Dr Michael Cavanagh

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney


Website Contact Details
Coaching Psychology Unit

Biographical details

Michael Cavanagh is both a Coaching and Clinical Psychologist. He holds a BA (Hons – 1st class) in Psychology from the University of Sydney, and a PhD and Masters of Clinical Psychology from Macquarie University. His doctoral research explored the impact of cognitive and behavioural patterns on health-related anxiety.

Michael is currently the Deputy Director of the Coaching Psychology Unit at the University of Sydney, where he and his colleague, Anthony Grant, have developed the world’s first degree programme in coaching. The Coaching Psychology Unit is considered to be a world leader in coaching psychology, and students regularly travel from Europe, the US, Asia and the Middle East to attend their degree courses and shorter professional development workshops.

A registered psychologist, Michael has 20 years experience in facilitating personal, group and organizational change. He has designing and facilitated training and personal development workshops in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. His has worked in a variety of public and private enterprises, both in Australia and internationally. He has coached a wide range of individuals, drawn from every level of management, and from a diverse range of organizations

As a presenter, Michael is consistently rated as excellent by students, audiences, and workshop participants. His research and practice have been reported in the national media, and he has a number of publications in the academic press and has presented at numerous international conferences.

Michael is well respected in the coaching community. He was twice elected National Convenor of the Australian Psychological Society Interest Group in Coaching Psychology – a body of the APS with over 650 members. He also holds the position of Co-ordinating Editor of the International Coaching Psychology Review - an international journal jointly published by the Australian and British Psychological Societies.

Michael was invited by Standards Australia to be the principle author of the Handbook of organisational coaching. This is in its final editing stage. Standards Australia is an International Standards Organisation member, and the Handbook of Organisational coaching is the world’s most comprehensive standard of coaching service provision, knowledge, competencies and training to date. It is also the first coaching standard to be created under an ISO aligned national stardards body. .

Michael was also a key instigator of the Global Convention on Coaching - a forum created for bringing together a range of coaching bodies internationally to discuss the future of coaching and coach education. And was one also of 4 inaugural members of the international advisory panel for the Harnish Foundation Coaching research fund, a not for profit, New York based organisation founded to promote excellence in coaching worldwide.

Research interests

As an executive coach his areas of special interest include:

Communication skills

Leadership and Emotional competency

Solution focussed approaches to goal achievement and problem solving.

Coaching in complex systems

Michael’s teaching emphasises the use of empirically-validated techniques and draws on the cognitive-behavioural, motivational interviewing and solution-focused approaches.

Selected grants

2010

  • The coaching ripple effect: The individual and systemic level influence of leadership development; Cavanagh M, O'Connor S, Cavanagh M; McLean Hospital (USA)/Research Support.

2009

  • Personal Transformation in the Workplace following 360 Feedback; Jones Q, Grant A, Cavanagh M; Human Synergistics Pty Limited/Research Support.

2007

  • Developing leadership for high stress workplaces: Improving well being, engagement, productivity and staff retention.; Grant A, Cavanagh M, Spence G, Wisdom K, Brown M, Yu N; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Cavanagh, M. (2011). Handbook: Coaching in Organisations. Sydney: Standards Australia.

Edited Books

  • Cavanagh, M., Grant, A., Kemp, T. (2005). Evidence-Based Coaching: Theory, Research and Practice from the Behavioural Sciences. Bowen Hills QLD: Australian Academic Press.

Book Chapters

  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M. (2011). Coaching and Positive Psychology. In K. M. Sheldon, T. B. Kashdan and M. F. Steger (Eds.), Designing Positive Psychology: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, (pp. 293-309). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M. (2010). Life Coaching. In E. Cox , T. Bachkirova and D. Clutterbuck (Eds.), The Complete Handbook of Coaching, (pp. 297-310). London: Sage Publications.
  • Cavanagh, M., Grant, A. (2010). The Solution-focused Approach to Coaching. In E. Cox , T. Bachkirova and D. Clutterbuck (Eds.), The Complete Handbook of Coaching, (pp. 54-67). London: Sage Publications.
  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M., Parker, H., Passmore, J. (2010). The State of Play in Coaching Today: A Comprehensive Review of the Field. In Hodgkinson, G.P and Ford, J. K. (Eds.), International Review of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, (pp. 125-167). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Cavanagh, M. (2006). Coaching from a systematic perspective: A complex adaptive conversation. In D. R. Stober & A. M. Grant (Eds.), Evidence based Coaching Handbook: putting best practices to work for your clients, (pp. 313-354). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Cavanagh, M., Grant, A. (2006). Coaching psychology and the Scientist-practitioner model. In D. Lane & S. Corrie (Eds.), The Modern Scientist-practitioner: a guide to practice in psychology, (pp. 146-157). Hove, Sussex: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Cavanagh, M. (2005). Mental-health issues and challenging clients in executive coaching. In Cavanagh, M. Grant, A. M., , & Kemp, T. (Eds.), Evidence-Based Coaching: Theory, Research and Practice from the Behavioural Sciences, (pp. 21-36). Bowen Hills QLD: Australian Academic Press.

