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How strengths-focussed coaching can help military personnel in their transition to ‘civvy street’

A Zarecky International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2014

This paper aims to show how a positive psychology strengths approach can be useful in helping transitioning military personnel in their transition to “civvy street”. This qualitative study entailed an action research methodology, using a strengths cards intervention based on the Values-in-Action Inventory (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Thematic analysis was used to analyse data from both semistructured interviews and coaching sessions with six participants over a 4-6 week period. The findings show how the strengths intervention prompted a discussion and an exploration of participants’ identity, which led to a greater awareness and understanding of perceived individual versus collective military identity. Thus a greater awareness of strengths helped participants gain clarity on who they felt they were and what they wanted from their next career. A strengths vocabulary also provided a common language to help them effectively communicate their strengths potential employers.

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