Oxford Brookes University Coaching and Mentoring Society


The aim of the Oxford Brookes University Coaching and Mentoring Society (OBCAMS) is to bring together researchers and practitioners of coaching and mentoring in order to explore evidence based practice and areas of interest to the field.

OBCAMS provides collaboration and networking opportunities for academics and professionals from a wide spectrum of coaching and mentoring interest. We introduce a range of coaching and mentoring topics in an informal setting and stimulate lively discussions and debates online. 

The society has approximately 150 members, comprising academics, students and practitioners from across the region.

people sitting at a large conference room

Society meetings

Now that OBCAMS is online we have decided to operate the membership through our online teaching platform Moodle.

The society meets monthly on Thursday evenings, between 5.00 pm and 6.30 pm unless otherwise stated on the programme. Please, note that the recordings will not be available in order to encourage open discussions.

When you join or renew your OBCAMS membership you will receive an invitation to access the OBCAMS Moodle and this will grant you access to the links to sessions, relevant slides and recordings.

How to become a member?

Membership of the Society is available to anyone interested in their own professional development as a coach or mentor (practitioners, students, academics etc).

Annual membership costs just £30. The membership runs from September to August. 

The Society sends out mailings to its members to advise them of forthcoming events, usually by email. New members are always welcome.

Upcoming OBCAMS sessions

The first session of the Challenging Conversations Series

9 May 2024, 17:00 to 18:30

 In these conversations Tatiana will be inviting colleagues from Oxford Brookes and further afield to open up critical discussions around tricky and hitherto neglected topics for the coaching world. Other participants will have an opportunity to engage with Tatiana and her guest to delve deeper in the issue in question.

On 9 May the topic is What is the purpose of organisational coaching? In opening this series Tatiana has invited Peter Jackson to partner with her to explore an apparent absence of clarity in relation to this purpose. There will be an opportunity to consider the implications of this situation for organisational coaches and to consider potential steps to address the issue.

Professor Tatiana Bachkirova is Professor of Coaching Psychology in the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies at Oxford Brookes University. As an academic her works involves supervising doctoral students, teaching coaching supervisors an academic writing. As a practitioner she supports coaches through individual and group supervision. In her over 70 research articles, book chapters and books and in her many speaking engagements she aims to explore most challenging issues of coaching as a service to individuals, organisations and wider societies.

Dr Peter Jackson is director of the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies at Oxford Brookes University (UK) and Principal Lecturer in Coaching & Mentoring. He has taught on the MA programme in Coaching & Mentoring Practice since 2004, the Centre’s professional development programme in Coaching Supervision since 2014 and more recently on the professional doctorate in Coaching. He has published on reflective practice, coaching supervision and physicality in coaching. His coaching practice has historically had a focus on the challenges of general management and the dynamics of individual change within organisations. His current interest is primarily supervision.

Previous OBCAMS sessions

'Cybersecurity and protecting client data'

With Alexandra J.S. Fouracres, 18 April 2024, 17:00 to 18:30

Alexandra J.S. Fouracres will present this event where she will help you to understand why avoiding cybersecurity may leave your client data up for grabs and your business as an easy target.

Join us in this interactive session on how making cybersecurity part of your business strategy optimizes its success. Through a deep dive into one type of cyber threat, we will look at why coaches need to upskill on cybersecurity to protect client data.

Thereafter we will look at how the ramification of cyberattacks can be far reaching – considering together some of the visible and less visible impacts on both coach and coachee.

Concluding the session – we return to empowering ourselves, through a dive into the data we hold as coaches and how we consider future accounts around storing and deleting it (small group exercises)

Alexandra J.S. Fouracres is a cybersecurity manager in addition to working as a coaching psychologist and academic. Her career spans over 20 years’ of leadership experience in financial services, fraud prevention and currently cybersecurity. Alexandra holds a MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology from the University of East London. She is a published researcher and author of Cybersecurity for Coaches and Therapists: A Practical Guide for Protecting Client Data, published by Routledge books.

'Nurturing the roots of effective communication'

With Pamela Nemecek, 15 February 2024, 17:00 to 18:30

How can coaches help clients improve their communication? Organizations often prescribe a group workshop, or a series of videos with information on how to communicate effectively. Yet studies show the results of this approach are short-lived, and less effective than hoped. How can coaches look beyond the surface issues of communication problems, to support clients’ underlying needs? How can we nurture the roots of effective communication?

