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How does coaching psychology influence your coaching?

In a nutshell, coaching psychology is the scientific study of how people make positive changes and how to facilitate those changes. Coaching – when guided by coaching psychology – is the application of those scientific findings, increasing understanding of what clients need, how they go about making positive changes, and how to support them more effectively.

The British Psychological Society’s Special Group in Coaching Psychology defines coaching psychology as ‘the scientific study and application of behaviour, cognition and emotion to deepen our understanding of individuals’ and groups’ performance, achievement and wellbeing, and to enhance practice within coaching’.

Cox, Bachkirova, and Clutterbuck (2018) define coaching as “a human development process that involves structured, focused interaction and the use of appropriate strategies, tools and techniques to promote desirable and sustainable change for the benefit of the client and potentially for other stakeholders.”

I specifically chose a masters of science program that exposed me to an academically rigorous study of the foundations and history of the science, its breadth of current research, and its limitations so that I could more responsibly, and more effectively help people with my coaching.


Cox, E., Bachkirova, T., & Clutterbuck, D. (2018). The complete handbook of coaching (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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