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Solution-Focus: Bringing Positive Psychology Into the Conversation
Positive psychology is the study of what makes people flourish, whereas coaching is a professional relationship designed to help people flourish. Coaching practice has been primarily influenced by positive psychology via the coaches’ use of positive psychology interventions, which are evidence-based exercises to enhance flourishing. Researchers, however, designed positive psychology interventions to be self-administered, self-help tools that do not necessarily need a coaching context for delivery. Therefore, the impact of positive psychology on how practitioners coach has been limited because these interventions do not fully tap the potential offered by the interactive nature of the coaching session. What is needed is a framework that would enable the coach to (a) systematically identify positive psychology constructs such as hope, strengths, or positive emotions as they spontaneously emerge in the client’s communication; and (b) amplify them by using specific strategies in the interaction. In effect, solution-focused practice provides this exact framework, because it operationalizes many positive psychology constructs in the conversation, therefore making the coaching session itself a positive psychology intervention.
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