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1st International Congress of Coaching Psychology: Southern Hemisphere Event

Petoria, South Africa, 26-27 May, 2011.

This international congress event hosted by Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa (SIOPSA) and their Interest Group in Coaching and Consulting Psychology, provided evidence of the depth and diversity of coaching psychology at the moment. One of the strengths of coaching psychology, and of coaching in general, is the diversity of the sources it draws upon.

Professor Reinhard Stelter drew upon sociology and systems theory as the basis of his though provoking invited paper on adapting coaching to the hypercomplexity we are surrounded by. Dr Linda Page gave a fascinating summary of the implications of recent advances in neuroscience to coaching. Other speakers such as Profs Frans Cilliers and Pieter Koortzen drew upon the psychodynamic tradition, Drs Anna-Rosa Le Roux and Grant Freedman applied a Gestalt perspective to coaching and Vicki Ellam-Dyson continued coaching’s tradition of applying cognitive behavioural and rational emotive behavioural theory outside clinical settings. Professor Stephen Palmer’s opening keynote covered the development of coaching psychology and its future direction. The whole program contained many other excellent examples of coaching psychologists drawing upon their influences to improve our collective competence.

These various contributions exemplified one of coaching psychology’s great strengths; our connections to the vast body of knowledge generated in the wider psychology field.

One aspiration we may propose for our profession and future congress events, is to see more fundamental research and theory development taking place within coaching psychology. It is perhaps a reflection of our youth as a discipline that we continue to borrow (successfully) from the older branches of our profession - clinical, neurological, sports, health and counselling. Perhaps as a sign of our maturation we now need to look within ourselves to generate our own work that others will borrow from us.

We in the Australian Psychological Society Interest Group in Coaching Psychology would like to set the challenge for the next International Congress of Coaching Psychology Southern Hemisphere Event in Australia in 2012 to produce the next GROW; the big new idea that will mark coaching psychology’s emergence from adolescence to adulthood.

We look forward to seeing you all there.

David Heap, National Convenor APS IGCP;
Peter Zarris, ICCP Liaison for APS IGCP;
Aaron McEwan, Deputy Convenor APS IGCP.


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