Change process beyond goals: The client in the context of the working alliance in coaching

Tünde Erdös

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD-Thesis - Research and graduation internal

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The qualitative meta-synthesis investigating client’s role in the change process in coaching indicates that client’s emotionality in under-researched in coaching and that the role of the coach-client relationship as a contextual factor appears to be a moderating rather than mediating factor in client’s growth and development. The qualitative meta-synthesis also results in looking at goal attainment as client’s goal-directed behavior and authentic self-development rather than as a specific goal to be attained over time. As a result, the international longitudinal quantitative study involving 185 coach-client pairs conducted in affiliation with Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Ashridge Centre for Coaching and Case Western Reserve University comprises two investigative approaches. It looks into the following processes: a) how client’s personality as a balanced intrapersonal representation of affective (A), behavioral (B), cognitive (C), and motivational (D) dimensions of the Big Five personality trait inventory impacts on client’s authentic self-development as mediated by client’s affect balance over time; and b) how movement synchrony as a coach-client interpersonal process impacts on client’s goal-directed behavior as mediated by client’s emotional and cognitive self-regulation and as moderated by the quality of the coach-client relationship over time. Coach-client nonverbal interactions are video-taped, and the mean effect of movement synchrony is measured via the objective means of motion energy analysis (MEA). MEA coded data is compared with clients’ post-session self-reports of self-regulatory capacities and working alliance. A pre-coaching questionnaire on the ABCDs of the Big Five and a post-coaching questionnaire three months after completion of the coaching engagement are related to the measures of clients’ goal-directed behavior and authentic self-development beyond the coaching engagement. The final exploratory study into the development of movements synchrony for dyadic interactions along with a correlation analysis and discrimination analysis of the associations between movement synchrony and some demographic variables complement our understanding of the mean effects of movement synchrony in client’s change process in coaching.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Jansen, Paul, Supervisor
  • de Haan, Erik, Supervisor
  • Wilt, Joshua, Co-supervisor, -
Award date1 Apr 2021
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Print ISBNs9789036106436
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • ABCDs
  • Big Five inventory
  • authentic self-development
  • client characteristics
  • coaching process
  • goal attainment
  • interactional processes
  • movement synchrony
  • personality
  • working alliance


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