Contextual behavioural coaching: An evidence-based model for supporting behaviour change

Lee Hulbert-Williams, Kevin Hochard, Nick Hulbert-Williams, Rob Archer, Wendy Nicholls, Kelly Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


As coaching psychology finds its feet, demands for evidence-based approaches are increasing both from inside and outside of the industry. There is an opportunity in the many evidence-based interventions in other areas of applied psychology that are of direct relevance to coaching psychology. However, there may too be risks associated with unprincipled eclecticism. Existing approaches that are gaining popularity in the coaching field such as dialectic behavioural therapy and mindfulness enjoy close affiliation with Contextual Behavioral Science (CBS). In this article, we provide a brief overview of CBS as a coherent philosophical, scientific, and practice framework for empirically supported coaching work. We review its evidence base, and its direct applicability to coaching by describing CBS’s most explicitly linked intervention – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training (ACT). We highlight key strengths of ACT including: its great flexibility in regard of the kinds of client change it can support; the variety of materials and exercises available; and, the varied modes of delivery through which it has been shown to work. The article lays out guiding principles and provides a brief illustrative case study of contextual behavioural coaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-154
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Coaching Psychology Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


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