The integration of mindfulness training and health coaching: An exploratory study



Publication Details

Spence, G. B., Cavanagh, M. J. & Grant, A. M. (2008). The integration of mindfulness training and health coaching: An exploratory study. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 1 (2), 145-163.


Coaching has attracted much attention from health professionals interested in collaborative, person-centred approaches to motivating behaviour change. Whilst initial research supports the efficacy of coaching in health contexts, more theoretical and empirical work is needed. Based on recent work demonstrating the important role that mindfulness plays in self-regulation, it was hypothesised that the efficacy of health coaching could be enhanced through the inclusion of Mindfulness Training (MT). To test this, 45 adult were randomly assigned to three health programmes for eight weeks. Using a crossover design, two groups received an alternative delivery of MT and cognitive-behavioural, solution-focused (CB-SF) coaching, whilst the third group participated in a series of health education seminars. Results showed that goal attainment was significantly greater in the facilitative/coaching format than the educative/directive format. No significant differences were found for goal attainment between the two MT/CB-SF conditions suggesting that the delivery sequence had little bearing on outcomes. After reviewing the results, the implications for health professionals are discussed.

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