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Health promotion theory in practice: an analysis of Co-Active Coaching

JD Irwin International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2005

According to the World Health Organization (1986), “health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their own health.” To bring this process and its desired outcomes to fruition, many theories and models for understanding and altering health behaviours have been designed and utilized (Ajzen, 1988; Bandura, 1986; Fishbein & Ajzen; 1975; Freire, 1973, 1974; Jessor & Jessor, 1977; Prochaska, 1979). Practitioners of behaviour change implementation are legion, as therapists, counsellors, social workers and so forth. Coaching (in various iterations such as life coaching, personal coaching, executive coaching) is a recent and growing behavioural intervention. As trained health behaviourists with professional coaching practices, it is our contention that the Co-Active coaching method is an effective and efficient approach for ‘doing health promotion’. Furthermore, the success of the Co-Active coaching approach as a tool for health promotion is based, in part, on its integration of key health behaviour change elements such as: personal values; goal setting; self-defined issues; empowerment; self confidence; reinforcement; and self-efficacy. This position paper will examine the relationship of the Co-Active coaching method with several well-established behavioural theories.

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