We’ll explore examples involving physicians and healthcare executives, and discuss broader coaching applications. Through interactive exercises, we’ll examine successful techniques based on intrinsic motivation and generative insight, to support behaviour change in communication habits.

Pamela Nemecek specializes in communication and wellness coaching for physicians and healthcare executives. She is a Fellow at the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, with an MBA in Coaching, Mentoring and Leadership from York St. John University. She holds credentials in Mental Health Literacy for Coaches, Professional Development for Physicians, and Executive Education & Communication from Stanford University. Her research and coaching programs centre on Physician Communication and Wellness Support, and Executive Leadership Support, currently in place at more than 30 hospitals and clinics in the United States.

'What are we doing when we give feedback?'

With Dr Alison Maxwell, 16 November 2023, 17:00 to 18:30

What are we doing when we give feedback as part of the coaching process? While the feedback industry is a billion-dollar industry and considered by many as an ‘essential’ part of their coaching practice, surprisingly little substantive research exists on the experience of those engaged in feedback conversations – either as a recipient or a provider.

Drawing on her doctoral research, Alison Maxwell will highlight the varying approaches to feedback provision she found amongst coaching practitioners, and the potential ethical and practical issues raised. The session will challenge participants to examine their own practice and beliefs in relation to this often ‘taken for granted’ aspect of our work with clients.

Dr Alison Maxwell is a practising business and leadership coach, team coach and coach supervisor with over 3500 hours of professional experience. She supervises students on the Oxford Brookes MA in Coaching and Coaching Supervision programmes. She is also an Associate Fellow at Said Business School at Oxford University and an Associate Fellow of the Association for Coaching. Her research interests include the use of feedback for leader development, coaching self-esteem issues and the boundaries between coaching and therapy. She is a member of the BPs and is an accredited as a Master Executive Coach by the AC.

'How can mindfulness support coaches in their practice and enhance their wellbeing?'

With Eike Tischer, 16 November 2023, 17:00 to 18:30

Harvard research has shown that the human mind wanders about 47% of the time. Mindfulness raises awareness of thoughts, feelings and sensations by intentionally placing attention on the present moment, without judgement. Greater awareness can help coaches in becoming more present and focused during their coaching encounters, which can enhance the rapport and connection with their coachees.

This session will introduce the participants to theoretical concepts and experiential mindfulness practices that can help coaches in maintaining focus while becoming more aware of mental and physical signals in coaching. Mindful awareness can enrich the coaching process by providing access to additional details about the self and others. The session will also illustrate how the cultivation of mindful attitudes, such as openness and non-judgement, can mitigate subconscious biases and stereotyping, and create a more inclusive coaching environment. Mindful attitudes like kindness and self-compassion can further support coaches in their reflective practice and enhance their wellbeing.

Eike is a consultant, coach and co-founder of the Oxford Coaching Partners. She supports her clients during times of uncertainty and change in their professional and personal life. Eike has a passion for wellbeing and regularly facilitates experiential coaching workshops and mindfulness training. She has a master’s degree in Coaching and Mentoring Practice, is an accredited EMCC senior practitioner, a licensed career counsellor and qualified in mindfulness based cognitive therapy with the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre. Her MA dissertation focused on how mindfulness training can support coaches and their practice.

For further information about Eike’s mindfulness programmes or coaching workshops please contact her on LinkedIn, or find her at Oxford Coaching Partners

'What do organisations want and what do clients get from coaching? Reporting on an investigation into the content of coaching interventions.'

With Dr Peter Jackson, 26 October 2023, 17:00 to 18:30

It is a widely accepted model that coaching interventions follow objectives set by the organisational sponsor. But it turns out that organisational coaching interventions rarely follow a straight line between problem and solution. So what can we learn from an analysis of the winding paths that coaching interventions take? Dr Peter Jackson will discuss some of the findings from research carried out with Tatiana Bachkirova and some reflections on what this might mean for coaches and buyers of coaching services.

Peter has been an active practitioner, researcher and a member of the Oxford Brookes coaching & mentoring team for 20 years. His research has focused on embodiment, reflexivity and supervision and he has edited two major collections: 'Coaching Supervision: Theory & Practice' (with Tatiana Bachkirova) and 'Doing Coaching Research' (with Elaine Cox). Things that distract him include a motorbike, an accordion, and a greyhound/saluki cross called Ted.

