Appreciative Recovery Coaching

People experiencing and living with mental health and wellbeing issues commonly benefit from empathy, compassion, guidance, skills development, advocacy and material support. There is a very wide range of counselling, therapy and coaching approaches on the market, and the Academy for Recovery Coaching C.I.C. has developed its own integrated, evidence-based way of working, incorporating what we consider the most effective and deliverable tools, techniques and strategies. We call our proven, person-centred approach Appreciative Recovery Coaching (ARC) and it integrates aspects of:


  • Evidence-based relationship factors. Regardless of the ‘type’ of psychotherapy or counselling being delivered, systematic reviews and meta-analysis relationship factors explain perhaps 30% of the variance in outcomes. When we train, guide and support people in our approach to Recovery Coaching we help them understand, experience and use the (evidence-based) relationship factors of Empathy, Alliance, Goal Congruence and Client Feedback
  • Motivational Interviewing. MI is a ‘collaborative, goal oriented conversational style for eliciting and strengthening a person’s readiness and commitment for change, within an atmosphere or acceptance and compassion’. The approach is supported by over 500 controlled trials with a range of behaviours in a range of settings when delivered by a range of different professionals.
  • ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. A ‘third wave’ behavioural approach, ACT helps people develop and experience psychological flexibility, resilience and an improved quality of life by helping them clarify what matters to them and take action in line with and towards these values by spending more time in the present moment
  • Compassionate Mind Training. Helping people treat themselves with the same kindness and compassion they would treat someone else who was suffering, to find a safe place within themselves and related differently to their ‘inner critic’
  • Solution Focussed Therapy, Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Psychology. Our approach does not focus on diagnosing and fixing people within a disease model of human functioning. Rather, we teach, guide and support practitioners to use specific tools and strategies for discovering, strengthening and working with what is right with people, whilst helping them experience more Positive emotion, Health, Engagement with life, better Relationships, more Meaning, and feeling of Achievement. (our PHERMA wellbeing framework). Clients co-produce their personalised Wellbeing Recovery and Improvement Plan (and practitioners develop their own as they train!)

We deliver training and support in Appreciative Recovery Coaching via Blended Learning, a flexible, tailored mixture of:


  • One day and Two day classroom based skills development workshops
  • Manuals and workbooks, including tip sheets and conversational templates
  • Telephone and Skype based individual and group coaching and supervision sessions
  • Modular-online courses, including video demonstrations and discussion forums
  • Periodic seminars and webinars, the latter recorded for later viewing

The approach we teach (and support practitioners to use) overlaps and harmonises with the approach we teach and support leaders and managers to adopt (our CALM framework). Both are person-centred, respectful, collaborative, compassionate, strengths based, solution focussed, optimistic, confident building, learnable, theory driven and empirically supported approaches. We believe this consistency in styles and mindsets is critical for embedding the approach and bringing about positive culture change – as everyone gets to see and experience the style and approach on a daily basis, whilst feeling more listened to, heard, understood and empowered. This in turn drives up levels of respect and co-operation which improves multiple outcomes including safety. We call our integrated approach to implementation and culture change our Heads, Hearts and Hands system – giving people the understanding, internal motivation, language, skills and practical tools to create, maintain and manifest a culture of compassion, recovery and improvement throughout the organisation.