Journals

  • Cavanagh, M., Lane, D. (2012). Coaching Psychology Coming of Age: The challenges we face in the messy world of complexity. International Coaching Psychology Review, 7(1), 75-90.
  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M., Kleitman, S., Spence, G., Lakota, M., Yu, N. (2012). Development and validation of the solution-focused inventory. The Journal of Positive Psychology: dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice, 7(4), 334-348. [More Information]
  • Yu, N., Collins, C., Cavanagh, M., White, K., Fairbrother, G. (2008). Positive Coaching with frontline managers : Enhancing their effectiveness and understanding why. International Coaching Psychology Review, 3(2), 110-122.
  • Spence, G., Cavanagh, M., Grant, A. (2008). The integration of mindfulness training and health coaching: an exploratory study. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 1(2), 145-163.
  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M. (2007). The goal-focused coaching skills questionnaire: Preliminary findings. Social Behavior and Personality, 35(6), 751-760.
  • Cavanagh, M., Grant, A. (2004). Executive coaching in organisations: The personal is the professional. International Journal of Coaching in Organisations, 2(1), 6-15.

Conferences

  • Cavanagh, M. (2004). Working With Challenging Clients In Executive Coaching: Theory, Practice And Empirical Research. Second Annual ICF Coaching Research Symposium, Canada: International Coach Federation.

2012

  • Cavanagh, M., Lane, D. (2012). Coaching Psychology Coming of Age: The challenges we face in the messy world of complexity. International Coaching Psychology Review, 7(1), 75-90.
  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M., Kleitman, S., Spence, G., Lakota, M., Yu, N. (2012). Development and validation of the solution-focused inventory. The Journal of Positive Psychology: dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice, 7(4), 334-348. [More Information]

2011

  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M. (2011). Coaching and Positive Psychology. In K. M. Sheldon, T. B. Kashdan and M. F. Steger (Eds.), Designing Positive Psychology: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, (pp. 293-309). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cavanagh, M. (2011). Handbook: Coaching in Organisations. Sydney: Standards Australia.

2010

  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M. (2010). Life Coaching. In E. Cox , T. Bachkirova and D. Clutterbuck (Eds.), The Complete Handbook of Coaching, (pp. 297-310). London: Sage Publications.
  • Cavanagh, M., Grant, A. (2010). The Solution-focused Approach to Coaching. In E. Cox , T. Bachkirova and D. Clutterbuck (Eds.), The Complete Handbook of Coaching, (pp. 54-67). London: Sage Publications.
  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M., Parker, H., Passmore, J. (2010). The State of Play in Coaching Today: A Comprehensive Review of the Field. In Hodgkinson, G.P and Ford, J. K. (Eds.), International Review of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, (pp. 125-167). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

2008

  • Yu, N., Collins, C., Cavanagh, M., White, K., Fairbrother, G. (2008). Positive Coaching with frontline managers : Enhancing their effectiveness and understanding why. International Coaching Psychology Review, 3(2), 110-122.
  • Spence, G., Cavanagh, M., Grant, A. (2008). The integration of mindfulness training and health coaching: an exploratory study. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 1(2), 145-163.

2007

  • Grant, A., Cavanagh, M. (2007). The goal-focused coaching skills questionnaire: Preliminary findings. Social Behavior and Personality, 35(6), 751-760.

2006

  • Cavanagh, M. (2006). Coaching from a systematic perspective: A complex adaptive conversation. In D. R. Stober & A. M. Grant (Eds.), Evidence based Coaching Handbook: putting best practices to work for your clients, (pp. 313-354). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Cavanagh, M., Grant, A. (2006). Coaching psychology and the Scientist-practitioner model. In D. Lane & S. Corrie (Eds.), The Modern Scientist-practitioner: a guide to practice in psychology, (pp. 146-157). Hove, Sussex: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

2005

  • Cavanagh, M., Grant, A., Kemp, T. (2005). Evidence-Based Coaching: Theory, Research and Practice from the Behavioural Sciences. Bowen Hills QLD: Australian Academic Press.
  • Cavanagh, M. (2005). Mental-health issues and challenging clients in executive coaching. In Cavanagh, M. Grant, A. M., , & Kemp, T. (Eds.), Evidence-Based Coaching: Theory, Research and Practice from the Behavioural Sciences, (pp. 21-36). Bowen Hills QLD: Australian Academic Press.

2004

  • Cavanagh, M., Grant, A. (2004). Executive coaching in organisations: The personal is the professional. International Journal of Coaching in Organisations, 2(1), 6-15.
  • Cavanagh, M. (2004). Working With Challenging Clients In Executive Coaching: Theory, Practice And Empirical Research. Second Annual ICF Coaching Research Symposium, Canada: International Coach Federation.

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