'What next for our profession?' with Rachael Hanley-Browne MA

Rachael Hanley-Browne MA, 12 May 2023, 17:00 to 18:30

Rachael Hanley-Browne MA, Executive, Board, and Systemic Team Coach; Supervisor; Executive Development Consultant and EMCC UK President. Rachael graduated from Oxford Brookes in 2020. Her specialism is working with leadership teams and boards in technology, engineering, scientific and manufacturing businesses. Often PE backed. Also, in creating internal team coaching capability within organisations. She is currently contributing a chapter on Endings in Team Coaching for a book which is due for publication in 2023. She is also a daughter, a big sister, a wife, an exiled Geordie, and an adopted Londoner. A lover of jazz, art, architecture, and islands.

'Finding out how coaching works at the level of Board Directors (Non Executive Directors)' with Dr Franklin Vrede

28 April 2023, 17:00 to 18:30

Should we coach Board Directors? What is actually their role and what issues do they face?

Although there are many reasons to assume that coaching could be an obvious instrument to help non-executive directors increase their performance, the coaching discipline has not dedicated a great deal of research to this field or offered any frames of reference to practitioners aspiring to work with this group.

Franklin has used a grounded theory approach to shed more light on the coaching of Board directors and has come up with some interesting findings around why the approaches used for top executives are not fully applicable to board directors You will have the chance to work on two mini cases and dive deeper into the realities of board work.

Franklin is a passionate development guide and educator in Executive leadership. He works with senior leaders in a wide range of companies around the world. His clients typically seek him out for questions related to: Strategy Acceleration, Leading Change, Making the Executive Transition and Boosting Executive Teams. In his role as Adjunct Professor of Leadership and Corporate Governance at INSEAD business school, Franklin has taught in many programmes, among others the Advanced Management Programme, Transition to General Management and the Global Executive MBA. In addition Dr. Vrede partners with major INSEAD clients to create customised development solutions for their leadership cadre. Recent engagements include KBC Bank, Cargill, Vaillant and Dassault Systèmes. Franklin holds a Doctorate degree from Oxford Brookes University and a Masters in Organizational Development from Tilburg University in The Netherlands, In addition he completed The Coaching & Consulting for Change programme at INSEAD.

Franklin has been a board member himself and prior to his academic career, has gained business experience in a variety of industry sectors. He has held senior positions in companies like Royal Dutch Shell, ABN-AMRO Bank and Cisco Systems.

Franklin is a Dutch citizen based in Amsterdam and is the proud father of two daughters. Next to his lifelong fascination for leadership, he is passionate about philosophy, opera and contemporary art.

Dialogic Mentoring, embracing the grey

12 May 2023, 17:00 to 18:30

Traditional Mentoring has arguably served to maintain the status quo rather than facilitate a shift in perspectives. It has been used widely in organisations particularly in service of the Diversity agenda and in its purest form with limited impact, potentially getting in its own way. Reciprocal (dialogic) mentoring is having success in creating deeper understanding of difference, as demonstrated through this research. Taking a Social Constructionist approach Sue will share some of her findings and her reflections on the possibilities it holds for shifting our growing binary approach to opinion. Her session will include breakouts to experiment with a dialogic mindset.

Dr Sue Round

Dr Sue Round has more than 25 years’ experience of the full spectrum of people development across multiple sectors, including Aviation, Telecoms, Retail, Financial Services and Energy. She has led large, complex global teams with responsibility for Learning in all its aspects, Leadership Development, Talent Management and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Sue has a master’s degree from the University of Surrey and holds a Doctorate from Oxford Brookes University. She is an accredited coach and a Fellow of the CIPD. She has served on the UK Government’s Employee Engagement Task Force and on the Boards of the Learning Skills Improvement Service and Working Chance. In 2021 Sue was named as one of “HRs Most Influential” and appointed to the Board of the CIPD.

Her pro bono work includes: the Silverline service for older people and the Samaritans. She is now a partner in Lodestar Talent. She lives in London, is a keen runner, has 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

Coaching Distressed Physicians

Pamela Nemecek, 17 February 2023, 17:00 to 18:30

How coaches ‘show up’?

Rob Kemp, 18 November 2022, 17:00 to 18:30

An ethical exit strategy for dealing with unexpected incapacity and death

Eve Turner and David Lane, 28 October 2022, 17:00 to 18:30