Coaching psychology: exploring definitions and research contribution to practice

Jonathan Passmore, Yi-Ling Lai

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    This paper aims to provide an analytic review of contemporary coaching evidence and future research directions through reviewing the development of coaching (e.g. executive, health and life coaching) and coaching psychology definitions. We offer alternative perspectives from psychologist and non-psychologist coaching practice in the development of both traditions over the past two decades. As part of this paper we will summarise systematic reviews and meta-analyses in workplace coaching and outline the key messages for evidence-based practice. Three key messages are identified from this review. First, coaching itself is a professional helping relationship since the process mainly relies on reciprocal actions between the coach and coachee. Second, coachees should be placed in the centre of the coaching relationship, recognising their motivation to change is the essential antecedent for coaching success. Third, social psychological perspectives are an important element in dyadic coaching interactions. Our aim in this paper is to encourage coaching scholars and practitioners towards future research collaborations in the interest of developing evidenced based practice in coaching.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-83
    JournalInternational Coaching Psychology Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2019


    • coaching
    • coaching psychology
    • health coaching
    • executive coaching
    • analytic literature review
    • coaching pedagogy


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