Units of Study offered in the Coaching Psychology Unit


Note: Not all units will be offered each semester

PSYC 4721 - Theories and Techniques of Coaching Psychology

This unit details the fundamental theories and techniques of coaching psychology and evidence-based coaching. Theories and techniques will be evaluated by reference to empirical research and conceptual analysis. An integrated goal-focused approach to coaching draws on a broad base of established Behavioural Science. Within this framework, primary attention will be paid to cognitive-behavioural and solution-focused theories and techniques of behaviour change and self-regulation, and their application to coaching clients. Each weekly seminar has a lecture component and an experiential learning component. The experiential learning component requires students to evaluate each week’s topic in relation to their own personal life experience and to participate in group discussion and coaching practice.


PSYC 4722 - Fundamentals of Coaching Practice

This unit teaches the Fundamentals of coaching, and lays the foundations for sound contemporary practice. This unit outlines the emergence of contemporary coaching from its roots in the Human Potential Movement, sports coaching, management consulting, clinical and counseling psychology, through to the establishment of the positive psychology movement. Drawing on established approaches students will be trained in the core micro skills of coaching. Core issues relating to mental illness and mental health and ethical professional coaching practice are addressed. Each seminar has a lecture component and an experiential learning component. The experiential learning component requires students to evaluate topics in relation to their own personal life/work experience and to participate in group discussion. Practical experience of self-coaching and co-coaching are central aspects of this unit. This unit will be taught in block intensive mode over five days.


PSYC 4723 - Socio-cognitive Issues In Coaching Psychology

The aim of this unit is to give students an understanding of the key areas of psychology that are important to coaching and behaviour change. The focus of the unit is on critical appraisal of theory and the relation of theory to practice and research in coaching. Topics covered in this unit include models of self-regulated behaviour, personality, the relationships between emotion, cognition and behaviour, and the roles of learnt resourcefulness, learned optimism, psychological mindedness, self-reflection and insight in behaviour change. We also look at a variety of models of human development and the importance of taking into account the person’s developmental stage in coaching. Each weekly seminar has a lecture component and an experiential learning component. The experiential learning component requires students to evaluate each week’s topic in relation to their own personal life/work experience and to participate in group discussion. This unit will be taught in block intensive mode over five days.


PSYC 4724 - Coaching Practice

Students will consolidate the theory and skills acquired in previous units through a semester-long co-coaching practicum. Using real-life issues in a supportive and confidential environment, students will coach each other in achieving desired goals. The central learning element in this course is reflection on experience, informed by the models and theories taught across the coaching units. Using the experience gained as both a coach and a client in the course, students will engage in a reflective process that includes live feedback, video taped sessions and written work. In addition to this reflective practice, students will develop and practice case conceptualisation skills and explore models of supervision.


PSYC 4725 - Assessment and Selection

This unit will introduce students to some of the major assessment instruments used in coaching psychology. This unit focuses both on critical evaluation of assessment instruments and their practical use and interpretation. Assessment instruments include: NEO 4; 16PF5; Myers Briggs Type Inventory; the DISK; Human Synergistics; BarOn EQI; WAIS; MMPI; Self-directed Search; Strong Interest Inventory; Multi-factor Leadership Questionnaire


PSYC 4727 - Positive Organisational Coaching

How can psychology help create “healthy” workplaces? Executive and management coaching have emerged as important factors in the enhancement of performance, engagement and well-being in the workplace. This unit examines key issues in contemporary executive and workplace coaching and equips students with the knowledge and skills to provide world-class executive and management coaching. The emphasis is on critical evaluation of theory and application to practice. Although primarily focused on positive psychology, solution-focused and cognitive-behavioural approaches to coaching in organisations, the application of psychodynamic (e.g. Kilburg) and systems (e.g. O’Neil) approaches to the enhancement of performance and well-being are also considered. The course covers issues in senior executive coaching, coaching middle management, establishing manager-as-coach programs, and the use of positive psychology in the workplace. This unit assumes knowledge of core coaching theories and techniques, unless students have substantial coaching experience, they students should only enrol in this unit once they have completed PSYC 4721 and PSYC 4722.


PSYC 4729 - Groups, Teams and Systems

Coaching always takes place within the context of human systems, be they family, social networks, or workplace organisations. This unit of study considers both the theory and practice of working in human systems. At the theoretical level, students undertaking this unit will consider the major theoretical advances which aid our understanding of groups and complex human systems. These will include systems theory and complexity theory as well as major research findings in group and team dynamics. Students will also consider the practical implications of these theoretical approaches to coaching within organisations. Issues surrounding self organisation, leadership and control, and the management of change in complex adaptive systems will also be discussed. Students will design and facilitate a small group coaching program.


PSYC 4730 - Applied Positive Psychology

This unit of study teaches the application of positive psychology to coaching in work and personal life contexts. We consider the core principles of positive psychology and how these can be applied in coaching interventions. Topics covered in this unit include; coaching as an applied positive psychology; goals, meaning and well-being; subjective and psychological well-being; happiness; gratitude; the languishing vs. flourishing dichotomy; broaden and build theory; self-concordance; well-being in the workplace; career coaching through the life span; and the use of positive psychology in health coaching. There is emphasis on both theoretical understanding and personal practice. The experiential learning component requires students to evaluate each week’s topic in relation to their own personal life experience and to participate in group discussion and coaching practice.


PSYC 4731 - Psychology of Peak Performance

The Psychology of Peak Performance draws on theories and models of sport, performance and positive psychology and applies these to use in executive, workplace and personal coaching practice. Topics covered include flow, mental toughness, mental readiness, concentration enhancement strategies and techniques, rehearsal and debrief strategies, thriving under pressure, self-coaching, overcoming setbacks, performance protocols, focusing, and surviving success. In addition the unit covers issues related to high performing teams and groups. Issues of work/life balance are also addressed, particularly in relation to the management of optimal energy levels (avoiding burnout). There is emphasis on both theoretical understanding and personal practice. The experiential learning component requires students to evaluate each week's topic in relation to their own personal life experience and to participate in group discussion and coaching practice.