Exploring the Links between Coaching and Psychology: 1

Have you ever wondered about the links between coaching and psychology?

If you are searching for answers then look no further as this is the subject of our next series of blogs.

As a coach I am often asked these two questions:

1. What are the links between coaching and psychology?
2. Can you be a coach without understanding anything about psychology?

We all practice psychology every day, mostly without ever being conscious of it. That makes every one of us a psychologist in some form, it comes with being human! As coaches we strive to make the unconscious conscious and we sometimes use formal exercises to facilitate that. So, whether we are aware of it or not, we use psychology and psychological principles very regularly as we set about unlocking the potential and securing the success of our clients.

In this series, Steve Kennedy, our current guest blogger, is going to explore the links between coaching and psychology. Steve is an experienced coach who has interests in psychology, health and digital marketing. With a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Health Psychology he is well placed to take us through the psychology maze!

So, over to you Steve . . .

Hi Everyone . . . and welcome to this series of blogs that looks at the links between Coaching and Psychology.

Coaching Psychology is rapidly becoming a discipline in its own right with many practitioners describing themselves as Coaching Psychologists. Within the British Psychological Society there is now even a Special Group in Coaching Psychology.

If I was to say to you that psychology is a broad church then I might be making a tiny bit of an understatement. One simple definition of psychology is:

‘The science of mind and behaviour’

However, even this simple definition is not without controversy. Some would argue that psychology can never be a science at all because of the subjective and seeming unpredictability of human behaviour. However, the field of psychology strives to be scientific in the formulation of theories and the gathering of evidence. Many of the psychotherapies that exist today are grounded in psychological theory or the theories themselves can be applied directly.

So, what are a few of the questions that might be helpful for us to explore over the next few weeks? These could be useful:

•  How does psychology influence coaching?
•  What psychological approaches can be used within coaching?
•  What psychological theories can be applied directly within coaching sessions?

Best warm-up, it’s going to be a bit of a sprint!

We will look at these questions over the next few weeks with the aim of getting an insight into how psychological theory, together with evidence gained from experiments and observation, influence us as coaches.


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