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Stephen Palmer

The 3rd British Psychological Society, Special Group in Coaching Psychology (SGCP) National Coaching Psychology Conference (1) has an important message for 2007: Putting the Psychology into Coaching. It is hoped the Conference will live up to this ‘mission statement’. In reality, coaching has always been underpinned by psychological theory and possibly research. However, for many years, the theory was not explicitly explained on many coach training courses. Often it was there implicitly but only obvious to course delegates or students with prior psychological knowledge. It was not always obvious to the trainers as Dr Tony Grant points out in his interview below. To make matters worse, most coaching books had little psychological theory either and possibly 90 per cent had no academic references at all. Yet back in the 1920s Dr Coleman Griffith (1926) was literally putting the psychology into (sports) coaching when he was writing and researching into this area of work.

For The Coaching Psychologist and for the SGCP Conference website, we interview (2) the conference Keynote Speakers. This provides us with an insight into their professional background, views and opinions on coaching and coaching psychology, and also what their paper will be about. This year we are privileged to have Dr Anthony Grant (Australia), Prof. Carol Kauffman (US), Prof. Ernesto Spinelli (UK), Sir John Whitmore (UK) and Dr Alison Whybrow (UK) as our Keynote Speakers who are well known in the field of coaching and/or coaching psychology.

We hope that the interviews will encourage psychologists, coaches, HR and other professionals to attend the Conference this December to find out more about putting the psychology into coaching and the coaching psychology movement.

Professor Stephen Palmer
Coaching Psychology Unit,
City University,
Northampton Square,
London EC1V 0HB.
E-mail: s.palmer-1@city.ac.uk


Griffith, C.R. (1926). Psychology of Coaching: A study of coaching methods from the point of view of psychology.

New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

1 - Technically speaking, the December 2006 International Coaching Psychology Conference was also the 3rd National SGCP conference. This would make this year’s conference our 4th National Conference.

2 - Interviews are carried out by e-mail correspondence.

Full article: Volume 3, Issue 3 pages 115 - 129


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