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How psychology boosts the impact of coaching

Coaching has firm foundations in psychology, especially where they intersect around mental well-being, behaviour change and optimising performance. Integral coach and facilitator Gretha Cronje, who is also a SACAP (South African College of Applied Psychology) coach educator, outlines the benefits of a coaching education that includes psychology.
How psychology boosts the impact of coaching

She says, “The more coaches learn about the complexity of being a human through the lens of various psychological theories, the more they realise the importance of making time for their own self-development. You can only coach a client at the level that you’ve integrated your own psychological traumas, which we all have by the nature of being human. If you want to be an excellent coach, your personal development is as important as theory and skills development. Of course, it is also vital to have a substantial understanding of the intra- and interpersonal dimensions at play when supporting your client to achieve their goals.”

With 15 years of experience in coach training, SACAP offers a range of coach education programmes including an Honours-equivalent, two-year, part-time Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching. All SACAP’s coaching programmes are nationally approved by COMENSA (Coaches and Mentors of South Africa) and internationally accredited by the ICF (International Coaching Federation).

Kaylynn Philander, SACAP coaching manager, explains that the private institution takes a unique approach to its coach education programmes by applying the lens of applied psychology. She says, “The research and wisdom of psychological theory becomes accessible to coach practitioners as a basis for effective coaching. One of SACAP’s coaching programme modules specifically explores the nature of psychology as a theoretical discipline and its relationship to and impact on coaching. It provides an understanding of the multiple perspectives that have emerged in psychology over the years with focus given to different schools of psychological thought, their conceptualisations of human behaviour and how various pertinent concepts are applicable within the scope of practice of a coach. In addition, the student coach undertakes a process of personal exploration through critically evaluating the application of these psychological theories, concepts and models within their own personal or professional journey.”

Tinus van der Merwe, an executive coach who is one of SACAP’s coach educators, mentor coach and an internship supervisor, adds, “Coaching is all about profound transformation that has to do with the human being, not the human ‘doing’. Through psychology in coaching, our students develop new insights. They feel empowered to act more decisively and develop the ability to identify positive solutions. As coaches they co-create opportunities with their clients to flourish and become more open to personal development."

In 2022, SACAP has reshaped its coaching programmes to meet the needs of working professionals who want flexible ways to study coaching. Using a blended teaching and learning approach, SACAP coaching programmes include weekly online evening modules which run in 10-week blocks as well as in-person four-day intensive modules that take place at its Cape Town and Johannesburg campuses.

8 Mar 2022 13:53