it’s not there, as you coach, I can help. I can help you go from Wanting to want to do it, to actually Wanting to Do it.

Helping you Develop the self-compassion to succeed

We often sabotage our own success by being critical of ourselves for procrastinating or failing. Learning to effectively deal with that inner critical voice can actually be fun, and is essential to lasting change.

My Coaching is:

  • client centered

  • holistic

  • uses the Duke Wheel of Health concept as a base for change

  • incorporates the unique tools of positive psychology to support sustained personal growth and success


I partner with you through assessing your needs, helping you draw up a plan for your best life, and providing support and accountability along the path.

Interwoven throughout my journey were many lives that influenced me. Not all of those people even know they influenced me. Now I hope to have some positive influence on others. My passion is to spread the science behind behavior change and tools and benefits of having a positive affect in life.

What makes me qualified to help others? Here’s my background information:

  • B.S., M.Ed., University of Virginia

  • Duke Integrative Medicine, Integrative Health Coach Professional Training, Foundation and Certification Courses (2011-2012)

  • National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach (one of the first to achieve this)-2017

  • Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology-The Flourishing Center- 2017

  • Instructor, Duke Integrative Medicine, Integrative Health Coach Professional Training Program,

  • Approved Mentor Coach, National Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching

  • Veteran “survivor and thriver” through many major transitions