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Title: The transformational potential of 'aha' moments in life coaching and beyond
Author: Longhurst, Leigh Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 7548
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2010
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"Aha" moments of insight are considered fundamental to personal transformational but the phenomenology of insight and intuition are poorly understood phenomena (Levitt et ai, 2004). Life coaching has little to say on the subject since the body of literature relating to coaching is still in its foetal stages (Griffiths, 2005). This research addresses both of these problems by exploring whether "Aha" moments are fundamental to the transformational change sought by the "Co-Active" model of life coaching (Whitworth et ai, 1998, 2007). A grounded theory methodology was employed to investigate the phenomenology of insight. Participants were selected for their use of the Co-Active coaching model and their willingness to render phenomenological accounts of "Aha" moments. Co-Active coaches and their clients recorded their experiences of insight during coaching sessions. Methods involved diary-keeping, questionnaires and interviews. Diaries captured the lived experience of the "Aha" moment while questionnaires and interviews revealed its lingering effects on beliefs and behaviours. Each phase of data collection informed the next. By comparing the findings of this research with other fields of inquiry into insight, an integral methodological element was added to the grounded approach. Findings reveal the "Aha" moment to induce 'alethia' the Greek term meaning to step out of lethargy and into truth. The moment can be experienced not only cognitively but somatically and emotionally, striking many chords across a spectrum of consciousness from body, to mind, to soul to spirit The more chords the "Aha" moment strikes, the greater the resonance and potential for cognitive and behavioural change. Findings suggest that insight comes from intuition and can arise in cognition as a purely mental event or can be experienced in transpersonal ways, where such intuition is described as 'spiritual'. The study suggests that the ontology of a truly holistic coaching model would offer the possibility of transformational change at the levels of ego, mind, body, soul and spirit.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Aha moment ; insight ; intuition ; Co-Active coaching ; spectrum of consciousness ; transformational change