Self-determination theory (SDT) and Co-Active life coaching (CALC) serve in a complementary capacity whereby both are concerned with investigating the natural growth tendencies of individuals with respect to self-motivation. SDT provides a framework for examining the processes that regulate health behaviours, while the Co-Active model provides the tools necessary to bring desired changes to fruition. Although an increasing amount of empirical support for CALC exists, its motivation-specific underpinnings have yet to be examined theoretically. Given that motivation has been linked to the behaviour change process, the purpose of present paper was to explore the motivational foundations of CALC as they relate to SDT in order to provide theory-based evidence for its effectiveness and validate further, its utility as a viable health behaviour change method. Through deconstructing the techniques inherent in CALC and analysing its three key principles (i.e. fulfilment, balance and process coaching), a protocol for increasing motivation and enhancing self-determination as a function of satisfying SDT's needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness was uncovered. This exploratory analysis provides an important first step in positioning CALC as a theoretically grounded behaviour change method from a motivational perspective. Empirical research is now warranted to confirm these mechanisms with respect to the behaviour change process and treatment outcomes.
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