Coaching Psychology

Sessions available in person, on-line or by telephone.

What is Coaching Psychology?

Ultimately, coaching is about self-empowerment through self-awareness, self-management and increased self-efficacy, with the aim of making change happen. It is always a collaborative process with client and coaching psychologist as equals and explicitly draws on innate strengths and resources. This can be a collaboration with a single client, group, or team.

The practice of coaching psychology may be described as a process for enhancing well-being, development, and performance in personal and work life. Evidence based coaching psychology practice is informed by robust psychological theory and research. It is practised by qualified coaching psychologists who have relevant qualifications and have undertaken suitable continuing professional development and supervised practice.

There is a diverse range of methods that coaching psychologists can draw upon to meet the requirements of their clients. The approaches drawn upon will depend on the orientation of the specific practitioner, the requirements of the client and the stage of the coaching process. My own practice uses blended coaching techniques including the following.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Clients bring with them valuable resources that can be harnessed as they move towards their preferred future and so address issues by working with the client to build solutions.

Positive Psychology This focuses on the conditions in which people perform optimally and experience greater well-being. Areas of exploration include the value of positive emotion, interventions for improving happiness and well-being, identifying and utilizing strengths, building resilience, and developing positive interpersonal relationships.

Cognitive-Behavioural Psychology A person’s feelings about a situation may not be caused by the event itself, but rather their thoughts and interpretations about the event. Individuals can experience ‘thinking errors’ that distort their interpretation of reality and impact on feelings and behaviour. Thinking errors can be transformed into more adaptive thoughts through working with the client to develop and use thinking skills.

Narrative Coaching Storytelling is the most natural and ancient form of human communication and connection. Stories are the medium by which we find our place in history, build our sense of meaning, and evolve our identity. Narrative Coaching helps clients become more aware of the stories they tell themselves. And once clients are more aware of these, they can take control and discover which narratives serve them, and which narratives they’d like to evolve.

Existential Coaching This works to elucidate a client’s worldview, understand how it affects their choices and relationships, and clarify their values. The coach guides the client to claim their complexity, work with paradox and ambiguity, manage crisis and challenge, and accept responsibility for personal choices.

What is the difference between coaching psychology and counselling?

Like counselling, the quality of the relationship between the coaching psychologist and client is key. But rather than meeting at the same time every week, coaching psychology sessions are as needed by the client. Sessions may also be quite structured and directional or interactive. Many coaching psychologists integrate elements of therapeutic approaches such as person-centred, solution focused or CBT. A coaching psychologist will be able to recognise and advise if a client needs to seek support from counselling before moving forward to coaching. As a coaching psychologist with extensive experience of working with mental wellbeing, I can advise and bridge the journey, in either direction, between coaching and counselling.

While counselling is reparative in nature, coaching psychology has a developmental focus. While it may explore how the ‘there and then’ may be impacting on the ‘here and now’, it is not primarily focused on understanding the past or overcoming traumatic events. Coaching psychologists deal with the ‘being self’, relationships, values, core identity and core needs, as well as the ‘doing self’, career, roles, tasks, skills.

  • Coaching is action orientated
    Counselling is coping orientated.
  • Coaching helps you set and achieve goals
    Counselling helps in recognising and solving problems in life.
  • A coaching psychologist will work a client to explore, challenge and encourage change
    A counsellor supports with empathy and understanding (although they might gently challenge).
  • A coaching psychologist is focused on potential
    A counsellor is focused on helping someone to be at peace with self and life.
  • Coaching psychologists can recognise if it is old core beliefs, thinking errors, etc., creating barriers to making change and finding solutions.
    Counsellors can recognise if it is depression, adult ADHD, or another mental health disorder that is causing issues.


Each coaching psychologist and counsellor will bring their own training, approaches, techniques, experience and personality and unique way of doing things within their work with clients. The important thing when deciding on accessing coaching, coaching psychology, counselling, or therapy, for whatever reason, is to ensure that the practitioner is fully and appropriately qualified and affiliated to a relevant professional body such as The British Psychological Society or British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).