What can coaches learn from positive psychology?

Research Briefing

Keywords: coaching, coaches, executive coaching, psychology, positive psychology

There has been an explosion in interest in positive psychology over the last 20 years and, whilst many of the findings from this discipline found their way into the health, psychotherapy and psychology literature, little has crossed over into real-world coaching.

Martin Seligman, president of the American Psychological Association (APA) in the late 1990s, noted that psychology tends to be largely concerned with the problems, negative emotions and issues that people have. Since then, however, the emerging field of positive psychology has gone from strength to strength. So, whilst the discipline of positive psychology has started to mature and develop, only small amounts of the research findings from this area have found their way into practical coaching.

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