Constructivist Coaching : A Practical Guide to Unlocking Potential Alternative Futures book cover
1st Edition

Constructivist Coaching
A Practical Guide to Unlocking Potential Alternative Futures

ISBN 9781138310902
Published October 13, 2020 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Based on the philosophy of Personal Construct Psychology (PCP), constructivist coaching is interested in how people interpret their own lives and how they ‘construct’ their sense of reality within their social world. Relationships, social context, individual thought processes, identity, and active learning are all fundamental aspects of this approach.

Using a range of methods and practical applications, these expert authors bring constructivist coaching to life for the first time, enabling the reader to quickly grasp both the meaning of the approach and how to apply it. The aim is to work flexibly with your coachees, allowing them to lead the coaching process to unlock what they did not know or realise about themselves and reach greater self-understanding and self-acceptance, and to enable them to engage in meaningful change. With a wide range of examples offered, the methods covered in the book can be used flexibly across contexts, as either a holistic coaching philosophy or an extension to your existing coaching tools.

Constructivist Coaching is an invaluable practical guide for coaches, managers and occupational psychologists, along with anyone else who is involved in supporting the personal development and learning of others.

Table of Contents

List of Boxes. List of Figures. About the Authors. Acknowledgements. Chapter 1 Introduction. Chapter 2 Understanding constructivist approaches. Chapter 3 Language, and making the best of conversational approaches. Chapter 4 The potential of PCP as a coaching theory. Chapter 5 Working with emotions and transition cycles. Chapter 6 Being a constructivist coach. Chapter 7 Managing the coaching process. Chapter 8 Working with constructivist techniques: narratives and representational forms. Chapter 9 Working with constructivist techniques: pictorial forms. Chapter 10 Working with constructivist techniques: more structured explorations. Chapter 11 Reflections. Glossary. Appendix A Coaching aids. Appendix B Further resources for constructivist practitioners. Index.

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Kim Bradley-Cole is a Senior Lecturer at University of Winchester, a Chartered and HCPC registered Occupational Psychologist, a qualified psychological test user, and a certified coach. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a practicing member of both the Division of Occupational Psychology and the Special Group in Coaching Psychology.

Pam Denicolo is a chartered constructivist psychologist and Professor Emeritus from the University of Reading. She was instrumental in establishing an inter-university Social Science Graduate Centre before her retirement from the University of Reading and later contributed to its further development in her consultancy role at the University of Surrey. She continues to work extensively with other universities in the UK, the EU and abroad to develop their doctoral and constructivist research and coaching support.


A brilliant book in which the authors impeccably illustrate the usefulness of constructivism - and particularly Personal Construct Psychology – as an approach to coaching. Dealing with this field of knowledge and practice, they show how this way to interpret the world and the human experience is a really versatile, still revolutionary and heuristic approach.

Massimo Giliberto, Director of the Institute of Constructivist Psychology, Padua, Italy


This book is a 'go to read' for any coaches wishing to bring a distinct conceptual framework to their elaborative enquiry. Kim and Pam offer a unique constructivist approach which they explain with authority to underpin the coaching process, including expert guidance on conversations and activities.

Almuth McDowall, Assistant Dean and Professor of Organizational Psychology, Birkbeck University of London


The authors have succeeded in writing a practical and interesting text that explains Personal Construct Psychology and Constructivist Coaching to a range of audiences. This includes coaches who are new to the field, experienced practitioners, academics, and those who simply want to explore coaching. The format of the book allows the reader to understand underpinning theories and evidence before introducing tools to apply concepts in practice. The reflection points and a reflections chapter help the coach to choose where PCP is appropriate. Coaches will develop a repertoire of skills through the exploration of novel approaches including use of metaphors, pictures, narratives, and toys/games to facilitate the coaching process.

Laura Rees-Davies, Senior Lecturer, University of Worcester and Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Special Group in Coaching Psychology


With its wealth of exercises, examples from practice, coaching aids and reflection points, this book is a very practical guide for the reader who wishes to add constructivist techniques to their coaching armamentarium. Importantly, however, it goes beyond this in providing a grounding, in accessible language, in the theory and philosophical assumptions that underlie these techniques, mostly derived from Personal Construct Psychology. It will therefore be an invaluable and definitive resource for those readers who wish to become constructivist coaches, rather than just coaches who use constructivist methods.

David Winter, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology, University of Hertfordshire


The scope and coverage of this book on constructivist coaching is impressive. Dr Kim Bradley-Cole and Professor Pam Denicolo manage to combine a thorough theoretical base of PCP and at the same time give a practical guide to deep and applicable constructivist coaching practice. Although aimed at constructivist coaching, the fundamental theoretical parts on PCP and the rich variety of examples given will attract not only coaches and occupational psychologists, but will be an invaluable read for anyone interested in PCP. The book deserves a wide readership.

Professor Britt-Marie Apelgren, Faculty of Education, University of Gothenburg, Sweden