The Holistic Approach: The Integration of Mental Health into Sport and Performance Psychology Consultation

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Artur Poczwardowski

Second Advisor

Nicole Taylor

Third Advisor

Jessica D. Bartley


Sport psychology, Mental health, Holistic, Integration


The purpose of this study was to examine how current sport and performance psychology consultants (SPPCs) integrate a mental health lens into a holistic performance enhancement approach by identifying common themes within SPPCs description of their practice. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit six doctoral level trained sport psychology consultants (3 female, 3 male; ��̅ = 53 years of age; 1 clinical, 4 counseling, 1 sport and exercise) who held current sport psychology accreditation/certification and had extensive applied experience (��̅ = 20.5). Following individual, semi-structured interviews and extensive interpretative phenomenological analysis, five higher-order themes emerged. These higher-order themes included service delivery competence, the consulting relationship, assessment and conceptualization, intervention style and technique, and professional growth. Overall, the results portrayed participants application of mental health skills across all facets of their applied practice, thereby demonstrating its relevance to sport and performance psychology consultation and the benefit of its integration in training. Future research might examine a narrow focus on the integration of the mental health lens in theories of performance excellence (TOPE; Aoyagi & Poczwardowski, 2012) and interventions in order to thoroughly examine a specific context and reliably differentiate common themes.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


52 pages

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