She is also is an esteemed IPPC team member as the Student Success Coordinator. Sanna is a graduate of the IPPC’s Diploma program in Applied Positive Psychology Coaching and is a Certified Applied Positive Psychology Coach (CAPPC).
Q: Tell us briefly about yourself, your professional background, and what drew you to the IPPC’s applied positive psychology coaching program?
I am originally from Finland and now live in the Netherlands. My first degree is in Business and I have worked over 20 years in different companies in the Netherlands.
After a few years of working in the corporate world, I became interested in workplace wellbeing and flourishing at work and decided to learn more. I started by undertaking a one-year study in organisational psychology and then followed by an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology.
Before starting my MSc I had very limited coaching experience and my main interest was in Positive Psychology. Experiencing coaching and learning about the psychology of coaching during the MSc study “warmed me up” to the art of coaching. However, after graduation I felt that I could use more practice in really applying the theory to the coaching conversations. This is when I came across the program that IPPC is offering, which sounded exactly what I needed at that point.
Q: What insights, change or transformation did you experience during the program, and how has it impacted you, your wellbeing, and coaching practice?
The program allowed me to grow as a coach in ways that I could not have imagined. Having already a background in Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology I was actually not expecting it to be as impactful as it was.
I was invited and encouraged to really stretch myself when doing the assignments and trying new approaches with my coaching clients while adopting a “beginners mindset”. I also learned how to be discerning and critically evaluate which tools and models to apply in my coaching conversations, and when.
Perhaps my favourite quote from the program is, “holding it lightly” whilst balancing my coaching approach and focusing on the coachee in front of me. The program also helped me to reflect on my own wellbeing as a coach, including attending to my own self-care and self-management.
Q: Describe your coaching practice today as a result of completing the IPPC’s applied positive psychology coaching program.
The program also focuses on business development, which helped me to clarify who I am as a coach and what type of coaching I do. At the start of the Diploma Level 2 program, the word niche was not one of my favourite words, I considered it to be more marketing “mumbo-jumbo” at first.
However, I did recognize that the process to deeply think about who am I serving and why, was not easy, but very much needed.
As a result of wholeheartedly applying myself and moving beyond my own comfort zone, I can now say with confidence that I am a mental wellbeing coach helping seasoned professionals to be mentally well in their work and life. Being clear on whom I serve and communicating it with confidence has helped me to fill up my agenda with my ideal clients.
Q: Please provide an example or case study of how you are uniquely expressing applied positive psychology coaching in your own practice?
I am using the Applied Positive Psychology Coaching (APPC) approach to coaching my clients daily. The main focus of Positive Psychology coaching is wellbeing, which is the foundation of everything. It is very difficult to work on big life goals if one does not have the mental wellbeing to draw from.
So my approach to coaching is very holistic, looking at all areas of life, and making sure that the wellbeing is there and addressed first, but then also looking at the deeper level of values and strengths and how to live a life that is meaningful to the coachee.
For example one of my clients was experiencing social isolation due to Covid-19 and working from home which in his case also led to feeling disengaged from his work.
We started by looking at where he gets his energy from, how can he connect more, and how to manage stress. The next step was to explore his strengths and what is meaningful for him. This helped him to reconnect with his purpose and with the people around him. Through our coaching sessions, he reported having more wellbeing and engagement, and also feeling more like himself in a renewed way.
Q: What advice do you have for other coaches interested in positive psychology coaching and the IPPC’s program?
The IPPC program offers a robust foundation to build your coaching business further. It helps you to understand the evidence-base of the tools, models and techniques that you are using and the ways to apply them effectively in your coaching practice (and also when NOT to apply them).
The program does require you to do some hard work on yourself and on your coaching skills. At the same time, the program also stretches your growth, including continually adopting a beginner’s mindset as part of the transformation. Studying while also working full-time is never easy, but the IPPC offers the necessary support needed to be successful in it.
The IPPC offers ICF-accredited, evidence-based, advanced training and business development leading to a diploma and designation as a Certified Applied Positive Psychology Coach (CAPPC). Get started here.