Exploring positive psychology and personcentred psychology in multi-cultural coaching

Llewellyn E. van Zyl*, Renate Motschnig-Pitrik, Marius W. Stander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Positive psychology and the person centred approach have emerged as dominant perspectives utilized within multi-cultural coaching contexts owing to 'cultural neutrality'. Eclectic theorists within coaching psychology suggest that these perspectives are mutually related and complementary both in conceptualization and application (Joseph S, Murphy D. Person-centered theory encountering mainstream psychology: Building bridges and looking to the future. In: Interdisciplinary handbook of the person-centered approach. Springer, New York, pp 213-226, 2013). Though, purists in both the positive psychological and personcentred domains argue that each paradigm is mutually exclusive, unrelated and conceptually dissimilar (Robbins, Humanist Psychol 36: 96-112, 2008). As such, this chapter is aimed at contrasting eclectic and purist theorising through examining similarities and differences between positive psychology and the person-centred approach as dominant paradigm perspectives within multi-cultural coaching. Both the positive psychological and person-centred paradigms will be presented against an eclectic multi-cultural strengths-based coaching model founded in both paradigms (cf. Van Zyl LE, Stander MW. A strengths-based approach towards coaching in a multicultural environment. In Cornelius-White JHD, Motschnig-Pitrik R, Lux M (eds) Interdisciplinary handbook of the person-centred approach. Springer, New York, pp 245-257, 2013). Through the use of connective conceptual analysis (Banicki 2011), each phase of the proposed eclectic coaching model will be explored from a positive psychological and person-centred orientation to develop a clear understanding of the essential commonalities and dissimilarities of the paradigms within the multicultural coaching context.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoaching Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationMeta-Theoretical Perspectives and Applications in Multicultural Contexts
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)9783319310121
ISBN (Print)9783319310107
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Coachee-centred coaching
  • Executive coaching
  • Multi-cultural environment
  • Person-centred approach
  • Positive psychology
  • Strengths-based coaching


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