Skip to main content


Core readings provided in the module pack
A chapter by Palmer & Whybrow (2007) from the Handbook of Coaching Psychology; chapters by Ladyshewsky (2010) and Spinelli (2010) from The Complete Handbook of Coaching; and an article by Frigerio and McCash (2013) from the Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling.

  • Coaching psychology: an introduction
    Palmer & Whybrow (2007) provide an overview of the historical evolution of coaching psychology. They discuss the coaching versus coaching psychology debate and the difficulties of employing simple interview frameworks within a psychological vacuum. A useful overview of the main theoretical perspectives is provided (pp.10-11).
  • Peer coaching
    Ladyshewsky (2010) discusses the goals, processes and tasks of peer coaching. Key concepts identified include: trust, formality and non-evaluative feedback. The relationship between peer coaching and 4 theoretical approaches is briefly discussed (i.e. solution-focused, person-centred, cognitive behavioral and learning theory-based).
  • Existential coaching
    Spinelli (2010) argues that the client’s concerns should be seen as expressions of her worldview. Key concepts include: relatedness; uncertainty; meaning; consonance and dissonance. Tasks, goals and methods of existential coaching are outlined.
  • Career coaching
    Frigerio and McCash (2013) argue for an integrated approach to career coaching. They outline the activities and settings for career coaching. The following topics are highlighted: career-related learning, career development theories; career literacy; meaning and purpose; opportunity systems and the integration of theory and practice.

Integrating theory and practice
Select one of the approaches to coaching identified above and use this to inform a coaching relationship. Once you have done this, use another approach for a contrast.

Optional extension activities
1/ Read chapters on cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic, person-centred, narrative or personal construct coaching, from the Handbook of Coaching Psychology.
2/ Read chapters on gestalt, positive psychology, transpersonal or transactional analysis coaching, from The Complete Handbook of Coaching.
3/ For additional specific examples, read Nelson-Jones (2006) on life coaching, Thomson (2009) on non-directive coaching or Whitmore (2009) on the Grow model.