Research in Practice Hub

Advancing the Science and Practice of Coaching, Counselling, and Therapy to Foster Meaning, Well-being, Growth, and Social Change.

As both practitioners and academics, we are dedicated to merging research with practice to advance our fields, promote interdisciplinary collaboration, and cultivate meaning, well-being, growth, and social change in individuals and their communities. Our expertise ranges from coaching to counselling psychology and therapy.

Key staff

  • Dr. Valentina Canessa-Pollard
  • Kate Hicks
  • Helen Neary
  • Phoebe Simmons
  • Dr. Moitree Banarjee

Lab head contact details

General enquiries: Dr. Valentina Canessa-Pollard

For specific research inquiries, please contact individual Hub members directly.

Hub members' research interests

  • Valentina Canessa-Pollard: Coaching Psychology particularly from Cognitive-Behavioural and Ecological perspectives, career transitions, professional and academic development, ethical leadership, outdoor practice.
  • Kate Hicks: Counselling Psychology in exploring therapeutic interventions that support clients with emotional expression. Kate’s doctoral research explores the role of self-compassion following bereavement and its influence on individual experiences of living with loss.
  • Helen Neary: Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology in particular exploring specific interventions to enhance academic performance as well as enhancing subjective wellbeing through coaching.
  • Phoebe Simmons: Coaching, wellbeing, strengths, meaning in life, women’s leadership.
  • Moitree Banerjee: mindfulness, social prescription, mental health inequalities, mental health stigma and increasing access to mental health interventions.

Current projects

  • Valentina Canessa-Pollard: Coaching for Academic Perfectionism, Storytelling and Felt-sense interventions to improve nature connectedness and well-being, Evaluation of Women’s Leadership Programme in Sport.
  • Kate Hicks: Evaluation of Mindfulness-based intervention for developing wisdom; Experiences of using embodied metaphors to support emotional expression.
  • Helen Neary: Self-Efficacy, Personal Strengths & Academic Progress and a community-based study on parental wellbeing as influenced by Forest School attendance.
  • Phoebe Simmons: Exploring how meaning in life is explored and developed in coaching, Evaluation of Women’s Leadership Programme in Sport.

Available participation opportunities

Seeking participants for coaching sessions targeting academic perfectionism. Undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in addressing the adverse effects of academic perfectionism will participate in three coaching sessions. For enquiries, please reach out to

Recent publications

  • Simmons, P. (2023). Coachees experiences of strengths-based coaching when identifying their strengths with the VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS). International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, S17, pp.176-192.

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