How does a case study differ from a testimonial?

Testimonials are coach praise. Case studies are client proof.

Read about My Process and Testimonials.

Yes, I have a part to play; but my client must want to make a conscious effort, create the message that makes the difference with the power of her own voice, her own magic.


Stewart is an accomplished musician and recording artist who was preparing a story in the style of a fable for a fund-raising event to help immigrants get settled. The more he worked on the story the more it sounded like a song. And that’s when it all got muddled.  It’s hard for me to know where I’m going. 

The thing of it is that Stewart knew where he wanted to go – the dream and vision was deep inside his creative self. He needed someone to ask questions and listen keenly. But, the questions were not about the story on progress per se; the questions were about something Stewart added as a PS to his email: “Do you find many of the same images and metaphors coming up for you across the years?”  

Answering that question was the door in to all the rest because there was a theme running through much of his work, a powerful water theme. Once we broke down that dam Stewart was able to see how this project fit with the thematic scope of his life’s work and was actually much grander in scope than the initial fund-raising project. We worked on how the story would sound read aloud, when non-English words and phrases might be used to better affect, how to shorten text, adjust rhythm and tone, provided an ending that would touch hearts and minds, maybe shift attitudes. All from a story. 

Once the text was done came the idea of adding some instrumental guitar music as a performance piece. Maybe even a Youtube video? Yes! All of it. 


Diane will help you find the words you didn’t know you had. 

Brittany took on bold new adventure: writing a book! Advice came from everywhere: write the synopsis; what will you put on the back cover?; what’s the 2 minute pitch? Seems simple if you’re writing a book but words eluded her. More importantly Brittany couldn’t come up with a clear, concise description of her book for marketing purposes. The harder she tried the worse it got; the less confident and competent she felt. 

Then she remembered that her American friend and colleague was also a wordsmithery coach and story guide. Together we worked through a series of remarkable exercises, discussions, and processes that helped Brittany rediscover what she always knew: her words, her voice, her message. Out from under the weight of expectation and judgment Brittany got reconnected with her book’s message and synopsis. This work is not just words; it’s a process that helps the client do their best work when they feel grounded, stronger, capable because the coach believes they know what they didn’t think they knew.  Mindset changes. How they act changes. It’s more than a search for the right words; it’s a search for the Who in the story.


Kristin was writing a book and struggling with the back cover. She asked for a hand up because she could see that keen listening and deep questioning would elicit the essence of what she wanted to say, in her own voice. This coaching work is a dance of trust and belief. The client has to trust and believe in herself as much as the coach does. Working together the end product was so much more eloquent than one person struggling alone. As she wrote: “Yes, Diane is  Story Diviner with a gift of hearing between the lines so that she can help you create this kind of insight. Writing a book requires that kind of support from the sidelines, the support of people who truly believe in other people.” But the real work comes from the client who desires to deliver the heart of her message and the message of her heart as she has imagined it to be. And then does it. 


Chris fell in love with the Stories From Women Who Walk podcast episodes and asked for a hand up with her origin story. The past 10 years had been pretty rigged and she wanted to know how to use all that experience to show others how a breakdown to a breakthrough really works for the good. As with all this work it begins with a belief that the client knows the words they don’t think they have. The process of keen questioning, deep listening – especially for the tangents, the throw-away line – builds the context which hold the content. This is what it came down to: “I am successful! I’ve just been running after all the ships at sea when I belong grounded on the shore beckoning in the clients who need and want to work with me. It’s time for a new story! And I am writing it!


Tarrah had so many moving parts to her keynote that she could no longer see or hear them. Together we worked on how to listen to my own words so that I could recognize the details of the story that were the most important to me. With intentional listening and thoughtful questions, Diane reflected back to me the themes she observed in my work, and this helped me steer clear of swimming around aimlessly in space.

Most importantly, Tarrah uncovered this truth: she has a natural ability to tell a story.  Once a client realizes that storyteller is who they will speak from the power of their own voice, in their own words, ever more confident and stronger. With her newly realized powers Tarrah has become an even more robust leader and advocate in the environmental world forging relationships, inspiring action as only she can.