The Introduction of Emotion Coaching as a Whole School Approach in a Primary Specialist Social Emotional and Mental Health Setting: Positive Outcomes for All

Licette Gus1, *, Janet Rose2, Louise Gilbert3, Ryan Kilby4
1 Independent Educational Psychologist, Gloucestershire, UK
2 Norland College, Bath, UK
3 Bath Spa University, Bath, UK
4 Meadow View Farm School, Leicestershire, UK

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© 2017 Gus et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Licette Gus Psychology 6 The Mansion, Northwick Park, Blockley, GLOS, GL56 9RJ, Gloucestershire, UK. Tel: +44 1386 700244, E-mails:;



This paper describes the impact upon well-being of pupils, staff, and families following the introduction of Emotion Coaching as a whole school approach.


This paper’s objective is an attempt to redress the lack of published evidence about the use of Emotion Coaching in schools and to highlight how a school has been able to adopt a humanistic relational approach in a climate in which behaviorist principles are dominant in schools.


A case study approach using mixed methods was used. Data were examined from an outcomes model perspective where the benefits and changes intended from Emotion Coaching were the starting point. Perspectives from pupils, staff, and families were gained via interviews and structured questionnaires alongside quantitative measures of pupil academic progress and staff and pupil behavior.


Results indicate that Emotion Coaching improved the pupil’s ability to regulate their feelings and had a positive effect upon teacher-pupil relationships. Family-school relationships were supported by the school’s use of and modeling of Emotion Coaching with families and the ethos of attunement and non-judgemental interactions implicit in Emotion Coaching. Emotion Coaching promoted an increase in shared emotional language and trust. Shared emotional language and trust were key in the development of both teacher-pupil and family-school relationships. There was an improvement in well-being in that: rates of pupil restraint decreased, pupils made better than expected academic progress, staff absenteeism reduced, and families reported improved family life.


We conclude that Emotion Coaching contributes to the promotion of sustainable, holistic improvement in wellbeing for pupils, school staff, and families.

Keywords: Emotion Coaching, Social and emotional learning, Teacher-pupil relationships, Home-school relationships, Universal intervention.