Is Coaching a Positive Psychology Intervention? Exploring the Relationships Between Positive Psychology, Applied Positive Psychology, Coaching Psychology, and Coaching

  • Tim LomasEmail author


Definitively identifying a particular activity as being a positive psychology intervention can be difficult. The issue is compounded by lack of clarity around where the boundaries of positive psychology itself lie, and how it intersects with conceptually-related disciplines. A case in point is coaching, which shares positive psychology’s interest in enhancing wellbeing and performance across life domains. Coaching’s status with respect to positive psychology is a matter of debate: is it a subset of positive psychology (e.g., part of its applied arm), or alternatively a distinct endeavour that overlaps in complex ways. This chapter considers these issues, looking firstly at the nature of positive psychology itself (including who practises it, and what constitutes a positive psychology intervention), and then at the relationship between positive psychology and coaching (as a case study to shed light upon the issues). Lessons will be drawn about how positive psychology interacts with kinship fields, and what it means to identify something as a positive psychology intervention.


Applied positive psychology Positive psychology Coaching Coaching psychology 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of East LondonLondonUK

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