10th Global

Coaching, Mentoring, & Supervision Research Conference

2-3 July 2020 - University of East London, UK

10th Global

Coaching, Mentoring, & Supervision Research Conference

2-3 July 2020 - University of East London, UK


Ruth Hughes

Personal growth through migration: a grounded theory study

Theme: Approach/school/theory

Area: Coaching

Type: Research (with examples of how it COULD be applied in practice)

Keywords: personal growth, adversarial growth, culture shock, acculturation, migration, identity

Session on 3 July 2020 13:50 cest - View on timetable


Ruth will present the findings of her MAPPCP grounded theory research exploring the experiences of migrants self-identifying as having undergone personal growth; focusing on the implications of these findings on those in cultural transition, for coaches. She will present a brief summary of the literature on culture shock and personal growth before exploring implications of coaching using the three-stage infographic model supported by her findings.

  • Stage one looks at participant experiences of culture shock and growth through adversity
  • Stage two explores expanding the self through changes in perspective
  • Stage three considers the development of reflexive self-awareness in participants, facilitated in the formation of a new, expanded identity and a flexible, less judgemental and more altruistic worldview.

The implications of this model for coaching practice will be considered in the context of the study’s feedback from experts in the field, in the light of second wave positive psychology, and with practical examples from Ruth’s cross-cultural and cultural transition coaching experience.


Ruth Hughes is a coach, educator, consultant, and professional speaker in the fields of coaching psychology, positive psychology, positive education, culture shock, and international student well-being. After thirty years as a teacher and senior leader, Ruth completed the MAPPCP at the University of East London (UK), founding her company Curious Human in 2018. Ruth is a part-time Panel Tutor on the Coaching Certificate at Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education; Coach/Coaching Project Manager, Guest Lecturer, and Academic Advisor at the University of East London; Executive Coach with Compass Coaching (working with leaders in African charities), and Associate Consultant with Worth-it Positive Education, delivering Positive Education training and coaching in schools and organisations supporting and championing young people. She has authored/co-authored articles on international student well-being in StudyTravel magazine, The Pie magazine, and the English UK website. Ruth has spoken at seminars and conferences including ICEF Berlin; English UK Academic Conference; LLE Conference, Bristol; The Positive Psychology Symposium at New Bucks University; British Psychological Society Special Focus Coaching Group International Conference, TENS Academic Conference, Bournemouth.