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Editorial - The theory, practice and research base [...]
Michael Cavanagh & Stephen Palmer
Welcome to the second issue of the International Coaching Psychology Review. We would like to thank members of the Australian Psychological Society, Interest Group in Coaching Psychology and the British Psychological Society, Special Group in Coaching Psychology for the useful feedback you have given us. In this issue there are slight changes to the publication, for example, we now include a contents page on the inside too.
It is often said that a week in politics is a long time. Of course, it is a well-worn cliché. However, six months in the rapidly expanding field of coaching psychology really is a long time and keeping up with developments is now becoming more challenging. A quick Google of ‘coaching psychology’ now brings up over 27, 400 links. Admittedly this search includes Chess Coaching Psychology and many similar links. More realistically, using Google Scholar when doing a search for ‘coaching psychology’ only brings up 127 entries. However, this still highlights the growing influence of coaching psychology around the world. There are two coaching psychology publications dedicated to publishing reviewed articles, The Coaching Psychologist and the International Coaching Psychology Review. The articles from both publications are easily found on the internet and on Google/Google Scholar. This is helping to promote coaching psychology internationally and now we are receiving correspondence from overseas practitioners and researchers who are happy to have found a new professional home.
We would like to welcome Dr Sandy Gordon onto the Editorial Board as the fourth Australian co-editor. Sandy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role of co-editor. A prolific author in his own right, Sandy has been a reviewer for numerous scientific publications and has served on the editorial boards of Psychology of Sport and Exercise and the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Sandy teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in psychology and coaching at the School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, University of Western Australia. He is a practicing coach and consultant with many years experience working with elite sports teams and in organisations. We are pleased to have him on board!
In this issue we have seven papers and one book review. The first paper by Vincenzo Libri and Travis Kemp adds to our understanding and knowledge of the efficacy of cognitive behavioural techniques for performance enhancement within a nonclinical setting, such as those found in organisational environments. The study examined the effects of a cognitive behavioural based executive coaching intervention for a finance sales executive and found that a cognitive behavioural executive coaching programme enhanced the executive’s sales performance, core self-evaluation, and global self-ratings of performance following his participation in an executive coaching intervention.
Anthony Grant and Blythe O’Hara lift the lid off Australian life coaching schools. Their research had four major objectives: (1) to identify the types of qualifications, certifications and accreditations offered by Australian life coaching schools; (2) to provide an overview of the advertised content and cost of life coach training courses; (3) to identify how life coaching schools differentiate between life coaching and mental health treatment; and (4) to explore the marketing statements made about courses, schools, owners and trainers. Surprisingly they concluded that the selfpromotional statements of the Australian life coach training industry were flamboyant but not considered outrageous. It would be interesting to undertake further research into life coaching schools in North America and Europe too.
Gavin Dagley’s research focused on 17 human resources (HR) professionals’ perceptions of executive coaching and their views on efficacy, benefits and return on investment. Structured interviews were employed to elicit their perceptions. The HR professionals indicated strong support for the use of coaching in the future, and all rated their programmes as at least moderately successful. The practitioners also identified a large range of benefits for the individual executives and a smaller range for the organisations. Interestingly, only one practitioner indicated completing a formal measurement of return on investment.
So what are the right questions and when should we ask them in coaching? Carola Hieker and Clare Huffington build on principles and methods originally developed in the family therapy arena, and demonstrate how reflexive questions can be used in coaching psychology. They apply Tomm’s taxonomy of questions to Dilts’ model of change and bring together theories from systemic therapy with a change management framework based on neurolinguistic programming. They illustrate this with three case studies.
Ho Law, Sara Ireland and Zulfi Hussain’s paper is on evaluation of the Coaching Competence Self-Review (CCSR) online tool within an NHS leadership development programme. Their objectives were to develop a Universal Integrated Framework of coaching and evaluate its effectiveness in terms of its impact upon the participants and the organisations. The CCSR consisted of four dimensions (Personal, Social, Cultural, and Professional) and 18 elements with 110 questions. The CCSR was evaluated using linear regression and analyses of variance, supplemented with qualitative review as part of triangulation process. The results found that the competence increased with age/life experience and that there were no differences in competence scores between male and female participants. Personal and Social and Social and Cross-Cultural competences were co-related. However, there were possible cultural differences. Black participants seemed to benefit from the crosscultural dimension framework as they scored significantly higher than White participants. Asian participants scored somewhere in between the two categories.
Peter Webb suggests that executive career derailment seems to coincide with one of the most significant transitions in life - the midlife ‘crisis’. He asserts that career derailment is most commonly caused by insensitivity; both to others needs and to the individuals own developmental needs for authenticity. He believes that executive coaches can form strong developmental relationships with derailed executives through engaging them in the behaviours of individuation and supporting the development of a more authentic self. In his paper he describes this coaching journey illustrated by a case study.
The last paper by Alison Whybrow and Stephen Palmer present the findings from a follow-up survey exploring the practice and opinions of the membership of the British Psychological Society Special Group in Coaching Psychology (SGCP). It included topics relating to training, supervision, and experience required to become a coaching psychologist. It is worth noting that this follows on from the previous article published in the first issue of the ICPR. This survey of Coaching Psychologists was conducted in December, 2005, 12 months after the formation of the SGCP. They found that participants wanted the SGCP to maintain a strong presence in the broader coaching arena, and to promote the value that psychology brings to this field of practice. The desire for inclusive methods of accreditation was also a focus. The survey found that a wide range of coaching approaches are popular with coaching psychologists although the facilitation, cognitive and solution focused coaching approaches were the most popular with respondents.
A correction to the editorial published in Issue 1 of the ICPR. The paper written by Palmer and Whybrow on ‘The coaching psychology movement and its development within the British Psychological Society’ (pp.5-11) was largely an historical article intended to cover only the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how the special group was formed. The confusion regarding the intention of the paper was due to some overly enthusiastic editorialising on my [MC] part (apologies to Stephen and Alison). Of course, it would not have been possible to celebrate all the people who have so selflessly contributed to the development of the coaching psychology in the UK in such a brief article. That undertaking would require tomes, not pages. Our apologies and thanks to all whom by their efforts have helped to create such a vibrant community of coaching psychologists.
Given the salutary reminder we have received regarding the impossibility of writing an all-inclusive history of any group, let alone one as complex as an interest group, the promised paper outlining the formation of the APS Interest Group in Coaching Psychology has been abandoned. Nevertheless, we are forever indebted to all whose contribution led to the formation of the APS IGCP. The establishment of the IGCP was a landmark event in that it appears to have been the first time a professional Psychological Association had formally recognised coaching psychology.
In 2007 we intend publishing three issues of the . The Spring Edition with be a Special Symposium issue on Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology. We are keen for additional papers for the Summer and Autumn issues. Due to the reviewing process, papers can take a while to be accepted. Therefore, if you are keen to submit a paper, please do not leave it until a few weeks before the publishing deadlines! It’s been a great year for coaching psychology. Play your part and write a paper for the . We look forward to your contributions in 2007.
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